Too often, the focus is ‘employer brand as recruitment tool’ but it’s just as important when it comes to retention.
Put brand, people, advocacy and experience together and you have a powerful argument for devoting significant HR and communication resource to the employer brand and the associated employer value proposition (EVP).
The merits of building (and delivering) a compelling EVP are :
· Seamless alignment between what the brand promises (for customers, clients and employees) and what it delivers in practice
· Greater quantity and improved quality of potential recruits
· Higher levels of engagement
· Reduced cost to hire
· Greater retention/reduced attrition
And yet, despite all the evidence, companies often fail to recognise the importance of an EVP, implement it in an inconsistent way or focus on the ‘recruitment proposition’ to the detriment of other crucial component parts.
In particular, organisations frequently fail to answer an important question: why stay?
Employer branding is not just about recruiting new people to join, it is also about encouraging existing employees to stay. The importance of articulating ‘why stay’ is borne out by research from the Corporate Leadership Council (now part of Gartner) which shows that a well constructed and executed EVP will increase the likelihood of employees acting as advocates from an average of 24% to 47%.
So what practical action can be taken to build a successful EVP for your existing workforce?
Here’s my top five:
1. Recognise the importance of your employer brand. It’s more important than ever. By all means use the ‘why join’ element of an EVP to kick-start greater attention and effort in this area, but don’t let it stop there;
2. Be inclusive and collaborative. Ask your people to play a part in developing the employer brand and identifying the steps that will make it an operational reality – this should include emotional attributes that may impact on style and tone of internal communication or more functional issues such as managing performance;
3. Use the employer brand to truly differentiate. Many EVP exercises fail simply because they include a series of fine words that no one is going to disagree with and which simply mirror what every other company is saying – ‘excellence’, ‘integrity’, innovation’ etc etc. Give your people the opportunity to be your harshest critic;
4. Invest in research to monitor any mismatch between the promise and reality and ensure existing employees are well-represented in this work;