The Impact of Strong Values on Employer Brand

WRITTEN BY: Jörgen Sundberg

In a tough recruitment market, where there are skills shortages and increasing competition for talent, it’s important to use robust employer branding to promote the organizational culture and values, reinforcing the message that you provide a great place to work. Employer branding is pivotal to winning the war for talent and securing and retaining the strongest candidates.

The CIPD suggests: “A strong employer brand helps businesses compete for the best talent and establish credibility. It should connect with an organization’s values and must run consistently through its approach to people management.” It is important that employer brand does not just talk about the organization’s values, but reflects the actual experience of employees: “People who like the job they do and the place they work become advocates for it”.

Values to believe in and practice at work

When work is a good place to be then employees are more likely to be engaged and fulfilled, organizations are more likely to be productive, profitable and sustainable and both are able to flourish. We all have intrinsic and extrinsic work values. Intrinsic values are to do with the tasks involved in a job. They include helping people, doing interesting work, or being a good leader. Extrinsic values refer to what you get out of your work, as opposed to what you put in and may include status, recognition, remuneration and job security.

Most people work at their best when personal values are aligned with organizational values.

Sadly, the workplace, for many is not a great place. Numerous scandals around workplace harassment and shabby treatment of staff show what can happen when values are not integrated into corporate operations and strategy. The ‘do as I say/not do as I do’ gap when leadership says one thing to staff but acts differently harms credibility and leaves workers mistrustful and disengaged.

Aligned values

PR consultancy Weber Shandwick found that less than a fifth of employees feel there is a strong alignment between what their employer says about itself, and what they experience working there. Research revealed that just 19% strongly agree that “what my employer portrays about itself publicly matches what it’s like to work there”, while 7% strongly disagree.

A values-based organization will articulate what their values mean in real terms and support employees in engaging with and committing to them.

Devin Rogozinski, Head of Talent Marketing at Atlassian, told us how the global tech company does employer branding based on a strong set of values. Values such as:

  • Open company, no bullshit
  • Plays as a team
  • Build with heart and balance
  • Don’t #@!% the customer
  • Be the change you seek.

He says that it is values that attract good candidates, their people really believe in Atlassian’s values and their leadership stays true to those values. Devin told us that a company really can’t define what they want their culture to be, as culture changes and grows as new people join. It is values that guide the business, product development, and their brand so that as Atlassian continues to evolve and grow, these five values remain constant.

They want to be the best place for team players to work, corporate values help to ensure they hire people who are strong team players. When everyone is on the same page, teamwork thrives, so, they take extra care to make sure every Atlassian employee understands and engages with corporate values.


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