Posted on 15/09/2018 by Kirsty Craig
Businesses spend large amounts of time and money working on their brand awareness, their mission statement and their professional reputation in an effort to market themselves as a credible, reliable and trustworthy business to deal with. And quite rightly so. After all, if no one is going to buy your products or services, your business is going to fail. But what about your Employer Brand? How much time and money do you invest in ensuring that you are an employer of choice? If your business is only as good as your brand awareness and reputation, surely your employees will only be as good as your employer brand?
Exactly what is an Employer Brand?
This is your reputation as an employer; as a place to work and your employee value proposition (EVP). All fundamental ingredients when trying to attract top talent to work for you. Today’s workforce is more aware of their own personal value and worth and put a higher price on being valued for their contribution to your business. No longer is salary the most important factor when choosing an employer; workplace culture, employee motivation and recognition and continuous professional development are all key factors top talent considers when choosing an employer. Not only for those that are choosing but also those already engaged in employment. Employees that feel undervalued, unmotivated, and are unhappy with the culture within which they are working, will not hang around for long.
So, what can you do to improve your Employer Brand?
A strong employer brand can help to attract, engage and retain the people your business needs to make it a success, and the starting point is a well-defined EVP. Where better to start with this, than with the workforce you already have? Ask your employees for their opinions, this in itself is actually a strong statement in working towards a great EVP. Don’t be afraid to ask for negative feedback because these are the areas you need to work on, as well as build on the positive areas. Ask them what attracted them to want to work for you as an outsider to the company and what makes working for your company unique or different to other employers they have worked for. Why do they stay and why would they leave? This type of research can be a real eye-opener. On the surface, your workforce may appear happy and content and doing a great job. Dig a little deeper, and you could be surprised at what you hear.
What do employees want from an Employer?
Salary and job title are no longer enough. The recruitment market is more competitive than ever when it comes down to capturing the right employees for your business, and employers have got to make sure they are engaging and retaining top talent. There is much to be said for offering transparency, diversity and creative freedom and responsibility. Effectiveness over effort should be high on an employer’s agenda as should operating a co-operative, not cut-throat, culture. Do your best workers fear for their jobs if they have an ‘off day’ or do you stand by them when times are hard as they do by you? When we look at EVPs, we always think about the word ‘fair’. Is what you offer your employees fair when you compare it to what you expect them to offer you? Today’s employees want to work hard, be given freedom and creative responsibility, have their opinions and ideas listened to and be included. Recognition for good work goes a long way, as does reward. Your employees deserve as much consideration as you give to your clients. If you go the extra mile for your clients, you retain their business and gain their loyalty, and this is what we want from our employees.
There are some great examples of companies with outstanding EVPs, and we are impressed with the culture that AO has created for their employees; they know that it’s their people that really sets them apart. They want to create a workplace where people can express themselves freely and dig deep to find that inner creativity that will not only make AO a better place to work, but helps them to become the UK retailer of choice. They want their employees to be bold, have fun, be driven but care and most of all challenge the ordinary.