Which employers do the LGBTQ community want to work for?

The new generation that makes up the current workforce is more inclusive and expects more fairness than their predecessors. Other than opening up to the idea of diversity in hiring practices, there are also non-discrimination policies and inclusive benefits that employers are using to recruit the best talent from the talent pool in general while making sure that the LGBTQ community doesn’t get left out.

Businesses these days participate in recruiting events exclusively for the community that draws top industry skill in a setting that provides them with an opportunity to engage with employers that are visibly interested in hiring LGBTQ professionals.  In today’s changing landscape, having LGBTQ-friendly policies will not only attract talented workforce but also retain the larger workforce. In fact, an inclusive work culture makes you more appealing as an employer over your competitor. 

Having said that, here are some companies that the LGBTQ community prefers to work for. 

Google

Google is a leading business name and an employer. The company works closely with LGBTQ organizations to protect their employees against all kinds of discrimination. The tech-giant has worked inclusion in its marketing and employer branding strategy to attract worthy talent to their organization. 

Google is celebrating Pride this month by using hashtag #ThisIsFamily where its LGBTQ+ employees shared their family stories on the company’s social media channels. Not only is it a workplace for everyone, the company has pledged to donate as much as $100,000 to support LGBTQ+ initiatives. 

Most importantly, Google also helps other companies list their businesses as “LGBTQ+ friendly” in their products such as the maps, Google Search etc. According to its employees, Google is a pay master that offers a friendly culture, intelligent smart.

Infosys

This Indian IT giant has been amongst the few companies in India that has worked hard to create an environment for its employees that is safe, inclusive, equal. They also created an employee resource group called “Infosys Gays Lesbian and You” (IGLU) to bring all the LGBTQ employees together. The focus of this group is to promote open dialogue regarding policy changes that are required to help the community make their workplace better and more all-encompassing. They also host workshops to create awareness about LGBTQ and to encourage a culture of respect within the organization. 

What’s more? To make the LGBTQ candidates feel welcomed, the company has removed the gender column altogether. 

Uber

Uber is a leading transportation company that provides can services via a mobile app to connect passengers with drivers. As a provider of equal work opportunity for all, Uber supports LGBTQ+ community with the help of its employee resource group called UberPride. The company takes immense pride in retaining and recruiting top market talent and offering them a diverse environment that supports LGBTQ+ community outreach. The company also works towards providing training and workshop to LGBTQ+ employees to retain them in the company and make them more visible. 

Uber has, in fact, been named one of the best companies to work for LGBTQ equality. Thanks to UberPride, the company has built a robust and diverse workplace that gives everyone equal opportunities regardless of their gender and sexual orientation. They also work actively promote the rights of the community in the city they operate. 

Employees at Uber love the inclusive work culture and especially enjoy working with a passionate workforce that is always prepared to change the world. 

Apple

Apple is a name for quality and innovation. It is a leading employer not only because of its brand image but also openness work with diverse workforce. The company supports LGBTQ equality and constantly works towards hiring a diverse workforce. The company has been rated as one of the best places to work for the last 15 years due to its employee-friendly policies. The Cupertino-based giant uses its brand power to advocate for LGBTQ rights around the world. 

Employees who work at Apple call the organization cool and super fun. The work environment at Apple is not only diverse but also enthusiastic, not to mention the great benefits offered to all its employees that helps them retain top talent across all communities. 

Did you know that LGBTQ friendly policies in your company is not only the right thing to do but also good for the business? According to a report by US Chamber of Commerce Foundation called Business Success and Growth Through LGBT-Inclusive Culture, companies that are LGBTQ friendly attract better candidates and reduced employee turnover. The report also revealed that the public-listed companies that support the community has experienced a stock price rise by more than 6.5%. 

However, just calling yourself an LGBTQ-friendly company alone does not make the cut. What these companies did differently was apart from drafting inclusive policies, they also created an environment that was based on equality. These business leaders designed a conducive environment for inclusiveness that promotes conversations around the betterment and inclusivity of LGBTQ. 

Who are India’s most attractive employers in 2019?

