Monday, 29 April 2019

Time to re-energize your employer brand?

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 well documented:
·       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;

Accept that the brand may have negative connotations with customers and clients – so acknowledge and address as you communicate internally, while at the same time accentuating its positive attributes

Nick Wright 

Monday, 22 April 2019

People are people

I suspect few would have synth-pop legends Depeche Mode down as pioneers of employee engagement. But the more complex that participants in this field try to make it, the more their simple refrain ‘People are people’ appeals.

The articulation and application of labels to groups in the workforce has almost become an industry in its own right. To be fair, it’s not just this profession: many protagonists have helped to light the fire, but we avidly fan the flames. And I’m not sure it’s doing us or our organisations many favours.

Supporters argue that such segmentation helps us make sense of changing workforce needs. Detractors say that it introduces massive generalisations that don’t help anyone.

Cynics might argue that developing new labels provides an opportunity to sell something different.

There’s probably some truth in each case. But I feel that developing labels has become a distraction from our core challenge of understanding and responding to the needs of our particular organisations and their people.   

Let’s get back to some basics and the principles that those boys from Basildon espoused more than 30 years ago. Let’s understand our people as they are. Not through the lens of a label that is foisted upon them.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Sweet Comms and Genus: finalists in major awards

We are delighted that Genus and Sweet Comms have been shortlisted for two major UK awards, in recognition of the work done on internal communication:
  • We are finalists in Communicate magazine’s Internal Communications and Engagement Awards, for 'Best Ongoing Commitment to Internal Communications'. #ICEAwards
  • We are also finalists in the UK Employee Experience Awards for 'Internal Communication Strategy' #UKEXAwards
This news is tremendous recognition of our client's continuing commitment to effective internal communication. We are privileged to have played our part in working with them over the last five years.