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 do culture led initiatives enhance organisational resiliency?

If we were to use one word to describe Apple, it would be resilient. The company’s story is the stuff of fables. In the times when the music player and phone industries were commoditising, the company rose from ashes on the strength of simply and beautifully designed products.

Resilient organisations are the ones that are prepared to change with changing times. Resiliency is becoming a buzzword in business yet it is one of the most elusive traits to build upon. Organisations that want to bring in lasting change and those that want to make an enduring name for themselves have realised that building a company culture based on trust, agility and accountability is the key to being a resilient organisation that can time and again rise like the mythical phoenix (not necessarily from ashes though!).

With technological advancements and broadening of the competitive landscape of any industry, companies cannot afford to shy away from the demands of evolution. Developing a resilient, agile and innovative company culture, seems to be the only way out.

Naturally now you would want to understand what sets a resilient company apart from its competition. Here are a few key traits of a resilient organisation:

  1. Engaged employees: The greatest strength of any organisation is its workforce. Nobody recognises this more than companies that vow to take care of their employees beyond giving them the pay cheque and by promoting their physical, mental and social well-being. It is no secret that engaged employees are committed employees.
  2. Clear organisational objectives: These help employees see where the company is headed. Having clear organisational goals act as a reference point in times when employees need to make tough decisions.
  3. Investing in a relationship with various stakeholders: Resilient organisations clearly are able to see the importance of having a nurturing relationship with their stakeholders at various levels.
  4. Strategy: A resilient organisation is very well able to differentiate and invest between valuable and meaningful changes and trivial industry fads. 

If you are wondering where to go from here, we have got you covered. As a company willing to enhance organisational agility and resilience through culture-led initiatives, you can start by improving on current cultural strategies. A recent study from Accenture Strategy sheds light on the fact that in high performing organisations leaders were successfully able to engage employees in the change initiatives. 

The same research also pointed out that if employees were involved in shaping those changes, they were more likely to accept these cultural transformations like what Zappos’ CEO was able to achieve when he asked all the employees for one thing that could be changed in company’s processes and policies.  

Peer coaching and building safe and secure work communities, that encourage and stimulate learning also go a long way in enhancing agility and resilience in an organisation. 

To meet your organisation’s needs in this sector Performance n Purpose Consulting (https://pnpconsulting.org/) can be an invaluable partner bringing to the table its frameworks, methodologies, processes, tools and courses that can help build and build upon your employer brand.

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What does it take to create a great Organization Culture?

In these times of short supply of skilled employees, culture, engagement and retention are the most important issues being faced by countries world over with 89 per cent of them citing them as their biggest challenges and 50 per cent calling these issues ‘very important’.

The organisations realising the importance of culture- something that says what, how and why things work here- have been able to create deep, meaningful engagement for their employees. We have many such examples, organisations like Facebook or Google or Apple who give due weightage to culture and have outperformed their peers. It is a well-recognised fact that they will continue to do so while attracting top talent.

We know that Generation Y (millennials) is becoming the largest contributor to the workforce. Companies and organisations looking to boost their businesses have to tailor their strategies to engage these employees. Engaged employees have been found to be 21 percent happier and 37 per cent more satisfied in their current jobs as compared to their disengaged counterparts. 

Research also goes on to shows us that among the factors that makes them tick are open communication, involvement with greater causes, flexibility and achieving a sense of purpose and fulfilment that goes beyond their salary- all workings of great work culture. 

So, what does it take to create a great company culture? Here are three starting points to build a strong workplace culture that will help you hire, engage and retain best talent during the war of talent.

  1. Define your purpose: As a company ask yourself why are you doing what you are doing. Whom does it serve and who benefits from it? The honest answer- a sense of purpose- will probably help you understand why do companies like Ikea or Apple feel different than their competitors. 
  2. Define values and standards: Everyone in the company must have a clear understanding of the set of values and the standards that the company emphasises upon. The aim should be to develop a cohesive culture that though is malleable enough to adjust to the needs of changing times. The ‘Chevron way’ has come to be a classic example in this case. Though oil companies hardly ever get good press yet employees at Chevron know and vouch it for being a company that is dedicated to safety, supporting employees (through health and fitness memberships) and team members looking out for one another.
  3. Identify your brand ambassadors and be one too: Richard Branson hardly needs any introduction as does the Virgin Group that controls about 400 companies. He is a shining example of how being your own brand ambassador directly affects people in perceiving the value of your business. Leading by example is a fantastic way to ensure that your employees see you withholding the values associated with your company and its culture. Similarly identifying your cultural ambassadors- employees who embody and value your company’s mission- and rewarding them to keep doing the good work can go a long way.

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