Employer branding: Why it’s important and how to protect it
Employer branding is a term you may have heard the HR gurus and top CEO’s bandy about, but what does it actually mean?
In short, it’s the reputation and attractiveness of your organisation to potential staff in the employment market. Whilst difficult to quantify it has a direct effect on your ability to attract and retain high-quality staff. The better your employer brand, the more likely you are to attract the best talent, the poorer it is, the more difficult it becomes to attract the right people and keep great staff.
Why is attracting and keeping the right people important? It’s simple, your people are your biggest asset, regardless of your industry, sector or target market. Organisations fail or succeed based on the aptitude, attitude and integrity of the people who work for them. By failing to secure the right staff, you’re limiting the potential of your organisation.
How to build your employer branding
Provide staff with strong career pathways and professional development opportunities
By mapping out a career pathway for someone or investing in a person’s development, it shows your organisation is willing to invest in that individual. When staff can see a future for themselves in an organisation the benefits are three-fold. Firstly, they’re more driven and hardworking, secondly staff retention rates improve as they’re less likely to be tempted by other organisations and, thirdly your employer branding improves. Happy staff become a walking billboard for your organisation, that will help attract great talent.
Reward staff for good work
When staff go above and beyond to deliver on a project make sure this work is acknowledged or celebrated. This can be in the form of team or office wide shout-outs, company awards, morning teas, promotions, bonuses etc. When people feel valued by their employer they tend to work harder and to get more satisfaction from their work and as a result view and think about their employer favourably and with pride.
Foster a positive environment
When people feel their work is a safe place, where they’re supported by their colleagues and encouraged to do their best work it shows. Humans are finely tuned into the subtle emotional indicators so whether it’s externals coming onto the premises for meetings, your staff out and about interacting with clients and peers the happiness of staff is evident. And you never know when you’ll come across talent that you’d like to hire in the future.
The biggest risk to your employer branding
One of the most high-risk activities for your employer branding is the redundancy process. It is important for your company reputation that this is handled with empathy, care, and compassion – The best way to do this, is through outplacement support. Outplacement support not only sets up your departing employees with the best opportunities to make the next move in their career, but also increases the chances of them recommending you as a potential employer to their peers. In a small country like ours word travels fast about what kind of employer you are. This can make it either easier for you to attract new talent, when the time comes or significantly harder if ex-staff end up badmouthing your organisation and recommending people seek work elsewhere.
Whilst outplacement support is important for outgoing employees, it’s also an important tool that helps build trust with remaining employees. It drives home the fact that you’re an employer who cares about your team and that your organisation will support them through even the most difficult times.
During times of change, employee productivity can decrease as well. Research by COLLABZ, showed that a 1% downsizing of your workforce can lead to a 40% drop in employee engagement while increasing the voluntary turnover by 31% in the following fiscal year. This stat alone, shows that a strong employer brand does not just benefit your recruitment drive but also your existing employees!
Maintaining a well-built employer brand that resounds throughout your entire company will improve retention and engagement amongst your current workforce. Your employees talking positively and promoting working for your business will further help strengthen your brand as an employer.
If you need assistance with outplacement, whether it’s ensuring you’re following all the legal requirements or setting your staff up for success in the future CDL has a range of outplacement services that can help.