Building a stronger brand all round
The theory of “a happy worker is a harder worker” stems from this. When values are aligned, the culture of an organisation is able to attract and retain talented individuals. This gives organisations a significant commercial advantage because your employees want to be there, are happy to be there and work to make a contribution under your company brand. These values aligning build a stronger brand. Brand values and company values are two sides of the same coin. The strongest external brands are always those with the strongest internal cultures.
The best way to optimise this is by employee engagement. All companies, however big or small, should invest in an internal communications strategy for a strong, collaborative workforce. Keeping your employees engaged and motivated is key to earning their trust. Being honest about things like company performance and areas of improvement, and most importantly, asking for their feedback – are priceless, and aid to turning them into brand ambassadors. Always listen to what staff and stakeholders have to say. And use this information for the better.
Staff and stakeholders need trust in their products and services, and trust is no longer linked to financial performance or even the status of scale it used to bring. Today, it is more about what I call the five fingers of trust:
1. What is the organisations purpose and its values? Do I believe in the same?
2. Does it have a positive side effect?
3. Does it create environmental acceptance or defeat?
4. Does it take diversity and inclusion seriously?
5. Does it create positively or negatively in my world?
On the career pages of a company website, it is not uncommon to find case studies / success stories of how employees have progressed up the career ladder within the organisation and some have even filmed a short video about it, often used as a recruitment tool. These happy employees have become brand advocates having been nurtured by their employer.
Review sites like Glassdoor are also opportunities for advocates to shout great things about the company they work for. Not everyone is a happy employer so the unhappy / poor reviews need to be managed, LISTENED and reacted to.
Social media has encouraged global information sharing. People are keen to understand the wider implications of actions from across the sea such as politics, conflict and how environmental issues affect them. Because of this behaviour of information sharing (and through stronger media and press influence), you will notice that Gen Y are more interested in the ethics and values of potential employers. They want to work for a company who has a good track record or is seen to be / have strong values - making them the employer of choice. Everything is more topical.
The global financial crisis has also made Gen Y look at things in perspective. They are sceptical about working for a company who chases the bottom line. These digital kids have been exposed to the progressive conversations of having a work life balance, work stress illnesses, suicides from job pressure etc. so they care less about risk and debt.
Gen Y want to see output from their job; they want to see value and add value. They want to feel proud about who they work for as much as the role they do. But they want to have a career path, understand how it’s structured and believe it will come true in however many years.