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Resetting your employer brand to enhance employee experience in times of the Great Reflection

today2022.07.08. 4801 6 5

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Farai Mugabe, Content & Research, The HR Congress

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The pandemic has made employees rethink the place that work should have in their lives and they have changed expectations towards their employers. They expect flexibility, care, and a good work-to-life balance. Organizations need to reset their culture, employee experience, and leadership approach to attract and retain the right talent.

The global COVID-19 pandemic brought a radical shift in employee experience and culture and the Great Resignation.1 Employees had time to reflect and rethink the “why” of work, which brought a total shift in how we view employee experience.2 The new environment requires listening leadership because 65% percent of employees indicate that the pandemic has shifted their thinking towards work.3 4 Given that we are now living in times of changing employee expectations, employers have to reset and refocus their employer brand so they can progressively transform their workplaces.4 

Business leaders across the whole industry are worried about employee experience and engagement, employee productivity, staff turnover, culture, wage pressure, profit margins, and sales. They want companies to perform better.3 For companies to perform better, employees should be more productive, engaged, and committed to working goals.2 On the other hand, employees are leaving workplaces and have become more apathetic than ever before. This is because there is a new employee who has emerged out of the pandemic—an employee who has had time to reflect on what life means.4 For companies to become great places that can attract and retain the right talent, they should reset their culture, employee experience, and leadership approach. 

Research by Gartner indicates that the pandemic has resulted in 65% of employees shifting their attitude toward the value of aspects outside work. 62% of employees say the pandemic has made them long for a bigger picture of their lives. 65% say that the pandemic has made them rethink the place that work should have in their lives.4 Half of the employees indicate that they have changed expectations towards their employer. An article by McKinsey and Company entitled “Married to the job no more: Craving flexibility, parents are quitting to get it” indicates that employees are leaving because they are not feeling valued. Employees now expect their employer to provide them with flexibility, care, and a good work-to-life balance.5 The future has been disrupted, and it is important to reset how companies manage their employer brands to create a thriving workplace.6

Alternative ways of resetting an employer brand to drive employee experience

  1. Audit your brand 

Companies should find a time to assess where they stand so they can adjust their employer brands to enhance their employee experience.2 This assessment should help companies to reflect on what they aspire to be and where they are currently positioned. Human behaviour is usually a response to the environment. The way people think, respond and act results from what is happening in the world around them. This will help employers to be able to identify gaps and effectively close them. 

  1. Benchmark with what others are doing

Businesses do not exist in isolation. They should take into cognisant the environment around them and adapt to it. This will help companies reshape their employer brands and enhance employee experience. As indicated before, there are several key changes affecting businesses. These include wage pressure, global politics, inflation and changes in customer tastes. It is a time for a new horizon in HR. Business leaders have to take time to meet and discuss how to shape the future.9

  1. Have a clear value proposition 

Times of great reflection are times of changing employee expectations. Employees now have a new set of expectations of their employers. The world has changed and so has the psychological contract between employers and employees.10 To attain this, companies should have a good Employer Value Proposition (EVP) to showcase the value they offer employees. Employers have to reinvent their EVP so it meets the changing employee expectations.11

  1. Extend to your audience beyond existing boundaries

Employer brand is now extending beyond the company’s traditional boundaries. Companies should not just think about their full-time internal employees. Leaders are now beginning to think more expansively about who makes up their workforces. The quality of hire for suppliers, consultants, and independent contractors is also part of your company’s talent ecosystem because their efforts determine the success of your business.12

  1. Rewards and recognition

Employees now expect higher salaries at the workplace to manage rising costs and compensate for huge workloads. During the height of the pandemic, employers shifted focus towards productivity-based pay to manage staff costs and survive the pandemic. Employees felt overburdened with huge workloads and less recognition through financial and non-financial rewards. Employees became as mobile as possible, and some even opted to stay at home. This saw the coming in of the Great Resignation. To create a compelling employer brand that is attractive to employees, employers should ensure that rewards are meaningful, equitable, and impactful.13

  1. A listening and caring workplace culture 

There has been a deliberate shift towards a hybrid, caring, and compassionate work environment.14  15 Employees now expect human-centred leadership as they face a stressful world. The world has problems, and HR needs to partner with organizations to help manage the crises. HR should rise and help companies manage the humanitarian crises that the world faces. A good employer brand will go a long way in winning the hearts of current and prospective employees and getting the best out of them. 

