How To Build An Employer Brand That Your People Will Love (With 5 Hints And Tips)

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You may have heard that the way organisations retain and recruit talent is changing forever.

How so?

Well, digital transformation, workplace demographics, and even people’s lifestyles has meant that there’s never been more asked of the work environment and employee experience than right now, in 2019.

Yep, gone are the days of “I’m just happy to be here”. We’re living in the age of “you’re lucky to have me”.

And if you’re not showing love to your people, you best believe that some other smooth-talking business will be in their LinkedIn DM’s, faster than you can say flexible working policy.

So how can your make your employees “fall in love” with your organisation?

Build an employer brand that your people will love, of course!

Yup, if you want love, you have to show love – so here are 5 hints and tips on how to set your employees’ hearts aflutter, based on the great expectations and lifestyle needs of the modern workforce.

1. It’s about flexibility, not money

I’m not saying people don’t like money, they absolutely still do, BUT other things are becoming increasingly more important to the Millennial/ Gen Z worker.

Think about Jack from the Marketing department, he’s not on the biggest wedge in the business but he’s consistently giving great survey feedback and it’s not uncommon for him to eulogise on social media about how much he enjoys working at your company.

Why?

Well, your flexible working policy allows him to start his day early, but then leave a bit earlier to pick Jack Jr up at nursery and give him his tea before his Mum comes home.

Without this, Jack would be paying extra in childcare, so not only is flexible working allowing him to keep more of his salary in his pocket, it’s giving him quality time at home with his children too.

2. Agile working is super important to the modern professional

It seems like these days, that most business challenges can be solved by putting some ‘Agile’ spin on them, but what does that look like from a people perspective?

To me, it’s about looking at things that have typically been a bit of a drag and making them nicer to participate in for employees. Take the 30-minute meeting, everyone around the table pretending to listen when, in reality, they could be browsing Twitter or staring blankly into space — wishing they could get back to the work that actually matters to them.

The solution here isn’t to stop having meetings, but to innovate the way they take place.

Stand-up meetings are a much quicker and meaningful way to have that same meeting in a fraction of the time. That 30-minute meeting becomes 10 minutes of precise headlines, actions, and defined next steps—leaving people more time to get back to their work.

This brings me nicely on to my next point.

3. Employees want to make a difference, and expect the same of their employers

I said just a moment ago that the work your people do actually matters to them and I wasn’t lying.

By 2020, 35% of the global workforce will be millennials and a further 24% will be Generation Z. 

That means that nearly 6 employees in 10 will have different values to what was considered important previously.

It’s less about money and more about meaning, the modern worker needs to know that the work they’re doing matters.

What’s more, they need you to recognise that work. Whether it’s understanding the broader impact of their social media efforts or wanting to know how their sales performance has affected the bottom line.All organisations committed to breeding a feeling of mutual affection should reinforce the importance that the output of their people brings day-to-day.

Interestingly, this theme of making a difference doesn’t stop at the company’s front door.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the hottest thing on the scene right now, nobody wants to feel like their working for a faceless conglomerate, they want to feel like they’re fighting the good fight not just for themselves or their customers but their community too.

Despite it being met with mixed reactions, this statement from the members of the business roundtable, in which companies (such as Amazon and Apple +179 others) redefined their company purpose; moving away from making as much money possible and towards “improving society”.

I think this speaks volumes about the importance of CSR to today’s workers.

4. Culture is still king

I said in a previous article (Here’s The Secret To Scaling Without Diluting Your Company Culture) that culture isn’t what a business HAS, it’s what a business IS.

And here’s the maths:

The culture of an organisation is the largest differential when it comes to levels of employee engagement.

Employee engagement is the largest differential when it comes to levels of customer satisfaction.

So, if you believe in maths, then you have to believe in promoting a solid company culture.

Health and wellness, learning and development, and work/life Balance are often the cultural elements that prospective employees inquire about when deciding if your company is the one for them. So, if you haven’t already, invest some time in defining your companies direction on these elements and make them accessible to everyone in your business.

5. Ask the question, then listen

The companies who execute best practice when it comes to employee experience can always be seen asking questions before deciding on the best course of action.

I’m finishing on this one because I genuinely don’t believe any of the 4 ideas mentioned above can be introduced effectively without first listening to how your people want to see them implemented.

Every business is different because they are made of people, and all people are different. Therefore to make your people love your employer brand, treat them as individuals, invite them to tell you what matters to them and when they do, make sure you listen.

Let’s put it this way, the Doctor always asks for symptoms before handing out the medicine. So before you go getting all creative with your employer brand creative comms, make sure to lay the foundations with employee insights.

Ben is Hive’s sales pro and helps scale-ups in the tech, finance and hospitality space prioritise employee engagement. When he’s not flying between calls or meetings, you’ll find him nattering at the coffee machine or loving life in the gym. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn.

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