Do your staff advocate for your business?

In an earlier post, we talked about whether your employees were aligned with your employer brand. Today we ask if your employees are authentically advocating for your business?

Potential employees are increasingly approaching the job market with a clearly defined, well thought through list of wants and needs. These may range from pay and conditions, to flexibility, skills development and community engagement. It is up to the organisation to show these potential employees how they can satisfy these wants and needs. It is no longer enough to simply populate job advertisements with catch phrases. Companies need to have an employer brand that is authentic, based on the company’s real values and uniquely captures your ‘why?’.  Job seekers will differentiate authentic employer brands from those that are confused or misleading.

Companies that take time to develop an employee value proposition (‘EVP’) will best be able to answer the question of ‘what do I get for working here?’, something all job seekers will ask themselves. The EVP will not only include the hygiene factors of benefits and rewards that employees can expect, it will also reflect company culture. It will be in alignment with your company’s shared values, behaviours and will be a true reflection of day-to-day practices. Great EVPs will create a bridge between the employee and emotional and behavioural elements of work. These elements can be difficult to verbalise but they matter when you want to create a personal connection with current and potential employees.

EVPs are not intended to be a candidate drag net. Rather, a great EVP will resonate with right candidates for your company. It will attract those people who are aligned with your values and for people who will thrive in your environment. It will speak directly to the candidates who are the best fit, whilst simultaneously filtering out those candidates that are poorly matched.

While the EVP reflects the employee experience, the employer brand is the public perception of that experience. It is the employer brand that will be discussed between friends at a barbecue or over a coffee. While employers cannot control what is being said over that hamburger or that coffee, they can participate in that conversation in abstentia. There are both formal and informal ways that employers can promote their EVP and employer brand. That word-of-mouth marketing opportunity is a critical moment in time for your company’s ability to attract and retain the right employee.

Just like consumer brands, an employer brand needs ambassadors. An employer brand ambassador is that person who—unprompted and authentically—speaks out on an organisation’s behalf and advocates with zeal and sincerity. Gallup research has found that 71% of job seekers turn to family, friends and current employees when they are considering opportunities.

Ensuring that you have employer brand ambassadors requires that you create a compelling brand promise and consistently deliver on that promise over time. Just like your consumer brands, your employer brand requires consistency of message and behaviour—always delivering on your employee value proposition.

So we ask, do your staff advocate for your business?