Retention vs Attraction: Employment Brand Matters.

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By now, you’ve probably heard about the Great Resignation. While Canada is lagging behind the turnover rates of the US, it is still projected that 40% of employees will resign from their current posts in 2022 and 2023. As the Oil and Gas industry in Alberta heats up, a once stagnant employment environment will start to see positive outlooks for employment; and living in Alberta, this means an impact on every industry and sector.

So what does this mean for you as an employer?

Having a positive employer brand to attract new top talent to your organization is going to be key but actually, it’s far more important to activate your brand internally to engage with and retain your existing talent. According to Hubspot, a good internal employer brand can reduce turnover rates by 28%.

What is an Employer Brand?

Simply, it’s about how you are viewed as an employer and whether you are perceived as a great place to work. It’s not just about perks and benefits but also the story about why you exist. Your employment brand (done well and intentionally) can increase the emotional connection employees have to your company and will impact the way your employees do their jobs – are they passionate about what they do, are they excited, creative, and innovative? Yup. It’s marketing and your marketing department needs to be involved!

Whether you have intentionally worked on creating a brand or not, you have one and you need to make sure it’s good. It’s like culture – whether your are international or not, it exists.

Activating Your Brand Internally

Get Clear About Your Vision, Mission, Values, and Culture. To create a powerful employer brand, ensure that you have a clear vision and mission and have identified your values.

  • ACTION: Define what your culture in terms of where you are going. Does your vision and mission talk about your deeper purpose or the positive impact you are having on the world? Employees want to feel they are part of something meaningful. When brands have clear values that they follow, they are perceived to be more trustworthy – the key is to walk the talk. Does your leadership live the values and expect employees to do the same? At Elevated, we use the phrase The culture of any organization is shaped by the worst behavior the leader is willing to tolerate.

Get Feedback

If you don’t know how your employees perceive you as an employer, what their employee experience has been like or what they think your mission, vision and values are – ask them!

  • ACTION: Conduct focus groups or an engagement survey.

At Elevated, we help our clients understand what their employees are thinking and feeling by conducting an effectiveness survey – and do so either anonymously or meet each person face to face. We can see what is working and what areas need improvement. The results are often surprising – there is a disconnect between what you think is happening and how the employees really feel. In this job market, you want to know what your employees are thinking so you can ensure you are doing what they need to stay.

Define Your Employer Value Proposition

Your employer value proposition (EVP) establishes the benefits and rewards your employees gain by bringing their skills and capabilities to your organization. An EVP includes things like financial compensation but it’s often not the most important thing for employees. Your team wants professional development opportunities, work/life balance, and a sense of belonging or purpose. Your EVP should be centered around the employee.

  • ACTION: Determine how can you help them meet their personal and professional goals while progressing towards the organization’s goals.

Communicate Your Brand

While you might believe that your employees know why your organization is a great place to work, it doesn’t hurt to remind them why they should stay with you when other organizations are trying to entice them.

Talk about what your organization is doing externally, and internally. Remind employees about why they do what they do and let them see how they are part of the larger story. Remember, the messages that you share with your clients and the outside world about what you do should match the messages you send internally. Last but not least, be sure you are communicating your entire compensation program (not just the base). While we know people leave for more than money, take the money conversation off the table!

Use different mediums to connect – your intranet, blog posts, videos, newsletters, townhalls – employees all have different preferences for how they want to be communicated with and you want to ensure everyone is updated – especially if you are a remote-first or hybrid workplace.

Use these mediums to remind them of the benefits they have and how they can access those benefits. Talk about how teams are living the company’s values and sharing employee experiences internally. Ask employees to contribute stories and knowledge to your communications.

And finally, recognize and appreciate your employees. When they are excited about working for you, they will be your biggest champions and brand ambassadors.

  • ACTION: Get clear about your culture, get feedback from your employees and develop an EVP, by calling us!