As the workforce in India becomes a fine mix of millennials and baby boomers, companies in 2019 have to device interactive and attractive ways to keep multigenerational employees happy. In a recent survey conducted by LinkedIn, the companies that provide casual work culture, fair wages, and job security are the ones that are preferred by applicants. 

A smart employer brand strategy has always been at the heart of attracting valuable and talented workforce. These companies leverage their Employee Value Propositions (EVP) to reward experienced employees and offer a consistent platform for improved employer brand communication. 

2019 has been a year of paradigm shifts with some new companies making the list and topping it! IT giants like Tata Consultancy Services and IBM are an indication of how companies are changing their job and recruitment landscape to complement the current business environment. 

The survey also revealed that candidates look for salary and employee benefits, work-life balance, job security, strong management, and career progression, as the most important factors when choosing an employer. These are the primary factors that were taken into consideration when deciding the best employers. 

That being said, let us look at the top three employers in India to work for in 2019. 

Flipkart (Walmart)

This homegrown e-commerce website was founded in 2006 by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal who learnt their tricks of the trade from their former employer, Amazon. In the last ten years, the company has gained traction as not only the largest online retailer for its consumers but also one of the leading employers in India. The company’s continued growth can be attributed to its employees who brought Flipkart from its second position last year to the top spot. So what does Flipkart do for its employees that sets them apart?

The leading e-commerce service provider worked intensively to develop benefits program and ensured that these benefits were meaningful for their workers. Unique features of their employee benefit program includes flexible leave and work-hour policy, legal support and financial assistance for adoption services, tenured and full time employees can take up to six months of sabbatical, maternity benefits and lots more. It is the unique work-life balance maintained by the company for its people that kept them content at work and outside of it! 

Amazon India

This US-based e-commerce leader continues to hold a strong foothold in the Indian market despite complex FDI policies. The company has worked aggressively to promote its private label and flushed money in its retail divisions to setup 100 kiosks in Indian malls. Even though the company is growing at a manic pace, Amazon has managed to take its employees with it to become the second best employer in India, according to a LinkedIn survey.  

With the objective of making Amazon India the most desirable company in India, the company leveraged employee ambassadors to ensure that right perception reaches its stakeholders. Amazon even went so far as to customize its Employee Value Proposition to suit the Indian market while maintaining their brand consistency. 

Amazon India offers not just handsome salary packages to its employees but also employee benefits like its stocks and equity shares, paternity and maternity leaves, health insurance, paid vacations etc. that makes it one of the most sought after companies to work for. 

OYO

OYO has been rising progressively since the start of 2019. This hospitality major is not only expanding in India but also outside of it. From partnering with Airbnb to launching coworking spaces, OYO is investing audaciously in its expansion strategies. It was only a matter of time when OYO became the leading hospitality chain in India. Its rapid growth has not only been noticed by its investors but also its employees who vouch for its corporate culture and quality of work environment. 

OYO is known for its top-down culture that has worked well for the company so far. The employees enjoy the stimulating challenges that helps them grow personally as well as professionally. They participate in different projects and get full support from senior management to learn and perform in new roles. While most startups struggle to retain top talent, OYO has managed to secure the third spot in LinkedIn’s best employer list. The sense of ownership amongst its employees makes the company’s success everyone’s success story. Other than offering huge salary packages and stock options, OYO gave its talented workforce a conducive work environment that is geared for growth. Work-life balance is consistently maintained throughout the organization to prevent burnout situation. 

India’s multigenerational workforce can be treated as a challenge or considered as an opportunity that can bring the best of both worlds – balanced experience of its tenured employees and youthful brightness of its millennials. Using the winning combination of work-life balance and job security, these companies have not only attracted new talent from the market but also retained their existing one to create a thriving ecosystem that is growing exponentially. 

How can employer branding talk to both the candidate and the consumer?

The all-encompassing nature of employer branding strategy is what makes it unique as well as interesting about an organization. It is often falsely believed that HR owns the employer branding in a company when in reality it is held together by all stakeholders, from its employees to its customers. You ask how? We’ll tell you how! 

