In an economy that remains unstable, smart businesses will recognise that ?attracting and keeping talent is critical.
That’s why the concept of an employer brand isn’t an optional, fluffy add-on, but a necessity. For employees to feel valued and engaged, it’s vital to create an internal identity that is in line with the promises an organisation makes to its clients.
As the managing director of an ?experiential marketing agency, I am ?conscious of creative branding every ?day. But employer brand engagement ?matters in all industries, not just mine. Every employee should look forward to coming to work, and creating a brand that your staff can feel personally part of is a sure-fire way of making that possible.
At ID, our agency mantra ‘Always ?Experiential’ has become a brand in its own right. It runs through all of our client work, and all we strive to provide for our staff. We make sure every touch-point with the agency is an experience. The ?Always Experiential logo adorns every PC desktop to remind everyone of its ?importance to the business. A brand is a set of beliefs and a personality. We have a dedicated committee who ensure Always Experiential is seen in everything we do – from the décor of our office to the diverse employee benefits we offer and the starter kits we send out to help new recruits feel at home on their first day. Committee members come from every department, with opportunities for junior staff to learn from directors.
One innovation from the ?Always Experiential committee is the annual branded voucher booklets we issue. These entitle staff to benefits such as extended lunch breaks, sponsorship for ?charity endeavours, an additional day off to do something experiential, and ‘breakfast butler’ tokens (of which I have already had my fair share).
Regular company meetings and an annual awayday are also important; they get everyone from senior management to junior employees in one room, ?talking, sharing ideas and engaging. We know that such best practice is not unique to ID – however, the extensive branding and collateral we created for our annual Vision Day in March was quite distinctive to us. We held the ?strategy day at Leeds Castle and recreated our logo to tie in with a medieval theme, featuring the castle itself and other ?aspects of our branding in the invitations, staging, presentation and booklets available to take away from the day.
To some it may seem frivolous to allocate budget and resources to funding this level of internal branding, but I disagree. At ID it shows our staff we value them as much as we do our clients. ?We aim to make them feel they belong to something really ?special, something they will be proud of and want to ?tell their friends about.
Of course, we know talented employees aren’t going to stay on at iD just because of a logo we ?designed for them – that’s not what employer branding is about. It’s important to consider how you bring to life all the HR best practice you already do. Make it relevant to your company, industry and people. Unite your workforce so they can ?feel a sense of ownership in a brand ?that reflects internally what’s visible ?from the outside.
Employer brands keep management aligned with an inspired, appreciated, understood, challenged and rewarded workforce who value their jobs and the business they work for. That kind of time and investment is priceless.
Emma Ede is managing director of ID Experiential