Employer brand leaders know how difficult it can be to unify an entire brand under one employer value proposition. But what if your brand isn’t a single organization but a family of several brands, each with its own priorities, competitors, and target candidates? That’s the challenge LexisNexis Risk Solutions Group (RSG) faced in 2020.
Under the leadership of Director for Employer Brand Shelley Jeffcoat, LexisNexis RSG launched an EVP that served each of its eight brands while helping them distinguish themselves as employers. To do this, Jeffcoat’s team needed a strategy as unique as their organization.
As early as the research stage, Jeffcoat’s team was organizing data by brand. With help from an external research firm, LexisNexis RSG explored each brand’s target candidates and demographics, its competitors, its functions, and more.
Then, when moving from the research stage to the analytics stage, Jeffcoat tagged her colleagues in marketing. Together, they created a unique tagline for each brand that echoed the overarching LexisNexis RSG EVP (“Explore more”) while painting a more specific picture of the individual brand (“Explore our passion for discovery”).
The choice to equip each LexisNexis RSG sub-brand with its own EVP wasn’t simply marketing cleverness. Getting specific made the company more competitive as an employer and continues to impact the employee journey as well.
In creating these flexible EVPs, “we’re defining our values and culture in a way that’s much easier for our candidates and employees to articulate,” Jeffcoat says. “This improves our competitive advantage as an employer.”
The EVP development process also led Jeffcoat’s team to revisit touchpoints along the employee journey. They looked at when and how the business’s values showed up along that journey and identified areas for improvement.
Another positive side effect of this strategy was boosting the credibility of the employer brand function. Many employer brand leaders feel a constant need to justify their role’s utility, Jeffcoat explains. Aligning employer brand’s efforts with the business’s top priorities helped demonstrate the critical role employer brand plays in LexisNexis RSG’s growth and success.
Before the EVP launch, it was challenging for employees to engage with brand advocacy. They lacked clear pathways to actions like social promotion, leaving Glassdoor reviews (LexisNexis RSG had multiple Glassdoor profiles), and helping prospective candidates get in touch (there were multiple Careers web pages).
Jeffcoat and her team’s first step was equipping employees with assets like brand guidelines, branded email signatures, social media templates, and more. This gave employees the tools to represent LexisNexis RSG confidently and ideas for how to engage while alleviating the pressure of starting from scratch.
LexisNexis Cares is another initiative that engages employees with the company’s values. Born out of the company’s commitment to corporate social responsibility, the Cares program sponsors charitable fundraisers and employee volunteer activities (all under the tagline “Explore our passion for giving,” a product of the employer brand team’s EVP work).
To generate internal momentum around brand advocacy, Jeffcoat knew she’d need to find employee advocates. She started her search with the talent acquisition team (a natural choice, as they were already skilled and experienced at representing the business to the public). But because of the company’s unique structure, Jeffcoat knew she couldn’t stop there; she’d need to pull in stakeholders from every brand and balance each brand’s representation.
Now that she’s found her employee advocates, Jeffcoat stays connected through monthly Ambassadors Unleashed meetings, where advocates can share updates from their corners of the organization and ask for support. These meetings include members of employee resource groups, another subset of highly engaged employees.
This approach, according to Jeffcoat, focuses on relationship-building and personal growth, not promoting the brand. Rather than throwing content at a roster of ambassadors, the employer brand team asks, “How do we support each other?”
Jeffcoat says this nontraditional strategy for growing the LexisNexis RSG employer brand is rooted in trusting, rather than micro-managing, her colleagues. “You can’t get involved in every single day-to-day operation, though you might want to!” she says.
In an organization that houses so many brands and employs thousands, the best strategy is to “consult and empower,” than surrender control. In Jeffcoat’s words, “Trust the process!”
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