It is not just employees that define a company, it is also its vendors, prospects, and clients, who own the brand. Therefore, it is important for the employer brand to be treated as a multi-dimensional functionality that needs to spread beyond its single role. 

In this article, we will talk about the cross-functional nature of employer branding and how companies have used it to build a powerful image among all its stakeholders. 

Cross-functional collaboration is at the heart of employer branding strategy

The influence of employer brand cannot be overlooked when it comes to its multi-dimensional impact on all the aspects of an organization. Cross-functional collaboration happens when different teams across an organization come together to contribute towards a common goal. If their skills are relevant and utilized in the right manner, it can help a company achieve new levels of innovation, creativity, and success. 

An all-star team made up of marketing, legal, HR, product, sales, and agency can handle the marketing efforts effectively  across all channels and execute your strategies to reach out to the right target audience. 

For example, when General Electrics (GE) released a video in 2017, aired during Oscars, the company’s message was loud and clear – they want to hire 20,000 women in technical roles by 2020. The right timing, right message, and right strategy made GE’s video an internet sensation that garnered 1 million views and louder applause. This is just a good example of a company whose marketing team works closely with the branding team to bring content that changes not only employer perception but of the brand altogether. The movie-style video that showcased a world where women scientists were treated as stars really pulls at the heart strings and makes you believe in the brand for its values. 

Cross-functional employer brand advocacy reign supreme

If cross-functional collaboration is the key to brand management, then the role of employer brand advocates is even greater. With their diverse knowledge and skillsets, these employer brand advocates are out there to advance all aspects of an organization. They are not only responsible for acquiring and retaining the top talent, but also use their strategic excellence to deliver products and services in such a way that the customers feel engaged and wowed. These brand advocates or employer brand champions bring the best of both worlds – marketing and recruitment. 

Booking.com started a One Mission Project that encouraged its thousands of employees to document their travels in a company-provided GoPro. This two-pronged strategy allowed Booking.com to create tons of free inspiring travel videos that they shared across their social media channels as a cost-effective marketing effort. At the same time, it strengthened the company’s brand image as an employer that cares and empowers its employees to experience the world. 

Building credible viral stories via employer brand champions

If you want to create a ‘credible employer’ narrative, then you need to create viral content that resonates not just within the organization but outside of it. Cross-functional employer brand teams must work together to tell a story about company’s values and vision in a powerful manner. Lending human voice and sharing real life stories across the organizational hierarchy and demographic levels can help create an authentic employer brand image that will be relatable for all the stakeholders. 

In a unique employer branding campaign, Accenture encouraged its employees to share a video regarding diversity-related struggles at workplace. This highly shareable video not only spread around the organization like wildfire but outside of it too. As a result, Diversity Inc. and Fortune covered this campaign extensively that reinforced the brand image as a great employer as well as an organization of inclusivity. 

Employer branding now far transcends just the hiring and talent acquisition benefits. It has come a long way from being a one-dimensional approach to reach a point where its doctrines are being to develop an all-inclusive strategy that not only attracts top talent from the market but also reliable vendors and loyal customers. 

How to use Employer Branding to Build a Stronger Workforce?

As employers struggle to find the right talent, employer branding helps companies position themselves as a desirable employer that attracts the right set of candidates. With articulate statement of purpose and goals, the company sets precedent for its existing employees and potential ones to create an image of a worthy employer. But how exactly does that help? How have companies used it to build a reliable workforce?

According to a report by Glassdoor, 84% jobseekers consider an employer’s reputation when choosing to apply for a job. Given the statistics, it is evident that the importance of establishing a positive image is indisputable. However, despite its growing importance, recruiters often falsely believe that employee branding is nothing but an HR fad that is a waste of resources leading to superficial results. But even though this unique strategy requires intense amount of time and effort, its significant returns make it an essential investment. 

That said, employer branding has long since evolved from being a marketing gimmick to a necessary organisational strategy. As a result, companies all over the world are developing their brand image in order to stay ahead of their competitors and acquire the best talent. Today, many business leaders agree that employer brand image plays a key role in their recruitment as well as their business success. 

For employers who aren’t exactly sure how to use that in their favour, read on to learn how leading brand names have used their employer brand to successfully hire the best from the lot and how you can do it too. 

