As the global economy picks up, there is growing concern among CEOs about finding and keeping the best talent to achieve their growth ambitions. Different surveys show that in 2014, 36% of global employers reported talent shortages, the highest percentage since 2007, and in a more recent 2015 survey, 73% of CEOs reported being concerned about the availability of key skills.
So how can companies compete effectively in this new war for talent? First and foremost, it’s time for leaders to focus on strengthening their organizations’ employer brands.
Have you defined your Employer Value Proposition?
Establishing an appealing internal and external employer image necessitates the understanding of both the talent’s and the company’s needs and wants. With this information, the company can define its Employer Value Proposition (EVP). The EVP is the set of unique employer offerings which are considered valuable to its target group of talents.
The employee owns the (employer) brand
The approach to building a strong employer brand changed over the last few years. Building a strong employer brand grew in importance when leading companies like Unilever, in response to the growing war for talent, began to apply the same focus and consistency to their employer branding as they applied to their corporate and consumer branding.
Times changed. The rise of social media pushed companies to become much more transparent. People are far more likely to trust a company based on what its employees have to say than on its recruitment advertising. This means that attracting talent relies far more on employee engagement and advocacy.
Given this social transparency, organizations can no longer afford to rely on recruitment advertising to build a positive employer brand image. With employee advocacy becoming more important, employer reputations will need to live up to the values they promise to respect.
Happy employees lead to happy customers
Many firms started to highlight the quality and dedication of their employees in their marketing efforts. This affects how candidates judge them as potential employers. Likewise, the power of an employer brand can have a significant effect on the engagement levels of employees involved in delivering a positive customer brand experience. And with other studies linking happy employees to happy customers, it’s not surprising that most companies want to align their employer and consumer brand strategies over the next few years.
How can companies boost employee engagement?
Too often, however, we see that employees loose their engagement and loyalty to the companies they work for, often due to bad interpersonal relationships with their managers, their peers and/or their team members. CEOs need to allocate resources to the HR department to take care of the risk of disengagement. Employee engagement is a “nice to have” but a fundamental pillar for companies to thrive. Organisations that don’t succeed to attract and retain talents with the right skills are doomed to be outperformed by the ones that can.
Many companies are already making efforts to boost employee engagement and advocacy but, unfortunately, they still rely on old and ineffective solutions such as Enterprise social networks or traditional Team Building activities. They usually fail to achieve the objectives the employer had in mind: real human contact, increased collaboration, more efficiency and productivity when people from different departments have to collaborate, breaking down silos, … .
What if you could make your people meet and work together based on your criteria?
A better way to go about solving this issue is set up a series of theme-based micro-events. Rather than invite 100 people for one and the same activity, HR could organise 25 small scale and informal events of 4 people each. This is the best way to foster the creation of new links between the employees, which are drivers of employee engagement in this age of hyper-connectivity and lack of real human contact.
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