Employer Branding Offizzer
Tóth Boglárka Katalin
Internal Communication has become the No. 1. priority of Employer Branding today to create THE CERTAINTY IN THESE UNCERTAIN TIMES. What we do, how we communicate internally, and how transparently we are able to take that internal external. HR, marketing professionals, and leaders have to upgrade their communication skills, use tools, and create content more intensively than ever before and online. Online content if done well – is very efficient and can replace the personal experience. How to increase the efficiency of internal communication through developing online employer branding content, tools, channels? How to support business leaders to connect and unite the people and the information? These questions were answered by experts who are all members of the European association of Employer branding agencies.
See the human side of your employees
„People are scared, scared to lose their jobs, homes, relationships. We have to see the ’H’ in Human Resources as Humans and the ’R’ in resources as resourcefulness – this is much more important now, than ever. That means if we communicate something we have to be able to imagine the future for our employees.” – said Johann Driessens (CEO, branded.careers). Make sure that you put your employees first, by simply following two rules: being empathic, and personalizing.
„There is a really thin line between the lack of communication and to over communicate.”
– says Kersti Vannas (CEO, Instar). But how to find the balance?
More is more. Be systematically and constantly there for your people. Be inclusive and empathic, give the needed information. Be brave to tell also that right now you don´t know exactly. Honesty is crucially important when talking about the information concerning companies’ financial health and future.
Less is more. Do not over-communicate and as instability creates insecurity and by over-communicating we can increase the fear which we do not want. Scared people panic and isolate and these are the opposite activities that we desire. Treat your employees as adults, you do not have to repeat the same negative message again and again in the same manner.
„Find the right balance and just be yourself as an employer. And if you do not know yet who you are as an employer, then maybe it is a time to think about developing EB and EVP.”
What are the employees concerned about these days?
Jiří Landa (Partner, Employer Brand strategist & candidate experience designer, BrandBakers) sees basically two key challenges: uncertainty and discomfort lead to bad mood, bad thoughts and even tragic scenarios. These affect creativity, focus and productivity of employees negatively.
How do you manage these as a leader, by internal communication?
Openness. Landa believes that these days there shouldn’t be space for the political games. Employees expect management to be open and clear. Even bad news is better than no news.
Support. Employees just need it and now it’s time for managers to show up as real leaders.
Inspiration. Even these days there are lots of opportunities to have fun. Sharing activities, interesting experience, sports successes, or tips for good trips to nature is fun and inspire others.
The role of employer branding is to create certainty
„The difference between the 2008 financial crisis and COVID crisis is that HR, marketing professionals and leaders have to use tools and create content for internal communication more intensively than ever before and online. What is the role of employer branding in these times of uncertainty? To create certainty.” – says Anita Zvezdovics (Chief Fizz Offizzer, Brandfizz Employer Branding).
When a crisis of any kind hits, it’s critical to act fast. Your PR, media, and executive communications teams are important, but leaders often forget about one of the most important target groups of people in a crisis: your employees. In Anita’s opinion, this is a critical time when employees can’t come together personally but still, we need to ensure they stand behind the brand, behind their employee value proposition (EVP), and behind their leaders. „Unfortunately, we see companies who hide behind closed doors to figure out what to do – and still do not understand that not communicating with and involving your employees is a bad idea.” – she says. In the times of Yammer, Workplace, Hangouts people talk easily and freely. And as an organization and leaders with employer branding, you have to ensure the same transparency.
„In all cases, we see very high and increasing activity of employees also on social media. In this age, every employee can serve as a spokesperson. And, Thanks to social media, what an employee says is heard by a lot of people. So If online internal communication is handled effectively, and built on your core EVPs- your employee trust will not be damaged which you need to keep at all costs when your organization is already under pressure.”
As Anita Zvezdovics (Chief Fizz Offizzer, Brandfizz Employer Branding) says, in the crisis situation number one priority of employer branding today is influence what companies do for their employees, and how they communicate internally and how transparently they are able to take that internal and external. In these times this has an immediate effect on their employer and consequently on corporate brand reputation.
A lot of change going on. We can’t back to the old normal. We don’t know how to deal with it, it makes a lot of people uncomfortable. Real leaders have to stand up. As Johann says: „Whatever you communicate right now. On the other side, at colleagues, it is not about their jobs, it is about their life. We have this historical opportunity, to rethink the way we employ people.”
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