Google

Google’s selection process is rigorous and the company is known to use a brain-teasing interview approach to identify cognitive skills. They leave no stone unturned in finding highly qualified candidates that can fit into their system organically and work as per their organizational ethos. So how do they attract their potential employees?

Google’s employer branding technique involves reaching out to the right candidates to show that they are willing to go the extra mile to find the right people who can thrive within the company’s environment, both at personal and professional level. Their career website explains what they expect from their employees and what is it like to be within the company fold. 

The tech giant receives as many as 3 million resumes each year for 7000 job openings! With only a 0.2% chance of being hired, Google sets the right precedent for its potential candidates as well as competitors to strengthen their hiring game. But despite so many applications, Google vets each of them individually and makes sure no great candidate slips through unnoticed. What’s more? They use the referral system to find good applicants from their employees’ network. What better way to promote yourself than good old word-of-mouth?

Starbucks

Want to learn how to build an influential employer brand from your social media channels? Learn from Starbucks! Starbucks’ Twitter and Instagram handles, @StarbucksJobs, are used exclusively to interact with potential candidates and to promote themselves as an employer brand. #SbuxJobChats, exclusive Twitter hashtag for employees to express their gratitude and a YouTube channel with millions of views also helps in creating an impactful employer brand. 

Starbucks has always stayed committed to being a desirable employer and has never failed to provide consistent support to its employees. They know exactly what their brand stands for and what it represents. They use this opportunity to build a strong employer brand reputation to increase the satisfaction and confidence of all their stakeholders. 

What makes Starbucks ad their employer brand strategy unique is their comprehensive focus on everyone, from their frontend employees to their corporate staff. The company continues to increase work benefits and perks to keep all its employees happy and content. A relaxed dress code, parental leave package, free education, etc. makes its employees advocate the brand strongly across their social media pages. 

Salesforce 

Named one of the best employers in the world by Fortune, Salesforce calls its employees and its team members as ‘Ohana,’ which means family in Hawaiian language. The word is followed by the phrase, ‘Family means no one gets left behind… or forgotten!’

From enviable employer reviews at Glassdoor to a healthy work culture, Salesforce has nailed every aspect of providing their employees with just the right environment to encourage their growth and by extension, their own. 

They have a very single-minded strategy to attract new talent to their company pool. They have put together effective videos about employee experience and built an attractive career site to inspire people to work for them. Salesforce also pays close attention to all the decision points that candidates have when they are deciding who to work for. As a result, their employer branding strategy became employee driven that has managed to attract the best of the best. 

These employer brands have one thing in common – they have a great reputation that all the stakeholders want to connect with. Employer branding has come a long way from being going the extra mile in hiring process to being a key strategy for acquiring the right talent. Take notes from these companies to create a successful employer brand that is so much more than recruitment. 

What millennials want from employers in India and China?

415 million millennials in China and 440 million millennials in India make up the world’s 47% millennial population. With statistics like these, it is safe to say that this generation will lead 21st century’s workplace narrative. 

Despite promising numbers, there are myths that portray millennials as self-absorbed and lazy, and at the same time there are reports that dispel these myths. In this technology-led and absorbed era, millennials are redefining everything from consumerism to employer-employee relationships. Born at a time when the employment market was highly volatile and businesses were experiencing global recession there has been more emphasis on skill and less on education. 

Over the years, the business landscape has changed dramatically as Asian countries like India and China produced an increasing number of talented workforce. The time is ripe for employers to rework their people strategies and employ new hiring practices to attract, retain, and motivate the best millennials to develop the workforce for 21st century.  

But what does the largest pool of millennial workforce want? Let us have a look. 

They see a promising future and successful career for themselves

The Indian and Chinese millennials share wide-eyed optimism as far as their job prospects are concerned. With China’s new reforms and policies in 1978 and India’s economic reforms of the 1990s, both the countries have witnessed significant economic development resulting from extraordinary change at the societal level. Both the countries continue to evolve at a rapid pace, with new policies and implications for its workforce. Owing to this change, the millennials in both the countries are upbeat about their careers as the business outlook appears buoyant despite competition. 

