Successful employer brands tell their culture story from the inside out, and the best storytellers are your people.
When you can tell the story of your company culture through the genuine experiences of your employees, your employer branding is “inside-out.” Because, if employees are having a great experience, you don’t need to search any further than your own people to establish an authentic and sustainable employer brand.
Recently, my colleague Raven Tolbert explained the importance of building a strong employer brand for attracting and retaining top talent, with some excellent advice from Fortune 100 Best Company to Work For® company, Atlassian.
Our research reveals that when employees like their company, they’re 149 times more likely to recommend their workplace to others – truly inside-out storytelling!
Here are four ways to communicate your employer brand from the inside out:
1. Share how employees are living out your company mission and values
Don’t bottle away how you ensure all employees experience your mission. Share the stories of how individual people are living out your values daily – beyond your company walls. Transparency brings strength and authenticity to what your organization projects to the world.
For the last 23 years, the Wegmans grocery store chain has been named to the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For. One of the company’s values is, “We care about the well-being and success of every person.”
We interviewed Wegmans about how they are protecting their frontline workers during the pandemic and it is clear that employee well-being is top-of-mind.
Extra breaks, daily team huddles, and making employee recognition part of every day are just a few ways the company protects employee wellbeing.
How Wegman’s values “the success of every person” can be told through the company’s Employee Scholarship Program.
Wegmans publicly announced, even amidst the pandemic, 1,842 new employee scholarship recipients in 2020. This brings their total of $5 million in tuition assistance to both new and returning scholarship recipients during the 2020–2021 school year.
After college, some of their scholarship winners pursue a new field, taking their Wegman’s experience with them. But many of Wegman’s grads choose to pursue a career within the organization.
Cisco commissioned a survey to understand what employees in Asia Pacific want their future of work to look like. One of the key findings that emerged from their Workforce of the Future Report, that organizations may wish to consider as they plan their path forward, is that employees want flexibility enabled by technology. They also want employers to invest more in technology and training to allow them to stay productive and engaged when working remotely. And they expect their organizations to adopt technology that will keep them safer and more secure when they work. While technology enables greater connectivity across greater distances, for these new ways of working to be sustainable over the long-term, a strong, flexible workplace culture is critical. Leaders will need to create a culture that honors transparency, openness and inclusion.
Source: 2020 Singapore Insights Report
2. Partner with like-minded organizations
Each year, Great Place to Work sponsors the Black Joy Parade in Oakland, California – a yearly celebration of Black cultural influence on our past, present and future.
We look forward to this event each year because it lets us connect with our local community and people who share a mission similar to ours. That is, the mission to build a better world by helping organizations become great workplaces for all people.
During the circuit breaker, a great deal of community support was carried out virtually, with much of it focused on supporting local charities which provide direct support to local communities.
Salesforce raised money to provide displaced migrant workers with free meals, and purchased hot meals from local small businesses for healthcare workers, with staff volunteering their time to deliver the meals to local hospitals.
Micron actively supported charities involved in the #SGUnited COVID-19 initiative, such as The Food Bank Singapore and ‘Feed the City’ program, to provide for local communities in need of resources. The Micron Foundation increased its matching thresholds, and employees were
allowed to donate the cash value of their accrued time off to charit
3. Connect your brand ambassadors with the community
Often, it’s efforts at the grassroots level – where employees are serving their community or connecting with customers – that have the most lasting impact on your employer brand.
Restaurant chain MOD Pizza prioritizes employer branding by assembling an “All Star” team of enthusiastic hourly workers to travel the country to help open new restaurants and share its unique culture with new employees.
MOD Pizza also builds relationships between its teams and local nonprofits by donating their profits from the grand openings of new locations. They also donate profits from the week of Thanksgiving at locations all across the country.
The results of these efforts is that employees at MOD Pizza find genuine satisfaction in serving customers:
“What makes me love working here are the return customers,” said one MOD team member. “And putting a smile on their faces when you remember their usual order or just remembering their name.”
In addition to financial donations, many of our Best Workplaces were able to contribute by leveraging their core products/services and business competencies to support the community.
DHL worked with local government agencies and the Singapore Red Cross to package and deliver PPE supplies to frontline healthcare workers, and care packages to vulnerable groups, including migrant workers and the elderly.
Cisco offered its WebEx technology to support community activities in Singapore with Asian Women’s Welfare Association (AWWA), including virtual storytelling, chair exercises and bingo for the elderly.
Certis extended iTemp, its temperature-tracking solution, to over 270,000 businesses, to help small and medium-sized enterprises track their employees’ daily temperature.
4. Empower your employees to amplify company award wins
There’s nothing more genuine than seeing employees express exuberance for their company’s success. Employees’ words of affirmation also validate the hard work you’ve done building your company culture.
For companies that have earned a Great Place to Work-Certification™ for their company culture, the sharing doesn’t need to stop with getting the branded badge.
Melanie Hopkins, our own social media maven, says that the secret is in simplicity. “The easier you make it, the more likely your employees are to amplify your messaging. Give them a photo and write some simple copy-and-paste text your employees can use on their social media to express their pride in your organization.”
We just celebrated our Certification Nation Day– a day when the entire Great Place to Work-Certified community came together on social media to recognize employees that drive culture forward and celebrate the tremendous accomplishment of getting #GPTWcertified. Check out how we celebrated this global event here.
Regardless of what stage your organization is at on the workplace culture journey, we invite you to consider how to tell the story of your journey through the experiences of your employees.