You’ve set New Year’s Resolutions for yourself, but have you set any for your company? This year, you only need one: strive to be an Employer of Choice.
Why does this one resolution carry so much weight? When you become an employer of choice, you’ll see top applicants vying to work for you, competitors envy your employees, and your most talented workers stay with your company for years and years.
Given the competitive job market, combined with the rise of the gig economy, new-normal Baby-Boomer retirements and Millennial job-hopping, being an employer of choice is the best way to gain a stronghold in today’s recruitment landscape.
So how do you become an Employer of Choice?
The bad news is that there are a lot of factors outside of your control.
The most significant employer of choice drivers include: working in a great location and/or working for a company with prestigious name recognition or #1 position in their marketplace.
While we can’t all be Google (they get check marks for all 3), the good news is that there are things that you can do to create a culture that elevates your position as an employer of choice.
This means taking a close look at what people are actually saying, seeing and sharing about your company as a place to work. From those insights you will create a strong Talent Brand Architecture to be used as the foundation for all your internal and recruitment communications. For in-depth information on how to make this happen, refer to my new book, The Talent Brand: The Complete Guide to Creating Emotional Employee Buy-In for Your Organization.
Having a clear, articulated talent brand that promotes your culture, EVP (employer value proposition) and talent philosophy (how you manage talent) is only half the job.
The average person has 1 to 12 intimate contacts, 150 social contacts and 500 – 1,500 weak ties. An employee population of 100 people could influence 10,000 people on the merits of working for your organization.
Make sure that each one of them not only has the information, but has contributed their thoughts on what makes your organization their employer of choice. (Don’t wait to read about it on GlassDoor).
Staying vigilant and continually working to improve the employee perception of your company, will pay off big time.
With the younger generation, retention is a major problem. According to The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2017, over ⅓ of millennial employees surveyed plan to leave their current job within two years. While this number is down from the previous year, it’s still a substantial percentage.
You’re not helpless in the battle for retention, however. A Gallup survey last May revealed that 87% of Millennials said professional development or career growth opportunities were very important to them in a job. The article goes on to say that “their strong desire for development is, perhaps, the greatest differentiator between them and all other generations in the workplace.” So becoming an Employer of Choice means making the most of the Millennial’s time, skills and talents.
Focus on your company’s culture, and the candidate/employee experience. Don’t just hire for culture-fit; raise the bar and go for culture-add.
Think about what matters to the people who matter most to your organization. If you don’t know, find out, and position accordingly. Then create meaningful and personalized experiences that cater to their wants and needs of your talent pool as they go above and beyond in their work.
Your ability to evoke a singular experience in the hearts and minds of multiple audiences will enable you to truly build awareness, consideration and preference with all your constituents, including employees and potential employees.
Your organization may or may not be sexy, well-know or a category-killer, but with the highest intentions and a steadfast plan, you can fulfill your goal to achieve Employer of Choice status. in 2018.
It is no surprise that Employee Engagement is a growing concern for business leaders. Especially when Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report informs that only 33% of employees are engaged in their job and a massive 51% are actively looking for new employment. Research from Bain and Company revealed some other pretty interesting statistics about companies and engagement:
1. Lower level employees have lower levels of engagement.
Problem: High-level management may be out of touch with employee morale on the front lines.
2. As tenure increases, engagement levels decrease.
Problem: Those with the most knowledge and experience to contribute are uninspired to do so.
3. Engagement levels are lowest for sales and service people.
BIG Problem: These are the same individuals who are most likely to interact with your customers!
Talent branding usually involves conducting primary research with your employees – different from an engagement survey, the research uncovers the emotive qualities that prevail within your culture. At times, just giving employees an open forum to discuss issues, vent annoyances (even the most petty) and feel like they’ve been heard goes a long way towards building engagement.
At the completion of the discovery process, following the analysis of the information, you will have what we call the Talent Brand Architecture. It will include a statement about the collective work being done, the things that make the culture unique and appealing (yes, there are always things to say) and the Employer Value Proposition – the passionate and authentic expression of the experience you hope people will associate with your company as an employer.
Bringing employees together to introduce your talent brand architecture, rewarding them for their contributions in creating it and recognizing them for their allegiance to sharing it will also revive their passion for what they love about where they work.