Together, the new brand of millennial workforce is bringing in a paradigm shift towards the ways of working. However, the volatile environment in India and China does not necessarily support this change which can result in declined innovation as well as productivity. Therefore, businesses must factor in the impact of this shift in workplace design and policies to influence their most valuable asset, their employees. 

The need for strong personal identity and empowerment

According to Zarina Bhatena, Vice Senior VP and HR head at Atos Worldline India Pvt Ltd., this generation has grown up amid technology and is used to being a part of important decision-making processes at home throughout their formative years. Indian gen Y prefers enhanced designations and personal entity due to peer pressure and ambitions. Organizations should consider defining designations and roles and clearly define the path for quick progression for a rewarding career. 

At the same time, a global study conducted by PwC too highlights that millennials in China have a strong desire to be autonomous. This generation is continuously looking for elements of individuality to cultivate confidence and develop strong personality. However, this stands at odds with homogeneous workplaces in China that the employers must address to appeal to their millennial workforce. 

Work-life balance takes precedence

Millennials all over the world, not just India and China, have a strong desire to create work-life balance. They do not want to work endlessly for a company that does not give them personal time and space. 

They do not settle for mediocre careers

This new breed of workforce does not settle for run-of-the-mill careers. The need for passion and job satisfaction remains the top most priority for millennials of these countries. The employers need to understand the generation Y is very different from the workforce before them when it comes to work culture. There is a visible shift from loyalty for their employers and fewer expectations, to one that is more empowering and autonomous. 

Gen Y in India does not put as much importance on tenure as it does on clear performance metrics. The winning combination will be defining processes that will put freshers on a fast track career path and equip them with infrastructure to move quickly. This will allow them to have multiple experiences across the organizational structure. 

Chinese millennials, on the other hand, often consider workplace to be their first opportunity to express their personal identities. However, the traditional offices lack personal spaces. Companies can shape their employees and their skillsets by giving them personal workspaces that are suited to their individual preferences. 

Attracting the millennials

The millennials march to a very different tune than their predecessors, especially when it comes to workplace setting. They demand more strategic approach to their recruitment as well as retention policies. Millennials look for a life beyond the periphery of jobs and want to steadily climb the corporate ladders. Regardless of where they come from, be it India or China, they both express strong desire to do something that feels worthwhile and take company values into account before considering the job. You need to have a lot more than just money to lure the biggest pool of talented labour!

What can you learn from Netflix’s employer branding? 

“High standards are contagious,” says Jeff Bezos of Amazon. If this doesn’t explain the multiplier effect of Netflix’s employer branding strategies, we don’t know what does. 

In the last decade, Netflix has redefined human resources and developed a system that attracts, retains, and manages top talent. Their culture-forward efforts became the industry standard to hire and acquire the best there is. The company’s HR manifesto is a treat if not a drawl. With its unique branding as a workplace of “freedom and responsibility,” the company developed culture that bred a sense of ownership and accountability amongst employees. 

That said, here are some key takeaways from Netflix’s unique employer branding strategy that makes them a preferred employer.

Leading by example

Netflix pioneered in reinventing the rules of hiring and aced these factors by giving their employees a concept called Netflix’s Culture Deck that has set a new precedence for others in the business to follow. From offering huge severance packages to skills that no longer fit into the company ethos to a generous parental leave policy, the company has struck the perfect balance for its employees by giving them enough leverage to act responsibly and in the company’s best interest. 

According to a report by Hired, Netflix is the company that most tech workers choose amongst other other top players including Tesla, Google, SpaceX, and Airbnb. The report highlights that during their job hunt, the leading factors that influenced employee’s decision to join an organization was compensation and benefits, followed by company culture, with a narrow margin. At the same time, negative culture and poor company reputation were the biggest reasons why top applicants turned away. 

One Size Does Not Fit All

Netflix is a leading employer because they know what their employees want in exchange for what they want from them. Their collaborative work environment is designed in such a way that it delivers according to their employees’ specific needs. Netflix did not mimic a successful company’s corporate culture; they home-grew their own based on company’s demographics. Netflix hires fresh and vibrant talent and hence understands the importance of extended maternity leave benefits. Their company culture is built to support everyone in the fold. Not a penny or effort is wasted on expensive perks that will either go unacknowledged or underused. 

