Article (June-2017)

Articles

Make employees your brand ambassadors

Samriti Malhotra

Designation : -   Associate Vice President

Organization : -  Global HRD, Denave, Noida (UP)

01-Jun-2017

The business dynamics have constantly evolved with various parameters playing a role in the same, such as globalization, changing workforce demographics, economic uncertainties, technology innovations, profitability linking optimization & intensified competition. Change in the workplace nuances have accelerated to a lightening pace.  A convergence of powerful trends in the early 21st century have exerted pressure on employers to re-think the people practices & redefine employee value preposition, way beyond hefty pay checks in isolation to meet employees' personal aspirations. Staying up-to-date with contemporary trends and continuously working towards enhancing the employee experience have become imperative for the organizations.


The new age competition to stay ahead has led to the war for talent and has impacted the organizations' behavior. The quest to attract and retain top talent continues to be one of the topmost focus for the organizations. With the ongoing war for talent hunt, there has been a shift in paradigm when it comes to HR practices. The organization and the candidates have taken over parallel and equal roles in job selection.


Whilst the organizations are selecting the candidates, the candidates are also screening and shortlisting the organizations basis the value preposition of 'WIIFM- What's In It For Me'. Thus, employer branding has gained momentum as a value-based approach to shape the perceptions and thereby the behaviors of internal and external talent for the right positioning of the organization. With emerging trends, more and more organizations are recognizing the need & value for establishing the employer brand.


The need of establishing a strong employer brand and becoming the 'Employer of Choice' is focused on:

  • Positioning & enhancing the brand image
  • Increasing the brand visibility & competitive edge 
  • Attracting, selecting, hiring, engaging & retaining the top talent
  • Maintaining unique traits and sustaining the brand as a living identity

Globalization, technology advancement & digitization have helped the employees to have an easy access to information. The need to be constantly connected has given rise to social media facilitating a great deal of transparency and information exchange about the organizations amongst employees. The employees have access to inside information about the organization culture and through real time testimonials. The reliability & trust is far greater on what employees advocate rather than what organization claims. Therefore, the employee opinion and advocacy contribute to employer branding. Employees have been termed as best Brand Ambassadors for the organizations amongst their circle of influence.


Employee Value Preposition is one of the important aspect of employer branding and it plays a critical role in making the brand progress and become an employer of choice.
The organizations just need to revisit and work on the fundamental steps to establish employer branding:

Curate and design employee experience
A strategic approach to integrate a delightful experience at all the touch points during employee lifecycle goes a long way to create a positive experience, desired perception and meaningful employee engagement.


Create a conducive culture based on values 
Most companies claim to be an equal opportunity player, however at times, these claims do not reflect on employee testimonials. Creating a conducive and value based culture requires integrating the work ethics to the policies and processes and constantly driving it through transparent and empowerment-led approach. The organizations need to drive mutual trust and respect as a part of the organization culture.


Drive performance excellence & offer professional gratification
Offering platforms to employees to work towards their goals / aspirations is a two-way deal. It not only offers learning & personal growth opportunities, leading to greater employee satisfaction & professional gratification but also results in meeting business objectives and driving employee advocacy.


Create customized rewards, blend tangible and non-tangible benefits
The organizations need to adopt an agile approach towards understanding the workforce dynamics. To match the changing needs & wish list of employees, the organizations need to customize their total reward strategies.


Focus on holistic well-being 
In the new age of 24X7, the employees attempt to seamlessly manage work and home and undergo lifestyle stress that is determinant of increased risk of mental and physical health problems. Therefore, it is important that organizations design initiatives that focus on employee health and wellbeing.


Communicate, communicate and communicate
It is imperative to create communication platforms in the organization to feel the employee pulse in order to assess the impact of your initiatives. Offer platforms to employees to share their experiences/ stories & journey with the organization.  Measuring the 'Return on Investment' on employer branding initiatives is easy. This can be measured through various data points such as attrition trends, engagement survey scores, job applicant' %age trends, quality of hires etc. Employer branding is also about flaunting the employees' positive experience & journey with the organization. The organizations should leverage the social media platforms to capture the employee testimonials to their advantage. Afterall, the employees are the most active and effective brand ambassadors who contribute to the organization's stable future.