Does your employer brand match the actual experience of your employees?

Only 29% of Australian employees perceive a strong match between how their employer represents itself and what they actually experience.

Not delivering on the positive employer brand an organisation presents can pose a serious reputation risk, a Weber Shandwick study has found.

‘The Employer Brand Credibility Gap’ survey reveals brands can harm their recruitment opportunities, staff retention, productivity and competitiveness in the war for talent by not delivering on their perceived image.

Thanks to social media – 32% of employees globally post messages, videos or pictures about their employer – we live in an age of extreme transparency. Job candidates make reputational assessments with ease based on what they’ve heard about a brand from its existing employees.

Globally, only 19% of employees perceive a strong match between employer brand and their experience. Australia’s 29% makes it one of the higher performing countries, with India taking top spot at 33%.

“Employees today are not only looking for a job,” says Mabel Phoon, executive vice president and Asia lead, employee engagement and change management at Weber Shandwick.

“They are looking to work for a company where they feel valued and whose culture is aligned with their own beliefs and desires. When there is a disconnect between the values and behaviours of the brand, employer trust is also impacted.”

The report reveals there are concrete business cases for bridging the credibility gap:

  • Better recruitment: employees in aligned organisations are more likely on average to recommend their employer as a place to work (76% versus 54% average).
  • Stronger advocacy: employees in aligned organisations are more likely to encourage others to buy their company’s products or services (59% versus 49% average).
  • Greater retention: they are more likely to continue to work for their employer over the next year (77% versus 64%).
  • Increased productivity: they are more likely to put more effort into their job than is required (54% versus 40%).

 

The war for talent

Employee engagement is weak and declining, from an average engagement level of 30% in 2014 to 27% this year.

Changing consumption models and job descriptions, as well as more Millennials and Generation Z entering skilled roles, mean roles and relationships in the workplace will change constantly. Globally, 85% of employees experience organisational changes that affect their jobs, and many in the survey are dealing with multiple challenges facing their industry. Work/life balance leads the list of challenges, with 42% in the survey listing it as a concern.

At 50%, Millennial employees are significantly less likely than their older coworkers – Generation X at 65% and Baby Boomers at 74% – to say they are ‘very likely’ to continue working for their employer for the next year.

“Employers have to strive for greater accuracy and authenticity in describing themselves and activate employees – their most credible spokespeople – as their storytellers and advocates if they are to earn the trust of prospects and employees,” says Phoon.

“A credible employer brand should revolve around a compelling narrative that is authentic, recognisable and brings to life the actual experience employees have working at an organisation, whether it is the culture, leadership, training, opportunities or communications.”

Management itself also plays a key role in talent retention. In the new results of a website poll by Hays Recruitment, 37% of skilled professionals surveyed said getting away from a direct manager was their primary motivation for leaving a job, and a further 21% said it was one of the several reasons. “Ultimately, managers can make or break an employees’ experience of working for a particular organisation,” says Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays ANZ. “Managers should be motivating and engaging their staff in order to achieve the organisation’s goals, not driving them away.

 

Further reading

 

Image copyright: fsstock © 123RF

Ben Ice
BY Ben Ice ON 16 November 2017