Talent recruitment practices that breed loyal employees

According to a LinkedIn study, robust talent brand can reduce hiring costs by up to 50% and increase the revenue by 28%. Companies like Netflix do not underestimate these figures and put every effort to gain and retain their top talent. But you don’t have to be a leading media house to develop conducive talent recruitment policies. Netflix understood the importance of creating a high-performance ethos by articulating values by rewarding and recognising employee behaviours that aligned with company goals. In absence of proper plan and accountability, many companies that take the path of employer branding end up being an open-floor office with a foosball table in the corner. The idea is to create a culture of like-minded employees who work synergistically. 

Businesses these days underestimate the importance of creating an ambience that attracts genuine talent. The key to developing solid corporate culture lies in being distinctive and taking pride in standing out. Netflix not only defined that culture but honed it over the years to attain an auto-pilot mode that now attracts employees of similar ilk who become a cog in the company’s wheel organically, ensuring its seamless growth and progression.

Building employee relationship with trust

According to a report by Inc., employees that work autonomously are the ones who are most productive. In case of Netflix, their 5-word expense policy speaks volumes about employee sovereignty – “act in Netflix’s best interest.” The company’s tough recruitment policies ensure that they only hire people they can trust and make them believe that they play a significant role in Netflix’s growth story. A sense of ownership and accountability goes a long way in building genuine workforce. The employees get to choose what’s best for them and the company. By giving them this level of autonomy, Netflix has created a pool of employees that are loyal, motivated, and engaged. 

What makes Netflix a leading employer is their straightforward managerial style. A quick look at their Culture Deck slide will reveal that all employees have to pass the ‘Keeper test.’ Managers are asked if they will fight hard to retain a certain worker who is leaving to join their competitor. If the answer is no, then this employee does not meet Netflix standards. It’s really as simple as that! 

Netflix’s approach to HR is candid as well as modern. The company is open to embracing change and does not keep pushing outdated ideas down their employees’ throat. The synergistic work culture and focus on problem-solving skills is what makes top talent naturally gravitate towards Netflix. 

How can Design Thinking be used for creating a positive employee experience?

Design Thinking describes a creative way of solving human resource problems that is based on innovation and helps design an employees experience- each and every experience that an employee goes through over the course of their stay with a company- that is productive and meaningful yet simple and enjoyable.

Various companies around the globe are using design thinking to make every day HR tasks easy, in a bid at improving their employees’ experience. A Deloitte study quotes the example of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group which developed as easy to use mobile app to allow employees to manage their time and attendance, benefits and vacation schedule and allows them to collaborate with their colleagues.

The Deloitte survey also found that HR Departments in organisations that deliver the highest value are five times more likely to use design thinking as compared to their counterparts. 

While using design thinking the HR professional is compelled to raise and answer the question- what does a good employee experience look like, end to end? For an excellent execution of the answer to this question we can look at General Electric (GE), the company which has made simplification a core new business strategy. The company by using agile methodology throughout product development and by teaching its managers to help their teams to ‘do less’ and ‘focus more’ is working on crafting an excellent employee experience which is simpler yet more productive. It has introduced new mobile apps for goal management and collaboration and a whole new set of principles for work. Design thinking is making a huge difference in how the company is perceived as people-centric rather than profit centric and this helps to place it amongst the most sought-after places to work.

Zappos, the online shoe and clothing retailer, is another example of a company that has designed its employee experience with the help of design thinking. In an attempt to make employees feel connected to each other, when some Zappos staff logs into their computer in the morning, a picture of a co-worker appears, and they have to guess his/her name out of the given three options.  Not only that Zappos has also recognized it can use design thinking to develop a candidate experience to attract high-performers and make it easy for them to find the right job and apply quickly; thus, helping gain a favourable opinion among candidates applying for a job who then also form a positive opinion for the products offered by the company. 

