The past few months have been incredibly unprecedented. The global outbreak of COVID-19 has shaken the world we live in, in every aspect. One major change has been, and will continue to be, the way in which we work, and the way businesses function.
However, it has been uplifting to see the way inspiring companies and organizations have responded to COVID-19 with compassion and empathy. The world of work changed overnight for most of us, but sticking to a core set of company principles has enabled businesses to find a new way of working.
Challenges have been met head-on with humanity, creativity and kindness. BazaarVoice recently sat down with us at Jobbio, and detailed how they had implemented a number of things to help staff transition. These included virtual happy hours, quizzes and games, remote gym classes, and a Google Hangout to give people an opportunity to grab a coffee and catch up with colleagues. Sometimes it really can be the little things that make a difference.
When things are going well, it is easier for leaders to do their job. However, during tough times, it can be tricky to figure it out. CEOs and founders all over the world have had to reinvent their business models, their core values, and their employer brand, in the wake of the global pandemic.
Take DeVona Cresa as an example. They have been providing department updates to all employees, celebrating successes, and demonstrating recognition – all while working from home.
This all plays into a company’s employer brand, which is not just about how your business acts during good times, but also how you act in times of uncertainty.
It begs the question, why now, is your employer brand more important than ever?
Maintaining engaged and enthusiastic employees
People will remember how companies responded during this crisis. Your reputation as a company drastically impacts both recruiting and retention, so businesses should be encouraged to put emphasis on building a positive employer brand. Maintaining an engaged remote workforce is the main concern at the moment when it comes to employer branding. The main thing you can do is to treat your employees with compassion, kindness and honesty. How you treat your employees will have a long-lasting impact on their engagement and productivity.
Right now employees are concerned about their health and wellbeing, finances and job security, so employers need to step up as best they can to help their employees address these anxieties. Think about things like workload, strong leadership, clear planning.
The future is uncertain at the moment, so displays of strong leadership and clear planning will be crucial in easing anxieties within the workplace. You may struggle to plan for the long term right now – we’re all in that boat. However, consider making a number of plans that react to potential scenarios, that way you (and your employees) will feel more prepared and protected. Likewise, this display of strong leadership on your part will strengthen your employer brand.
Remember: hiring will happen again
The world will return to normal, and companies will begin to hire once more. What your employees are saying about your company has the greatest influence on your employer brand. This is especially important as we live in a digital world of social media and company review sites. Job seekers check out these platforms before deciding to apply for a job. Our research shows that 78% of people would look into a company’s reputation as employers before applying for a job. Likewise, 74% of hiring managers have seen the quality of applicants improve following investment in their employer brand.
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If your employees are not happy and engaged, presenting your company as an employer of choice and a great place to work will be difficult. Make sure employees have a space to share how they are doing and how they are adapting with their new routine working from home. A question future candidates will ask is ‘How did you handle your employees during the coronavirus outbreak?’
Investing time and effort in your employer brand has also been proven to see a 43% decrease in cost per hire due to less recruitment marketing and advertising costs. So not only will it benefit your reputation, but also your finances.
Your employer brand will connect with your consumer brand
Of course, a top priority for companies has been the health and wellbeing of their employees, but it is also important to note that during these times, your consumer brand and employer brand will connect. Organizations showing up for their employees is one of the top reasons consumers trust any given company. According to Edelman Trust Barometer, 78% of people believe how a company treats its employees is one of the best indicators of its level of trustworthiness. So by communicating frequently and clearly, you are increasing loyalty with your employees and your consumers.
Employers who are communicating poorly during this crisis are creating distrust. When it comes down to it, both employees and consumers want to know they are dealing with companies who are thoughtful, honest and authentic, while displaying strong leadership.
As we are all facing a new reality, it is taking time to adjust and learn. Employers’ actions now will affect their businesses in years to come. Companies that have heart and are tackling issues with genuine and good intentions will come out of this storm having maintained a strong employer brand.
Finally, if you are ticking all the right boxes as an employer, then you need to tell people about it!
Jobbio can help you showcase your company values, benefits and culture across the 30 different job boards that our technology powers. Our employer branding team can work with you to develop your employer branding strategy, to produce video and photography assets and to amplify that content in order to help you attract and retain the best talent.
Your core values play a huge part in how a company structures itself and your employee value proposition (EVP) plays an important role in engaging and developing employees. The communications you make during this time with your employees will shape how they view the company, culture and brand more than ever. This is a vital time for you to reiterate your identity to your people and to the world. Take this as an opportunity to action your values and EVPs to show your people who you are. You might have to make some hard and challenging decisions during this time but stick to the company values and be open and honest – it’ll go a long way.
It is without a doubt that the way we work is changing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our businesses, workforce and schools are adjusting as best they can to the situation. By supporting and connecting your workforce and ensuring your actions align with your values and EVPs you are continuing to look after your employer brand and your people.
Find out more about Jobbio and what they can offer your organization here.