Positive employer branding is the result of any good recruitment marketing campaign. It reduces cost per hire and increases the quality of your talent pool. But before you can sell your company as an exceptional place to work, your employees have to believe that it is.
Engaging employees has been a challenge to management for years, but it is crucial to improving employer branding, not to mention the company’s success. Engaged employees have much greater job satisfaction and are less likely to be absent or seek alternate employment. These fulfilled employees produce better work in both quality and quantity.
One way to keep employees engaged is to provide them with a career path that gives them the opportunity to switch departments. Management is often hesitant to do this when employees have mastered their position and their good work will be difficult to replace. This is a valid concern, but moving capable employees to other jobs invests further in the company and broadens employees’ knowledge of it. This movement within a company can lead to better collaboration and more efficient work along with job satisfaction and employee engagement. And what do you think is the first thing a promoted or transferred employee does? They tell their friends and update their social media, garnering congratulations and enhancing their employer’s reputation!
What else do employees brag about in their jobs? Achievements! As employees learn new roles, take on new projects, or work on existing ones, it is important to set specific, attainable goals to keep them engaged. Hazy, ever-changing or out-of-reach goals can make individual work seem pointless and frustrating. To keep employees focused and engaged, understanding how their task at hand relates to a final product and bigger picture is critical. Setting distinct goals within a broader framework keeps employees invested without feeling overwhelmed, and leads to accomplishments that give them great fodder for dinner-table talk and chats with friends.
Overall, the most sustainable way to improve employee engagement is to encourage and support resilience. Employees who are resilient rely less on management to feel fulfilled at work. They are flexible and understanding of what is expected, and they handle challenges with excitement. To resilient employees, stress is a motivator rather than an inhibitor. Although this seems more like something you’re born with rather than a learned skill, it can be encouraged through open communication, a sense of camaraderie and teamwork in the workplace, and supporting work-life balance. The first two are straightforward aspects of good management. The third route, benefits and policies that recognize employees have lives outside of work, allows them to deal with their challenges without feeling burdened and overwhelmed. Management can support this satisfaction with time-off policies, health care insurance, wellness incentives, telecommuting opportunities and other benefits targeted to overall well-being and personal needs. This translates to engaged employees that relay their engagement to other potential hires.
The confidence and self-actualization that comes with a well-rounded life results in happier employees that can stand up to any obstacles that may come. By providing these resilient employees with the flexibility to pursue any opportunity and the understanding of the scope and importance of every project, they will be engaged, productive and provide a durable backbone for your employer branding to rely on.
According to B2B marketing consultant Mark Lerner, “most experts agree that a positive company culture encourages employees to think of the company as part of their identity. When a company’s and an employee’s identity become one and the same, the employee will want to promote the company – since, in effect, the employee is actually promoting him or herself.”