Employer Branding

Creating a Worker-Friendly Culture

Employer Branding - Creating a Worker-Friendly Culture

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An inspiring work environment will attract the brightest and best candidates.

Ask many people under 40 whether Google is one of the best companies on the planet, and they're likely to answer "Absolutely!"


Well, most of us have heard the stories about Google's fun work environment. For example, at their Zurich engineering headquarters, if you want to get to the lower level, you can walk down the stairs… but it's much more fun to take the slide. Need some lunch? You get free gourmet meals in the cafeteria. And if you're planning a meeting with a colleague, why sit in a boring conference room when you can discuss ideas while playing a game of pool?

Google, and many other companies, know how powerful employer branding is when trying to attract and retain key talent. After all, if you make your company a great place to work, then you probably won't have to go out and look for great people – they'll come to you.

So how can your organization use employer branding to attract and keep a great workforce? You may not be Google, but we'll show you some ideas that can work for you.

What Is Employer Branding?

Employer branding is the way people perceive your company as a place to work.

As such, it's all about your organization's story and culture. It's your reputation, and that reputation tells potential job candidates what their experience might be like if they come to work for you. It's the reason why people should work for you instead of your competition.

In short, if your reputation, story, and culture are appealing and attractive, people will be more likely to want to work for you.

When employer brands are created effectively, they can take on a life of their own. Google is a good example, but many other companies and small firms have made a name for themselves simply by treating their workers like gold.

There are three main parts of an employer brand:

  1. Physical benefits – These are the advantages and bonuses you give your team – like great health care insurance, competitive salaries, a safe workplace, or a beautiful office environment.
  2. Emotional connectivity – These are the benefits that come from a positive corporate culture. Some examples include the pride your staff feels because they work for a socially conscious company, or their gratitude and appreciation that you offer paid days off to allow them to do volunteer work.
  3. Belief – Belief happens when your team truly starts to get involved with the company, and they believe in their hearts that they're part of something great. When they start to believe, then your company's reputation will grow and spread.

Benefits of Employer Branding

Most companies are starting to understand that the old, traditional style of management doesn't work as well as it used to. People today are looking for flexibility and a better work/life balance. They want to be fulfilled emotionally as well as financially. They want their work to mean something, and to have some value.

As an employer, you can use all of these wants and needs to shape your corporate culture. After all, your people are usually your most valuable asset: if you give them an open, friendly place to work, then they'll probably perform at their best for you and the company.

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There are several benefits to having a good employer brand:

  • Talented people come to you – If your company builds a reputation as a fun, worker-friendly organization, then you probably won't have to spend as much time and money trying to find key talent. The best people will come looking for you.
  • Your best people want to stay – Having a great employer brand means that you'll be able to retain your best workers. When team members love their company and feel good about the corporate culture, then they're less likely to look elsewhere for something better.
  • Customer service and vendor relations are better – When company staff are happy, customers and vendors are usually happy as well. You might even see your sales improve, because customers often like to spend money with a company that treats its workers well.
  • Your staff is more productive – When the corporate culture is fun and exciting, people usually want to come to work, so they tend to take fewer sick days. And productivity will improve because workers are more focused and truly care if the company does well.

Key Points

Employer branding is your company's reputation and image as a place to work. When you create a strong employer brand, you can attract key talent and retain your best staff. A company with a great culture allows staff to feel connected and fulfilled at work – and when that happens, they're less likely to look for something better at another company.

Understand what your workers want and need – this is key to successful employer branding. When you know why someone should work for you and not your competition, then you're on your way to building a great employer brand.

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Comments (8)
  • Over a month ago Dianna wrote
    That's what my experience tells me. I think it's just much harder to move a larger object all at once versus moving bits of it at a time and getting it all to the same destination over time. Not that it can't be done the other way however the magnitude of the job and the type of resources and effort required are just that much more.

    I'm interested to hear how you progress with this. And also what other people in your team think - you will certainly need their support in this.

  • Over a month ago pallen wrote
    Thanks Dianna,
    I'll explore the links and go from there. I guess it is a case of starting the fire at the grass roots level and gently feeding it.
  • Over a month ago Dianna wrote
    Hi pallen – I couldn’t agree with you more! Changing cultures at very large institutions is indeed a massive endeavor that can take years of strong, unified effort. In larger organizations I believe this type of change can best be done at the team and/or departmental level. So you don't even think about changing the organization and you instead focus on changing what you can for the people directly around you. There will likely be organizational policies and issues that block a few of your efforts however there are lots of things you can do make a difference on a small scale. And the nice thing about positive change is it is infectious. Other teams and departments will start to hear about what you are doing, best practices will develop and spread and this, in my experience, is how real change happens in these type of large organizations.

    We have an interesting article on changing people’s habits (http://www.mindtools.com/community/pages/article/newPPM_65.php ) which has a good checklist of areas to examine when you are looking to infuse fun and friendly behaviors into your workplace. And we just posted this book insight on 99 Ways To Influence Change ( viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5493 ) which I'm sure will have some inspiring tips as well.

    Are things that come to mind that you could start doing within your work group? Is there perhaps another person in your department who could help you champion the change?

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