The bottom line:
Employee Engagement doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It’s a strategic, thoughtful and continuous process intentionally designed to build bonds, repair trust, and shine a light on how everyone makes a difference through their efforts at work.
Similarly Talent Branding doesn’t happen in a creative department, in a recruitment video or on a career site. It is ever present as an opportunity to ask questions, and shape what is said, shared and thought.
Sign up to for news about how to receive your own first edition of The Talent Brand
Sign up for news about soon-to-launch Employee Engagement community, achievEE.
Book Jody for a talent brand consultation, or find out more about her speaking engagements and availability.
Always be Branding
It’s easy for for companies to say that employees are their greatest assets, or most valuable resource, but actually constructing a culture that values the individual experience is significantly more difficult.
At the highest level, it’s about forging the connection an employee feels not only towards their place of work, but the company at large. This in turn, influences his or her work ethic and overall attitude towards peers, clients, management, and even health and well-being.
In fact, it’s proven that employees who feel more connected with their company and peers take fewer sick days, are more productive in the office, and tend to act as brand ambassadors for the company’s strategic initiatives.
So it’s no coincidence that as a Talent Brand Planner, I’d be interested in Employee Engagement and the Employee Experience. Culture-fit, great management and belief in the organization’s mission are the table stakes, but what else does employee engagement encompass? We think it includes things like:
• Developing a high-performance culture that fosters a high-level of employee commitment
• Differentiating your compensation and offerings to better attract and retain talent with culture as a key driver
• Developing future leaders by mentoring high-potential employees
• Creating a robust total rewards package that recognizes efforts, experience and contributions
But what are we missing?
Who owns employee engagement?
Is employee experience the same, better or part of employee engagement.
These are the questions we at Brandemix are setting out to answer in the hopes that through our findings, we can deliver greater authenticity to the Talent Brand.
Help us and our followers add value to our work by taking this brief Employee Engagement survey.
Oh, and did I mention you could win prizes?
Many internal/employee communications are delivered in siloed streams and on any given day, an employee may receive one communication from Finance about the new expense reimbursement system. Another from Payroll about W-2s being available online. Another one from the Benefits Department on a change to the 401(k) plan. Another one from Facilities about the cafeteria menu. Another from Learning & Development about a new leadership training for new people managers. You get the idea.
All these various departments, with possibly different branding across multiple communications and channels, are competing for attention and sending out messages and wanting to make it clear “who” sent it.
But consider the employee experience as they field multiple requests from colleagues, clients, vendors, recruiters etc. It is just stuff from the Company (or worse yet, just stuff from HR). They can’t differentiate who is sending what or why. They just want to know WIFI (what’s in it for me.)
Consider building your HR Brand and working together across functions to think about how HR should “look, sound and feel.”
Time is precious, information overload is rampant and email fatigue is flourishing. Are you brave enough to jump into the sandbox together and look at your communications in a new way? Consider starting a communications audit. Or perhaps you need help activating your talent brand internally in a consistent way?
An employer brand is the way your organization’s prospective applicants, candidates and employees perceive you as an employer. In simpler words, it’s the process of building an image of being “a great place to work at” in the minds of prospective candidates and employees. It is a long-term strategy that establishes an organization’s identity as an employer, and reveals how one organization is different from another. But what about “employee branding?” Having employees become your brand ambassadors is a fast way of building a grass roots recruiting effort and harnessing the power of word-of-mouth.
Loosen Up Control
Take a tip from Zappos, the online retailer legendary for turning employees into brand advocates. Loosen up a little control and let team members use Social Media to talk about the company and its culture to prospective candidates.
Create a 30-minute “employer brand certification program”
Create a 30-minute “employer brand certification program” so employees learn more about appropriate social recruiting behavior. Arm them with the information they need to create a singular brand experience. Share updates about events, news, new projects and developments, and make sure they’re aware of your hard-to-fill job opportunities and what makes them so special.
In return for their efforts, considers suggestions given by your employees and takes time to recognize them for the positive efforts they are putting forth on behalf of your employer brand.
The average person has 1 to 12 intimate contacts, 150 social contacts and 500 – 1,500 weak ties so an employee population of 100 people could yield more than 10,000 new candidates in your pipeline.