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.
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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.
As professionals in this industry, we understand various brands and their specific allure for a consumer. Essentially, there are 20 brand archetypes into which everything can be sorted: from breakfast cereals to talk show hosts. Read my earlier blog post on brand archetypes here.
Politics aside, I thought it would be great fun to look at the recent and current Republicans seeking the presidential nomination through the lens of a brand archetype. Your comments appreciated.
Marco Rubio: The Innocent
Like Mr. Rogers, the innocent is committed to simplicity, and doing the right thing. Rubio wants to bolster education, secure America’s borders and balance the budget. His naivete can be too much at times, such as when he denies climate change. Lysol and Dove are two examples of consumer brand names that suit the innocent.
Trump: The Entertainer
While some of Trump’s speeches are about the old simpler America, he is as much the clown as the traditionalist. He makes faces at the camera, baits news commentators, and slams his competition (e.g. Carly Fiorina’s looks.) Lacking a political background, he is best known for his entertainment holdings–beauty pageants, casinos, and iterations of The Apprentice. A celebrity who suits this category is Jeff Foxworthy and a consumer brand is the Jack in the Box chain.
Ben Carson: The Traditionalist
The traditionalist seeks to restore glory through a return to old fashioned values. Carson, who announced his run at a prayer breakfast full of city pastors, certainly fits in with this archetype. Beyond religion, his conservative views and commitment to family values are as clean and simple as Proctor and Gamble soaps. Other traditionalist brands include Old Spice and Folger’s coffee.
Chris Christie: The Boy Next Door
This brand type is friendly, hardworking, for “regular Joes” — think Walmart or Covergirl cosmetics. Often photographed in khakis and polo shirts, Christie looks like your neighbor out mowing his lawn. And when it comes to issues, he’ll tell you that he wants to lower taxes and take a bite out of crime.
Discover Your Brand Archetype
Brandemix creates brand plans for clients across a wide range of industries. We can analyze your current brand, the archetype it fits into, how to communicate in the write tone of voice and how to leverage that with the right audience. Find out more.