Employer branding: What you do (not say) matters
Here we are, already in 2023. Amazing how quickly another year flew by. We are past the new year’s resolutions and are now facing some challenging times (please open a news site and see recessions, unemployment rates and a host of other fun topics). Remember, even in tough times, it’s important to continue to find ways to strengthen your employer branding and gain the trust and confidence of your employees.
With that in mind, everything you say and do when it comes to your employees affects your brand. This is especially true during a crisis as we learned recently during the pandemic.
So what exactly is employer branding?
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 similar to a consumer brand, just that your audience is your employees.
So when things aren’t going our way, how do we keep strong employer branding?
It’s hard enough to have a strong, consistent culture during “normal” times. So how do you keep it during challenging times (like a pandemic or recession) or when we continue to work 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:
These are magnified during times of crisis, and your employees will look to their employer to provide signals that things will be okay.
So how do we put these needs into action?
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 a topic of another one of our blogs).
Did you treat your employees right?
When we finally get through whatever the next challenge brings (and trust me, there’s always something), 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. These are the times to show it through consistent and strong messaging.