With the current US nationwide unemployment rate at 4.7% employers are scrambling to recognize high performers and retain talent. While it is important to have a compensation program that is progressive, benefit plans that are aligned with the employee needs and a work environment that is supportive, companies are finding out that that is often not enough. In an economy where attracting and retaining talent is a key challenge facing organizations a coordinated and thoughtful strategy needs to be implemented in order to ensure success. Companies today should be asking their leaders and HR professionals what steps can be taken to be strategically positioned to leverage their brand and internal talent to support lower turnover and improve productivity.
Consider these three key components that support a quality company brand that encourages excellence:
Building a Strategic Plan
In order to develop an effective brand, there needs to be a strategic plan based upon the values of the organization. Executives need to understand that a brand is not only the pay, benefits and work environment but it is also the core values that are the underpinnings of the company culture. It is important for the leadership team to examine the brand and determine what the company wants to be known for and then reinforce this perception to improve the company’s strategic position. Ultimately as HR professionals you want to capitalize on what makes your brand unique, and build from there. It is important to take a critical look at your current brand and define what you want to be known for when a potential employee thinks of your company. An important component of this part of the process is - what is the ideal perception you want to convey in the market-place.
Implement Your Plan Base Upon Your Values
Once you’ve developed your strategic brand, how you choose to implement that strategy is very important. In fact, just because you want your company to be perceived in a particular manner, doesn’t mean that it will be perceived that way. The best brands are often the ones that live up to or exceed their reputation and are able to develop a brand strategy that is constructed of four pillars of success: honesty, integrity, quality and trust. Trust is the most important factor to ensure that your brand strategy remains aligned and intact. Trusting a company’s product or service will have a long-term effect and improve future prospects. If your company is viewed as an honest, responsible and a trustworthy organization potential candidates may select your company over another employer because the brand will provide a better career experience for them.
Sharing the Brand
Perhaps the most important way to communicate your brand strategy to potential candidates is to have your current employees champion the benefits of working for the company. Encourage current employees to share their experiences and showcase how your brand and company is separated from the competition. You will discover that there will be those engaged employees with a desire to highlight the company culture and spearhead ideas that can help bring to life your employer brand. By empowering these individuals, you’ve created an advocacy program that has far reaching effects both internally and externally.
Ultimately building a strong brand strategy takes time and a serious commitment to understanding what your company represents and the talent it wishes to attract. By taking the time to examine the issue, a company can develop a brand that no longer struggles to attract and retain talent, but draws in those that are aligned both strategically and culturally with the company.