Empathy comes in handy while designing employee experiences and if you need someone to partner with you to help build this into your employee brand then you might not need to look further than PnP Consulting. As a partner with highly credentialed intellectual property- frameworks, methodologies, processes, tools, and courses that can be easily adapted to build your Employer Brand, PnP Consulting understands your brand and then suggests meaningful innovation that help build your brand as a force to reckon with in the markets.

Seeing how employees from amongst millennials and Gen Z prioritize learning and developing opportunities at places they choose to work, companies like Nestle and Qualcomm are also using design thinking to develop intuitive, experiential learning programmes. Programmes such as these have been found to be stimulating and engaging leading to higher skill retention. These companies no longer need to depend on learning management system but can simply leverage new learning technologies to promote continuous learning, all thanks to innovations of the design thinking process.

In light of these global examples we can easily say that it is now important for HR departments to move from process design to person-centered design by studying employees and observing their behavior.

How does Company Culture lead to better Employer Branding?

Company culture has come to be seen as a competitive advantage. Most aware organisations are working actively to change theirs. Many have recognized the impact that a vibrant and diverse company culture can have on the brand and their business. These are the companies that comprise about 85 per cent found to have seen a massive growth in their revenues.

SAP, the multinational software corporation, realized that they needed to shake up their traditional employee branding methods to attract crowds from amongst the millennials who were being wooed by more visible companies like Google, Apple and Facebook. They went to task to revolutionise their entire brand image. They redesigned their career website, hired a videographer to tell the employee stories and pushed brand messages on to the social media. The emphasis of the video stories was to focus on the people working with them and give an insight to the outsiders to the company culture and what fun ‘Life at SAP’ was.

Today the legacy tech company which once had reputational issues has turned over a new leaf with 550K active members in their talent community, all with the help of its employees who vouch for the company’s culture that is vibrant and inclusive.

 When Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi took reins of the company, he published a LinkedIn post with new mantras and guidelines that he hoped would drive the company’s growth at the next level. He wrote, “the culture and approach that got Uber where it is today is not what will take us to the next level. As we move from an era of growth at all costs to one of responsible growth, our culture needs to evolve. 

But it is not just what he did at Uber but how he did it, makes for an interesting study in terms of revamping company culture. Khosrowshahi crowdsourced these ideas from more than 1,200 Uber employees. In a tweet he said, “If culture Is pushed top down, then people don’t believe in it. Culture is written bottoms up.”

Today Uber which was earlier being called out for turning a blind eye to sexual harassment and racial discrimination, has moved on to evolve into a company that celebrates ‘Differences’, values ‘Ideas over hierarchy’ and believes in ‘Doing the right thing. Period.’ Continuing its efforts to become an employer brand that is inclusive as well as diverse, Uber is promoting and creating employee resource groups and a workshop program focused on D & I, so that they are a part of its evolving company culture.

Sweetgreen, a fast-casual health foods restaurant, believes in creating a company culture that thrives on its people being happy and imbued with positivity. It allows its employees to work with impact projects to support community. The company also provides financial support to its employees in times of need. The employers also host a ‘Gratitude Night’ to thank employees for making a positive impact on its customers. This is just one of the many companies that are spending time and resource into building a positive company culture and supporting the well-being of its employees.

Trusted brands like Virgin or Goldman Sachs or Zappos or Apple have taken the time to focus on strategies to reach their target audience (read quality over quantity) and assure them of their own alignment with the reasons that a prospective candidate chooses them for. These brands have used their company culture as part of their employer brand to appeal to a more diverse, a more global audience. In turn, they have also come to be known as #peoplecentric organisations that are #purposedriven rather than #profitdriven. 

How does Delivery on Promise lead to powerful Employer Branding?

Rolls Royce may no longer be manufacturing the cars that made the company a well-known name, today it says ‘We create power’ as the group continues to be one of the world’s leading power system companies providing power for aircraft, ships and land applications. It employees nearly 54,000 people worldwide and is committed to nurturing talent. This commitment is reflected in the fact that today about 30 per cent of the company’s senior management once started out as apprentices (WOW!!!). The company felt that though they always had an employer brand yet needed an active employer brand strategy to convey who they were and what they offered in the most effective way.

