As businesses scale and expand, they face a common problem – how to attract and retain talent. Creating a strong employer brand is a key enabler for companies wanting to stand out in the competitive market for talent.
Invited by Enterprise Singapore to speak to a select group of high-growth potential local companies, Evelyn Kwek, Managing Director for Great Place to Work® ASEAN & ANZ, spoke about the approach that Best Workplaces™ have taken to create strong employer brands by building strong workplace cultures that align the company’s employer promise with its employees’ actual experiences.
Sebastian Okauchi, Head of People Strategy at foodpanda, a Great Place to Work-Certified™ company and a 2020 Singapore Best Workplace, also joined the session. He spoke about foodpanda’s experience in building a strong workplace culture to attract and retain talent across multiple countries as the business grew exponentially over the last decade.
Evelyn shared three key talent attraction and retention strategies:
Strategy 1: Provide robust opportunities for growth and development.
Employees feel a deep sense of pride and inspiration when companies make an investment to upskill their workforce, providing all employees with the opportunity to grow and develop along with their business. This reinforces a sense of achievement and builds an innovative spirit.
Strategy 2: Connect employees with a strong sense of purpose.
Great Place to Work® research shows that having a strong sense of purpose is a strong predictor for employees to stay with their company and experience it as a great workplace. This is especially true for millennials. Highlighting how employees can impact the community and drive social change makes them feel that their values align with the company’s, thereby reinforcing their commitment to stay and support what it stands for. It is also important for employees to feel valued for how they contribute to the bigger whole, regardless of where they are on the corporate ladder.
Strategy 3: Showcase their Company Culture.
Marketing plays a pivotal role in enabling a strong employer brand, as the company communicates what makes their culture great and inspires employees and stakeholders to associate with its brand. Technology and social media are rich platforms to launch campaigns and provide authentic testimonies from the voices of employees themselves. Much can be told about a great workplace through the content that is made available online.
Building Strong Workplace Culture at foodpanda
Sebastian spoke about foodpanda’s efforts to create a strong workplace culture where its 7500 employees could thrive in different country markets across Asia.
foodpanda has a clearly articulated workplace culture that includes a shared set of values that their Human Capital team introduced across their locations. Adapting a highly-personalised approach, these values have been customized based on the market needs and language interpretations of each country office where they have presence.
To help align their values with employee experiences, foodpanda made a conscious effort to:
Listen by launching surveys to understand their employees’ needs.
Care by implementing wellness programs and enhanced benefits and policies to match employee needs and,
Strive by training managers on topics like unconscious bias and psychological safety and making strategic hires who could help drive their people agenda.
foodpanda leveraged their successful company culture to make their presence known online by establishing key partnerships with like-minded organizations and hosting events to attract top talent. Through these efforts, foodpanda was able to grow their headcount 2.8 times – equivalent to about 350 new hires in Singapore alone in 2020 – and increase their average employee tenure by 25%. foodpanda received recognition for their efforts to create a healthy, safe, inclusive and collaborative environment for their employees, earning Great Place to Work® Certification with 8 of 10 employees agreeing that foodpanda is a great place to work.
There is no one-size-fits-all strategy to create a compelling employer brand. The employee experience is unique in each organization as is each workplace culture. But by articulating the qualities that make their brand unique, delivering against those commitments for employees, and being recognized for their success, companies can take strong steps to establishing their employer brand in an increasingly competitive employment market.