  1. Work flexibility

Marketers often say, “Customer is King.” Nowadays, work flexibility is king. Flexible work arrangements refer to an arrangement between an employer and an employee to alter the traditional way of working to better accommodate an employee’s outside work commitments.16 Deloitte indicates that flexibility is a talent magnet because employees now crave it. To attract talent in times of great reflection, companies need to consider work flexibility as part of their employer brand strategy.17

We are now living in times of great reflection, and employees now have a new set of expectations of their employers. The world has changed and so has the psychological contract between employers and employees. Employers have to reset and refocus their employer brand in times of great reflection to enhance employee experience.18

1How Companies Can Use Technology to Enhance Culture in the Age of the Great Resignation, by Nirit Peled-Muntz

https://hr-congress.com/2022/04/21/how-companies-can-use-technology-to-enhance-culture-in-the-age-of-the-great-resignation/

2EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE: Reimagining EX to build a thriving workplace, by Thomas Papp, HR Congress 

https://www.bigmarker.com/the-hr-congress/Reimagining-Employee-Experience-to-build-a-thriving-workplace

3LEADERSHIP – What successful leaders do to foster employee connection and spur innovation, by Mihaly Nagy, HR Congress

https://www.bigmarker.com/the-hr-congress/LEADERSHIP-What-successful-leaders-do-to-foster-employee-connection-and-spur-innovation

4Employees Seek Personal Value and Purpose at Work. Be Prepared to Deliver, by Jackie Wiles

https://www.gartner.com/en/articles/employees-seek-personal-value-and-purpose-at-work-be-prepared-to-deliver?utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedin&utm_campaign=SM_GB_YOY_GTR_SOC_SF1_SM-SWG&utm_content=&sf257805254=1

5Married to the job no more: Craving flexibility, parents are quitting to get it, by Aaron De Smet, Bonnie Dowling, Marino Mugayar-Baldocchi, and Joachim Talloen, McKinsey and Company

https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/people-and-organizational-performance/our-insights/married-to-the-job-no-more-craving-flexibility-parents-are-quitting-to-get-it

6FUTURE DISRUPTED – Key trends driving future of work, by Mihaly Nagy, HR Congress

https://www.bigmarker.com/the-hr-congress/Future-Disrupted-Key-work-trends-driving-future-of-work

7Employee experience and employee preferences: Managing these two areas could provide a solution for labour shortages, by Robert Bencze and Andras Marmarosi

https://www.pwc.com/hu/en/services/people_and_organisation/evp/evp_kiadvany_en.pdf

 8Employee Experience, by Gallup Workplace, Gallup

https://www.gallup.com/workplace/242252/employee-experience.aspx

9THE HR CONGRESS WORLD SUMMIT

https://worldsummit.hr-congress.com/

10Employee engagement in the new world of work, by Farai Mugabe, HR Congress

https://hr-congress.com/2022/03/25/employee-engagement-in-the-new-world-of-work/

11Talent@Work – Reimagining Talent Management, by HR Congress,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZ3fl3CmaT4

12Your supplier’s talent is also your talent: Exploring talent possibilities across and beyond organizational boundaries, by Farai Mugabe, HR Congress

https://hr-congress.com/2022/06/14/your-suppliers-talent-is-also-your-talent-exploring-talent-possibilities-across-and-beyond-organizational-boundaries/

13KPMG offers a salary raise to meet changing employee expectations

https://hr-congress.com/2022/05/24/kpmg-offers-a-salary-raise-to-meet-changing-employee-expectations/

14Redesigning work for a hybrid future, by Alexia Cambon and Graham Waller, Gartner

https://www.tsae.org/public/upload/files/general/Gartners_Future_of_Work_Ebook.pdf

15A Playbook for the Culture Agenda: Why, What, and How, by Dave Ulrich, HR Congress

https://hr-congress.com/2022/05/03/a-playbook-for-the-culture-agenda-why-what-and-how/

16Flexible work, by Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Australian Government 

https://www.wgea.gov.au/flexible-work

 17Workplace Flexibility: Take control of letting go, by Deloitte 

https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/human-capital/solutions/workplace-flexibility-services.html

18Employee engagement in the new world of work, by Farai Mugabe, HR Congresshttps://hr-congress.com/2022/03/25/employee-engagement-in-the-new-world-of-work/

Written by: Farai Mugabe

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