Organizations invest heaps of time and effort to create a company brand. It involves the look and feel, operations, customer experience, and so much more. In the end, it boils down to company reputation and customer experience.
Savvy companies know: show the same effort and focus inwardly to create a second brand, an employer brand.
High turnover can be crippling, costing as much as 33% of each employee’s annual salary. Just as you work hard to onboard and retain customers, you need to develop a holistic staff experience. Your employer brand is but a part of this experience, joining your larger employee engagement initiatives.
Your reputation as an employer is on the line and a positive employer brand will make you known as a great place to work, and the employer of choice for both job seekers as well as current staff.
A study looking at how different companies use emoji as part of workplace communication found that each organization has its own visual vocabulary based on company culture.
What makes this finding so interesting is that the way people communicate within the workplace becomes part of the employer brand. It makes so much sense. Every organization has a unique personality. Of course, communication would be different!
The trick is to identify your current personality traits and start aligning them with your brand. Using visual aids to do this is a quick-win tactic. Visuals include photos, videos, graphics, messaging layout, and in-text emoji, to name a few.
If your organization is quite formal and stiff, and the employer brand you’d like to establish is more caring and inclusive, the right visual is the first step to set the tone. Maybe you start with photos of people laughing and being more relaxed. Then you begin adding emoji to your text, next thing you know, you are sharing funny and engaging videos!
Plan of action: Look at visuals that are currently in circulation in the workplace. Analyze what they represent and compare your findings to your intended image as an employer. Start shifting these visuals to your brand.
While visuals set an unmistakable tone for communications, tone of voice is the heart of all content. It’s not what you say, but how you say it.
Within the workplace, where clear communications are critical, tone of voice (ToV) can be a powerful tool. ToV is the texture to your message, the key to building and nurturing relationships with your audience.
When it comes to defining a ToV for your employer brand (and by extension, your internal communications), it’s helpful to think of your organization as a human being. If the organization (the brand) could speak, think, and act, how would it do so? Note these characteristics and traits and start experimenting with bringing this voice to life.
“Identifying a tone of voice will help you maintain consistency in your communication; this will help build connections and trust with your internal audiences.” – Erin Raimondo, communications specialist, IC Thrive
As you get to know your brand personality more and see how your audience responds to it, slowly, the ToV will become intrinsic. Eventually, people across the organization will be able to identify this voice and even speak in it.
Resource: Tone of voice worksheet
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and a brand will not stand after only a few messages. When it comes to branding, it’s all about regular and continuous reinforcement.
Two tactics go hand-in-hand to support consistent communications: a single source of truth and a communications plan.
A single source of truth, like an intranet, is a central hub for all company information. An intranet is also essential to building a unique employer brand separate from the customer brand as it’s only accessible to employees.
A single source or truth brings together all information and communications. There may be posters, emails, or other messaging platforms used to disseminate communications. Still, your single source of truth is where employees can engage with all brand messaging, and of course, each other.
A communications plan allows you to organize and share this information across your channels at the appropriate intervals.
A strong employer brand is extremely important to encourage employees and assist the HR department with talent acquisition, but it’s only the start of the process. Unless you are actively listening to and engaging with employees, your corporate brand is an empty shell.
“Employee experience is how your company’s culture is lived. It’s more than the mission statement and core values on the wall: it’s how everyone across the leadership team to the front line walks the talk.” – Laurie Geenen, director of customer experience, IC Thrive
A key tactic of a good employee engagement initiative is using surveys to see what is on staff’s minds. Ask questions about their work, concerns, and challenges. Be aware that once you’ve received feedback you have to act on it. The quickest way to lose trust is the perception that you’re not listening …
Resource: What is employee engagement?