By Rob Kessler, Partner/Operations

Employer brand during crisis: What you do now matters

Here we are, halfway through 2020.It’s halftime.We’ll skip the marching band and focus on regrouping, so we can finish this crazy year strong. One area that you should look closely at is your employer brand. Everything you say and do when it comes to your employees affects your brand. This is especially true during a crisis.

For those new to this, an employer brand is simply the perception and experience people have of working for your organization. Think of it as what people say about you when you’re not in the room.

It’s hard enough to have a strong, consistent culture during “normal” times. So how do you keep it during challenging times when we are working more remotely?

Employees are going to look to leadership to provide confidence and a path forward – one that they can contribute to. It’s what is referred to as the “rally effect.” Gallup analytics found four universal needs that followers have of leaders:

  • Trust
  • Compassion
  • Stability
  • Hope

These are magnified during times of crisis, and your employees will look to their employer to provide signals that things will be okay.

What this means is that your organization should pivot the way you communicate with your employees as you work to stay connected and keep them engaged. Even if it includes bad news, communications need to be done in a way that is consistent, connects to a larger plan of action, is transparent and builds trust with your people. Be purpose-driven in your narrative and ensure you continue to answer not just the question ‘what’ but also ‘why.’ (Coincidentally the topic of my next blog post.)

When we finally get through this crisis (and we will get through this), a question you should ask yourself is, “how did we treat our employees?” Trust me. It’s a question your employees and candidates will be asking.

How you answer that question says a lot about you as an employer and the values you don’t just put on paper, but live each and every day. Your employees want to know that you care about their wellbeing. This is the time to show it through consistent and strong messaging.

If done right, you can reinforce your organization’s values and strengthen its reputation as a great place to work.

For more tips and suggestions around employee and internal COVID communications, please visit our resources page.