We’ve been asked this a lot recently in Q&A sessions from businesses who are embarking on – or who are reluctant to embark on – an EVP or Employer Branding project.
Maybe you feel there’s nothing remarkable to talk about. Maybe engagement scores aren’t exactly where you’d like them to be. Maybe the past few months have been tough. Maybe salaries/benefits are inferior to competitors.
First things first, if you feel like this, you’re not alone. It’s a thought that holds many businesses back and perpetuates the problems they already have in attraction, recruitment, retention and engagement.
They resort to an ad hoc approach, which is inherently disjointed and does nothing to establish or amplify their reputation in the marketplace. Candidates will see this and while they may be well-qualified for your role and an ideal cultural fit, not only do they not know anything about you, what they do see doesn’t impress them.
Those businesses with a differentiating Employer Brand in market have a clear advantage over those who don’t. There the ones who are adept at finding and telling their unique employer stories.
Another thing to consider is, even if you’re not actively managing your Employer Brand, you do still have a reputation in the marketplace. Your story is being told by employees and ex-employees on sites like Glassdoor, where savvy candidates go to check you out before applying for a vacancy.
So, where to start?
Building an Employer Brand is not about glossing over issues. That approach will only create a disconnect between how you appear and the reality of working with you: people will quickly see this and it doesn’t help with building trust.
Our approach is holistic. Our courses and resources are designed to take you through a step-by-step process, defining your EVP and building an Employer Brand as you go along.
A key part of this is the consultation element of the process – digging deep and getting your key people involved through surveys and focus groups.
If you’re really listening at this stage you’ll get a true sense of why people join and stay.
You’ll also pick up feedback on any issues and that puts you in a better position to do whatever you can to address them.
But sometimes your story isn’t immediately obvious. Sometime the stories are nuanced and don’t make themselves clear in Engagement Surveys. Sometimes it can be subtle cultural differences that only reveal themselves during deeper conversations. You may be too close to the coal face to get a clear perspective. Your story can only be discovered by asking the right questions and listening closely.
So while engagement surveys are all well and good, they can’t be relied upon in isolation to find your differentiating story.
The results are black and white and don’t capture the nuance. Which is often where the story lies!
“I’ve worked on many EVP projects for businesses that on the surface feel very “ordinary”. Their Glassdoor and Engagement Survey scores appear average. But when you speak to Executives, or run focus groups, you often find the extraordinary. Stories of how people behave towards one another and support each other. Stories of ambitious plans to bring about change. Stories of pride working for a business that does great work and contributes towards society. Stories of businesses that support and create cohesion in local communities. Stories of how individuals found a place where they can feel at home and be themselves. Stories of how working for a business facilitates the needs of personal lives. Stories that shift the focus away from functional elements such as salaries and benefits and instead engage on a powerful emotional level. Every business has a story to tell.”
There’s always a great story to tell if you dig deep enough. If you think your business doesn’t have a story to tell, you’re probably asking the wrong questions.
If you need any help in finding and defining your story – just ask!
We’d be happy to help.