How can you leverage your fantastic corporate culture through your employer brand? Heidi Alexandra Pollard provides some tips.
Think of brands like Google, Virgin, and Microsoft. What they all have in common is a very unique employer brand – they are well known for being great places to work.
Many companies are excellent at branding their business offerings, but fail to recognise the importance of branding their internal company culture to make it a sought-after place of employment.
The brands above are prime examples of unique brands that express the value and distinctiveness of their products and services, but also communicate who they are and what is their culture – creating a strong employer brand.
Google topped the list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2013 for the second year in a row. It’s commitment to providing excellent working conditions, for example on-site child care and fitness facilities, subsidised health benefits, job-sharing programs and telecommuting means Google staff benefit from a better work/life balance.
Their company culture gives team members equal authority, and autonomy is encouraged, not to mention the video games, pianos and table tennis sets dotted throughout their offices to encourage creativity. The employees there know they are getting a great deal so they’re less likely to walk out the door.
Virgin is another company that has built up its employer brand. It’s known for its commitment to motivating staff by making it a fun place to work. Their people come to work because they want to not just because it’s paying a salary.
These companies have built a reputation that allows them attract and retain the best talent. They have figured out what it is that makes their staff happy to walk through the office door each day and serve their customers with a smile. It’s a win-win situation – the company retains its best employees and its people give their best.
The Value of knowing your employer brand
Employer branding is a powerful business tool that can set you apart from the crowd and make you known as an employer of choice. It can also deliver tangible and measurable benefits to your business – improved market reputation, increased workforce engagement and productivity, and lower staff turnover.
The widening global skills gap is making it difficult for companies, small and large, to find suitable staff, especially when it comes to filling senior roles. Expressing your unique employer brand will give you a competitive edge when it comes to marketing your business to the small pool of top talent.
What makes a strong Employer Brand? The answer to this will be different depending upon the industry you’re in and the type of people you want to attract. What it comes down to though is a company culture that supports staff, encourages growth and creativity, and includes everyone at all levels of the organisation.
Aon Hewitt’s Best Employers List for 2013 also espouses the need for a strong employer brand. Aon Hewitt suggests that not only do 83 per cent of the best employers have an explicit employer brand, but that those with high employee engagement also achieve 50 per cent higher Total Shareholder Return outcomes than others. Convincing statistics indeed.
What makes an employer of choice stand out? Key factors include how they:
Recognise and reward their staff
Invest in the learning and development of their people
Have family friendly workplace practices
Have a passionate and engaged management team.
About the author
Heidi Alexandra Pollard is the CEO, UQ Power. For more information on how to improve your company culture, visit www.UQPower.com.au