How To Strengthen Your Employer Branding With Internal Communication

A positive and strong employer brand is important for organizations. Your employer brand reflects your reputation, popularity, visibility, and viability in the employment marketplace. It also increases brand awareness, helps to attract and retain customers, and distinguishes your organization from its competitors. However, it may be hard for your organization to obtain a strong employer brand if your employees do not recognize the image you present externally. Your organization’s image is thus strongly determined by your reputation as an employer and how you treat your employees. Employer branding may partly be a strategy to attract new talent – it starts and ends with your employees. To strengthen your employer branding, internal communication will prove a helpful tool!

What is an employer brand?

An employer brand involves the business marketplace’s perception of your company as an employer. It also reflects what you offer employees in return for their talents, skills, and experience. Simply said: how you market your organization as an employer for which job seekers and current employees want to work. Employer branding is about advertising your organization’s unique cultural differentiators to help you market your organization to desired job seekers and strengthening them to position yourself as a ‘great place to work’.

What is the value of a strong employer brand?

An employer brand may not be perceived as equally important as the broader definition of ‘brand’, but it is critical to every organization’s success. Nowadays, a company’s reputation matters more than ever. A powerful and positive employer brand is important for two main reasons:
– It will increase the probability your employees stay with your organization
– It will help you attract a wider group of applicants

An array of studies recognizes these advantages of a positive employer brand and, therewith, the importance of employer branding. A 2018 Randstad study found that 86 percent of employees would not apply for, or continue to work for, a company that has a bad reputation with former employees or the general public. Additionally, a good employer brand can reduce turnover rates by 28 percent. And 75 percent of job seekers are more inclined to apply to a job if the organization in question actively manages its employer brand.

Internal communication to strengthen your employer brand

Establishing an engaged, unified organizational culture in the modern globalized business marketplace is a growing challenge and a priority for many organizations. You have an organizational culture regardless of whether you have put the effort in to outline your values clearly or not. So why not put in the effort and outline your organizational culture? It will help you attract people that will be a better fit for your organization and your organization’s culture.

Additionally, a strong brand impacts whether top talents will decide to join your organization – or accept a competitor’s offer instead. You have an employer brand regardless of whether you have put work into it or not … So why not put work into it and make sure it’s at least a brand you can be proud of?

Your internal communication channels can prove valuable tools when you work to boost your employer brand. They can help you create a common culture, empower your employees to become advocates for your organization, and amplify your unique cultural differentiators that make your organization an amazing place to work:

1. Communicate who your employees are and what they do

Reduce physical and emotional distance between employees in different departments or locations by communicating about operations and accomplishments. For example: if employees work on sustainability projects for your organization, share this through your internal communication channels. These are efforts that can make your employees proud to work for your organization.

Make sure to update these achievements and operations regularly through multiple communication channels. This will result in a positive virtual culture that includes all employees within your organization. Employees who may never speak or come together in person will become aware of where your organization is headed. They will see who their colleagues are and what they do to contribute to the organization’s success, and how they fit into the bigger picture. This way, you ensure that every employee feels informed, included, and engaged.

2. Communicate your mission, vision, and values

Understanding a company’s mission helps employees answer ‘yes’ to the question ‘Do I belong here?’. Research by Gallup shows that ensuring employees have opportunities to do what they are best at every day and emphasizing mission and purpose are the two most decisive factors for retaining Millennials, Generation Xers, and Baby Boomers. Mission-driven organizations have 40 percent higher levels of retention.

An omnichannel communication platform can be used to publish your organization’s mission and values and repeatedly bring them to your employees’ attention. Publishing them through various channels ensures they are continuously highlighted for every employee, keeping them ‘front of mind’, and tying them to your employees’ daily tasks. Spreading them keeps them visible – and helps to retain your employees.

3. Build a brand your employees recognize and love

Your external brand is typically defined: it will have its own logo, set of colors, fonts, key statements, look and feel. So why shouldn’t your internal brand have this, too? A noteworthy identity will help your internal brand stick and tie that ‘meaning’ to your employees’ everyday tasks. Employer branding starts within your organization by building a strong brand identity alongside a strong organizational culture. Ensure your employees recognize your internal brand in every communication, so they feel part of something bigger every time you communicate with them.

Good employers outline a clear image of their internal and external brand and interline these with their organizational culture. Defining your organization’s culture isn’t easy and requires multiple employees from all departments and organizational levels. From front line to top management, every employee in your organization must be able to identify with your culture. To achieve this, you must use feedback from every corner of your organization. Once you all agree on the outlined cultural differentiators, you can start working on employer branding that aligns with your organizational culture.

Employees should be aware of their organization’s mission and vision, know how they contribute to their organization’s success, and understand how people collaborate and interact with each other. Ensure your external brand aligns with your internal brand, so employees have the same positive experience your clients have. They will be more likely to advocate for your business externally and help you attract new talent that fits your organization.

Would you like to boost your employer branding and see how internal communication can strengthen your employer brand? Get in touch with our consultants; they are happy to explain what internal communication can do for your organization’s employer brand!

About the author

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Youri Cortenraad

Youri is a connector heart and soul. That's why he understands why organizations are so eager to connect with their employees - and knows how best to do so. He likes to use his knowledge to help organizations strengthen the relationship with their employees through internal communication.