After conducting interviews with employees to find out whether their experience lived up to the promise made by the marketing team, an ambitious branding strategy and multi-channel communications campaign to reach out to prospective and current candidates was designed. Rolls-Royce very often makes it to the list of awards as a preferred place to work, especially for people in the age group of 18-29 years, who are more interested in career opportunities and working for a global leader and less bothered with pay and job security.

The Rolls-Royce example suggests that in these times of war of talent, even though a company may be sitting on a huge and famous brand name to propel it in the minds of candidates, it still needs to innovate and implementation strategies through active management of its employee value proposition (EVP) to be able to make its mark today.

If you want employees to be active advocates of your organisation and ensure that they deliver what you promise to the customer, then as an organisation you first need to bridge the gap between promising and delivering what your EVP offers them at the onset.

It is important to keep into account who makes up your work force and what do they want. Such important insights will help you innovate and plan as well as implement strategies for easy brand recall. Millennials who are gradually taking over as more than 60 per cent of world’s working population are extremely focussed on learning and development. 

Singapore Airlines is a prime example to consider if you want to look at an organisation that believes and puts its own people first. Singapore Airlines demands exacting standards from its employees but also invests in helping the employees meet them. This help and investment is not only limited to their selection and training the staff but also in helping them run their lives smoothly so that they can focus unhindered on work. It must be this deliverance of the promised goods that makes roughly 18,000 people apply for the 600-900 cabin crew slots that open up annually within the company.

Brand loyalty, commitment and recognition- all kind of brand attitudes result from when the promises made to the employees are delivered with minimum fuss. Ultimately these promises influence the manner in which they deliver their services to the brand’s customers.

Image: https://www.rmagency.com/living-brand-promise/

5 ways to Differentiate your brand in the world of cut- throat competition

If you are a business owner then it is quite possible that you might know the following statistic very well. Only half the businesses make it past first five years and only one-third make it past the 10-year mark. Now there can be many reasons behind why a certain business fails but many a times lack of a differentiator-something that sets it apart from its competitors- is hovering somewhere at the top among the reasons of failure.

While there are no sure shot ways to know what might work and what might not, there are some simple practices that can be used effectively to ensure that your brand comes to be known as different from its competitors.

  1. Excellent service: Customer is king is not an adage that is restricted to the advertising world. Providing excellent service and customer support makes people want to come back to you again and again. A shoe company called Fleet Feet, fits its customers for running shoes. They watch you run and walk and then suggest a shoe. They let you run in the parking lot to know how the shoes feel and even after you have purchased their product, they let you return it after weeks and months if unsatisfied. If as a customer you get this kind of extraordinary service, would you want to go somewhere else at all for your shoes?
  2. Own up when you make a mistake: Nobody likes to be made a fool of. Customers equate the brand with their own experience and one bad experience is all they need to write you off. So, when you bungle up somewhere, own it up. In July 2011 Netflix angered consumers when it announced plans to hike up subscription rates by 60 per cent in an attempt to boost revenues and splitting the business into two. Seeing the reaction from the public, CEO Reed Hastings, sent out mass emails apologising to users explaining how he had ‘messed up’ and ‘owed everyone an explanation’ when the Qwikster plan had to be scrapped within a month of its launch. 
  3. Be the expert: Domino’s Pizza has set itself as a household name in pizza delivery thanks to its expert home delivery and 30-minute guarantee. Using what you are best at as a differentiator is a smart move because like Dr Seuss said that ‘no one is youer than you’ and that’s what will make you unbeatable and unparalleled.
  4. Get yourself a mascot: A talking lizard that has nothing to do with insurance, helps millions of Americans believe that there is something different about the insurance company GEICO with a touch of humor.  
  5. Create a powerful offer: Every day the online selling space sees the arrival of yet another e-commerce website. Zappos gives its customers a year to decide if they would like to return a pair of shoes brought from their online store. And no one probably in the whole e-commerce business can or does offer this kind of offer eliminating any hesitation in making a purchase thus leading to high sales as Zappos.

Differentiation is a strategy that you have to have in a place to make sure that no one can take your place.