You'll probably find good pay near the top of every list of what employees want from a job, but it's not always the main reason your employees are happy. Our research shows that workers across the globe are most motivated by culture and values, leadership, and growth opportunities. You know - those buzzy terms that land companies on best places to work lists.
These factors are just a few that comprise your employer brand. Although money plays a role in how employees feel about a company, how employees (and even candidates) experience your organization holds much more weight.
If you scan through Glassdoor's Best Places to Work list, you'll notice the top 50 aren't just tech companies with generous Silicon Valley salaries and perks. At consulting behemoth, Bain & Co, (#3) employees praise the "supportive culture with lots of resources to help you develop." Veterans United Home Loans (#8) staffers call out "amazing opportunities to grow your career," while the team at NASA Jet Propulsion Lab (#12) lauds "the most welcoming and open organization that fosters diversity, equity, and inclusion."
When it comes to thinking about how to improve your employer branding strategy, start with our checklist. It stems from our research on what employees want, the most important areas for communication, and how to get employees excited about your company.
Pay attention to what employees want
If you're ready for an employer brand makeover, start by tackling areas that will have the most impact. Here are five drivers that impact employees' likelihood to recommend:
- Company communication with the public
- Employee engagement
- Senior leadership
- Clear, transparent communication to employees
Focus on asking your employees questions about these areas to find out if they are satisfied or need more. One way to probe deeper is through company surveys and finding out what your employees' day-to-day experiences are across these aspects. This will help you pinpoint areas where you can evolve your company culture and employer brand.
"If you really have those employee inputs upfront into your employer brand, on day one, you have the opportunity to gain an employee's trust because what they show up and experience is what you told them that they would experience. The flip of that is if you haven't infused those employee voices into your employer brand, you have the opportunity to lose their trust on day one."- Kelby Tansey - Manager, Recruitment Marketing, Southwest Airlines
Communicate what matters most
Eighty percent of employers say they listen to employee feedback and either always or sometimes take action, but employees consistently report that they're in the dark on important company initiatives. The lesson here is many employers are failing to communicate how and why they make policy changes.
Here are key areas where employees say employers are missing the mark:
- Sharing DEI goals and progress on meeting them
- Closing the loop on employee feedback
- Encouraging employees to take time off
- Sharing salary information for all levels with employees
Whether it's related to one of these areas or a different issue entirely, effective internal communication should provide employees with clarity as to why a company has adopted a policy. Try surveying your employees on the policies that are most important to your company's culture. If the majority of your team members can't explain the "why" behind a position, your communication may need work.
Make employees proud
Employees want to take pride in their company: 69% say they value when their employer has a brand they are proud to support. That means employer branding isn't just a recruitment tool; it's a retention tool.
"Many stakeholders have the perception that employer brand is all about attraction…there is definitely a place for employer brand and retention. And you just have to switch your audience from external to internal. Even though you should focus on both of them at all times, maybe one at one time is your primary audience. And then, as the hiring market shifts, maybe it's internal talent.- Ally Brown, Brand Manager, Employer Brand and Recruiting, VCA Animal Hospitals
If you're unsure of how your company's reputation measures up, go straight to the source. Ask employees to rate you in these areas and share their recommendations for improvement.
Close the feedback loop
Once you've got the information you need from employees, be sure to report the results back to them and explain the actions that you're taking to address their concerns. Employees don't just want to share their feedback, they want to know that their employer is going to take meaningful action on what they say.
Companies with the most successful employer brands are those that prioritize the employee experience. They've established themselves as environments that foster collaboration and growth; places where employees want to stay for years and encourage their friends to apply.
Time and resources dedicated to burnishing your employer brand are an investment in recruitment and retention. With the right strategies in place, your entire staff can become part of the recruitment funnel.
It's never too late to build a stronger reputation. Get started today with Glassdoor's Employer Branding Guide.