From inspirational posts on LinkedIn to motivational blogs and videos featuring happy employees, organisations are going all out to portray themselves as great places to work.
And why not? With 1 in 3 employees being unable to trust their bosses, and the Great Resignation enabling millions of employees saying, “No matter what the situation, I want better”, employers are feeling the need to really step up!
Do you remember the hair oil advertisements that promise hair growth within days of application? Or the creams that claim to make your wrinkles vanish overnight? What do they sell? A DREAM. Similarly, employers portraying their workplaces as fun-loving, flexible, and carefree are selling nothing more than a dream. Let’s face it, YOU NEED A STRONG EMPLOYER TO WORK for an organisation to function effortlessly. Thus, an employer brand focused solely on fun and frolic simply sets unrealistic expectations in the minds of potential employees. Not demonstrating the actual work ethic of the company eventually leads to disappointment and resentment. Taming the employer branding beast means to forgo the “we are the best, most fun, and most successful company” mission statement and encapsulate it into a single word, “integrity.”
So, how can employers display integrity in a way that attracts and retains employees? Let’s have a look:
Display a strong work ethic - Instead of painting a rosy picture of your company, acknowledge the strong work ethic behind your company’s success. Specify the importance of meeting deadlines and valuing the time of clients and coworkers. Organisations with a high level of integrity do their best to demonstrate their commitment to hold up their end of the bargain.
Show consistency - Organisations operating with a high level of integrity are consistent in how they address issues. They intentionally avoid conflicts of interest and address biases in decision-making to ensure that rules and guidelines are applied consistently and fairly across the business.
Be honest - Leaders in high-integrity organisations understand that corrupt behaviours rob honest employees of earned opportunities. And also, inefficient employees will ultimately hurt the business. If a job seeker asks an employee at your company, "What's it like to work there?", the response of your employee should match the work ethic you aim at promoting. Thus, the day-to-day management, company values, and workplace culture of your organisation must live up to the integrity it claims to possess.
Accept accountability - Accepting accountability is the first step towards improvement. As an employer, you walk the talk and that’s why it is your duty to own up to any shortcomings and make sincere efforts towards improvement. In high-integrity organisations, leaders and employees readily accept accountability for their actions instead of attempting to pass the buck.
Be transparent - As part of your employer brand strategy, organise regular employee surveys, have an open-door policy, and encourage people in every department and level to interact and share ideas, worries, and suggestions. Openly recognise employee achievements and express your gratitude for everyone’s contributions to your brand’s success.
Remember, times change, and employment trends come and go. But the need for a stable employer brand never wanes. Employer branding is not a mere one-time effort, it is a process that needs to be tweaked along the way.