A few weeks back I had the privilege of being on a panel for lovely people at The People Experience Hub.
In the session, we discussed the key principles of creating a powerful employer brand that works for you and your business. We explored how to effectively leverage people data to gain insights into your workforce, and we provided actionable steps to optimise the employer brand lifecycle process, from crafting compelling job descriptions to enhancing employee experiences.
On the panel was the brilliant April Homer, CPO of Cooper Parry and Viki Freeman CSO of Airship Interactive. The event was hosted by the brilliant Ted Hewett.
Watch the video:
The Power of an Authentic Employer Brand
It’s about managing meaning. I define an employer Brand as "The meaning employees and potential employees attach to us”. To begin to manage this companies should design their culture in a way they can simply articulate it and base their decisions around it. This should not just be words on a wall but be baked into the way the business runs. It should focus on fostering genuine connections and a sense of belonging among employees by aligning their values with organisational culture.
If you want your company to grow focus on your culture: Cultivating a strong company culture is paramount for sustained growth. Having a happy workforce will lead to better communication, people going above and beyond, better efficiency and more ideas to improve things. Organisations should invest resources in defining, understanding, and nurturing their unique culture, as it directly impacts employee engagement and retention.
Your EX (Employee Experience) will affect your CX (Customer Experience)
Leaders need to recognise the inherent connection between employee experience (EX) and customer experience (CX). By prioritising a positive EX, companies indirectly enhance their CX, leading to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty. Having a positive culture will help your business sell more, as customers pick up on the energy your people portray.
Don't just slap values on the wall
Prove you value what you say by living your values. Don't simply articulate values; embody them through actions. Leaders should lead by example, demonstrating the company's values in their day-to-day behaviours and decision-making processes. This authenticity reinforces trust and commitment among employees. Everyone in the business should be able to point to things which prove the company values what it says! There should be routines and programmes the business invests in which all go to prove their values. When values are seen in the behaviours of employees they should be celebrated and rewarded - and on the flip side, there should be consequences if values are broken.
Define what success looks like and communicate it
It’s important organisations clearly define what success looks like for employees and the organisation as a whole. What are the Values? How do we expect them to be seen in Behaviours? What Activities does the company sponsor to encourage these Behaviours? How does it all come together in the company's “Culture”? Create a wheel, pyramid or table but do find a way of expressing it so it can be understood. Transparent communication of what good looks like fosters clarity and alignment, empowering employees to contribute meaningfully to the culture and the company's overall objectives.
Constant communication and radical transparency are key to success
Establishing a culture of openness and transparency where employees and leaders feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and concerns is crucial. Implement mechanisms with People Managers such as regular check-ins, feedback channels, and anonymous surveys to gather insights and address issues promptly. Also, support your People Managers as a population - give them support, and training and help them to share best practice amongst themselves at regular gatherings.
Create Safe Spaces for Expression
Provide avenues for employees to voice their opinions and ideas without fear of judgment or reprisal. Establishing safe spaces and listening posts encourages open dialogue, enabling organisations to identify areas for improvement and implement necessary changes. Regular surveys are a great way to understand how the organisation is feeling about things. I’ve also found that setting up “Culture Champions” groups who regularly meet to discuss key issues and whose thoughts are fed directly to leadership is a great way to ensure the leaders have their finger on the pulse of the organisation.
Leadership Commitment to Change
If things need to be improved then it’s important to acknowledge the need for organisational change, starting at the leadership level. Leaders should demonstrate a genuine commitment to fostering a positive workplace culture and be actively involved in driving initiatives that promote employee engagement and satisfaction.