The world of work is changing; adapt or get left behind. It’s no longer about dealing with simple career aspirations and progression goals of your employees; today’s professionals can build equity around the brand by evangelizing how their organization is one of the best places to work. For organizations to build brand equity, it simply boils down to ensuring the right people stay invested and talk about the company on the right note. The most credible source to do that is employees themselves. With increasing focus on freelancers and the gig economy, most employees today do not have a concrete definition of the role that they play and no longer have lifelong jobs, spending their entire career in one company. In the era of the internet and social connections – the role definition will read more like a mission statement – “Excite, Engage and Evangelize”.
As a new employer/employee contract has begun to unfold, more and more organizations are now interested to unravel how employee branding works and how it can be utilized to position the organization to increase the mindshare of potential candidates, clients, and other stakeholders to gain a competitive advantage. In the past, employee branding was viewed with a certain amount of scepticism and was surreptitiously handled. Employers were more interested in employee value within their organization, rather than the individual value in the social network or external market. The balance between positive reinforcement and keeping significant contributions under wraps created tension and mixed signals.
By creating an environment of open communication, employees feel empowered in their roles and feel invested in the direction. There are enough and more instances of personal branding dovetailing to corporate and employer branding. It also sends out a positive signal that the employer is open, transparent and encourages their employees to feel empowered in their roles and feel invested in the growth and success of their organization.
When you take it a step further to leadership branding, successful leaders invariably exhibit that their values more often than not overlap and meshes with corporate values. This significance magnifies the impact of both the employer brand (the ability to attract talent) and corporate branding (the value of the company). There are many examples of compelling employer brands where their leadership brand is synonymous with the brand itself – Tesla, Facebook, Microsoft, Virgin, and closer to home Reliance, Tata, Wipro, Byju to name a few. The benefits of executive brand alignment and advocacy to an organization are manifold- by tapping into their leaders’ brand equity organizations, can aim for growth. It’s also the perfect tool for an aspiring leader to hone and broadcast their brand.
In conclusion, both employees and leaders can play a vital role in building brand equity and creating an aspirational pull. The rules of employee engagement have changed, although subtly and over time. An employer brand is simply a barometer of employee engagement and can influence an organization’s ability to not only retain top talent but also attract top talent. Therefore, keep in mind that for organizations this cannot be a static one-time process. It involves a continued focus on keeping their employees empowered, provide meaningful engagement, create truly unique experiences and give them the power to change the perception of the organization. Most successful brands also align their employer branding with their overall marketing, regularly survey employee engagement, and foster an environment that is open to constructive feedback and continuous improvement. A valuable investment for any organization.