EMPLOYER BRAND. THREE EMPLOYER BRAND IMPERATIVES TO STRENGTHEN YOUR EMPLOYER BRAND. strengthen employer brand engage people cut the cost of talent

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1 EMPLOYER BRAND. THREE EMPLOYER BRAND IMPERATIVES TO STRENGTHEN YOUR EMPLOYER BRAND. strengthen employer brand engage people cut the cost of talent

2 Authenticity is the new paradigm. Authenticity is the new paradigm. In the past, organizations could get by with well-produced recruitment, on-boarding and employee engagement communication messaging, materials and campaigns. It was a time when we, as communication professionals, only had to define our statements; achieve a high standard of production quality; and then execute marketing and PR campaigns. The world has changed. Today s world is one where we all instantly search for, and find, information on whatever peaks our interest at the moment. The information we find informs, makes an impression, shapes decisions or validates previously held beliefs. And through it all, the collective impact of the information we find gets us to the real story of what interests us. Today s message for workforce communicators: you can t hide. Your people current and future talent will see and hear your messages within the context of this new paradigm of selfinvestigation and validation. They ll connect with organizations that are authentic while disconnecting with those that aren t. Therefore, we see three imperatives that organizations should consider when managing recruitment and engagement communications in today s new paradigm. The good news is that each works to strengthen the employer brand. IMPERATIVE ONE Infuse employee engagement data IMPERATIVE TWO Simplify employer brand messages IMPERATIVE THREE Unite external and employer brands 2

3 IMPERATIVE ONE Infuse employee engagement data. This may sound tactical but the strategic intent is to peer into the everyday experiences of your people. That s where you will find the real story of why people join, stay and give their all to you as an employer. Getting to the street-level of your employees experiences and then using that perspective to shape your employer brand and employee communications adds authenticity. One way to get your employees perspectives related to their everyday experiences is to look at the employee engagement data that you may be collecting. (As intuitive as that may sound, we ve found that many organizations don t do this simple step when working on their employer brand.) Typically, employee engagement data will look at the very questions we ask in employer branding. These might include questions found in engagement dimensions like: Intent to stay Intent to leave Overall satisfaction Manager/supervisor satisfaction Confidence in leadership Recommend as an employer Weaved within the results of your engagement survey data you ll find the narrative of your authentic employer brand story. In addition to having statistical proof-points, many engagement surveys also collect employee commentary. This commentary is honest and raw content that could be applied to employer brand and employee communications. Remember, authenticity is the new paradigm. Infusing employee engagement data and having the mindset to do so ensures that your messages will connect with talent. The Additional Benefit of Infusing Employee Engagement Data: Visible Action AonHewitt found that companies who transform employee engagement data into visible action will increase employee engagement scores by up to 31%. Conventional wisdom is that up to a third of your workforce is actively disengaged. What would be the impact if you can move 31% of your actively disengaged employees to being more engaged? Infusing employee engagement data into your employer brand communication is visible action. 3

4 IMPERATIVE TWO Simplify employer brand messages. We ve all been there. As business executives and communicators, we are committed to writing mission statements, statements of purpose, vision statements and so forth. As employer brand strategists, we also develop employer brand promises, attributes and architecture. And, since we re intensely involved in human capital communications we ll delve into narratives about employee value propositions, employment deals, total rewards and healthcare benefits. It s no wonder that what comes out of all of this is confusing. From an organizational viewpoint, we re colliding many perspectives and objectives into what we hope will be a compelling and understandable message. You ve seen the result: Our company is a place where individuals thrive independently while placing high value on customer care fostered by a performance culture in an environment driven by innovation and family focus. Our 25 core values represent way, it s equally important to stop and translate the findings into employer brand messages that connect. Employer brand messages that connect are authentic and simple. They are messages that your audience will easily and quickly understand. They are messages constructed from the outset with the goal of getting it as the communication s mission. When all is said and done, will our intended audience get it? Now is a good time to say that what we re not talking about here is a slogan or a logo. Masking overly complicated or untrue messages with a slogan will do more harm than good. We re talking about clear, direct and simple employer brand messaging that is rooted in authenticity. That s a little hyperbolic but here s the point: while it s important to develop mission, culture and employer brand messages in a structured 4

5 IMPERATIVE THREE Unite external and employer brands. There is little room for confusion in today s world. We just don t have time, or patience, to deal with confusion anymore. This is particularly applicable to the relationship between your external and employee brands. Confusion between these two brands occur when there is poor alignment. One brand says one thing while the other says something completely different. One motivates and inspires while the other just sits there. But as long as one is good, then does it really matter? The answer is multi-dimensional. On a practical level, communication behavior has changed. What now happens is that people will quickly jump from one source to another and then back to the first and so forth. To illustrate: a candidate might start at your career page (drawn by a posting), check out your corporate site, jump over social media sites, talk to friends, visit you (in-person and/or online) and then go back to your career page. Unaligned brands risk confusing those who are traversing you across multiple channels. But this notion can go deeper. The second aspect in play here is that unaligned brands might compel talent to not trust you. They ll ask the question: what s the real story? Trust is garnered through consistency. Talent is more apt to believe in what you say if they see and experience it consistently every time they touch you. Perhaps the most compelling reason to unite your external and employer brand is the belief in your people as extensions of your brand. We are our brand. That s a powerful place to be. Think about your everyday experiences. Which brands do you connect with and why? Chances are that you re connecting with brands where the employees really embrace and embody the spirit of the enterprise. And chances are that you are more likely to return, engage and purchase more from those enterprises. On the employee side, employees who are connected with their companies committed, know what to do and are empowered through their external brands are more engaged, less likely to leave and provide great customer experiences. 5

6 About us. The David Group s Workforce Communications Practice is an emerging force in employer brand and employee communications. Our mission is to work with North American organizations to strengthen their employer brand, engage their people and cut their cost of talent. We bring creative and innovative thinking to make employer brands stronger. Our focus is to engage people through their experiences. We re guided by a belief that when a workforce is united by mission, culture and shared experiences the cost of talent goes down. Contact N. Robert Johnson Practice Leader, Workforce Communications (direct) (cell) related white paper EMPLOYER BRAND. THREE STEPS TO TAKE WHEN STARTING AN EMPLOYER BRAND INITIATIVE. (click on image) 6

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