Many companies start their employer branding strategy from outside in, creating a communication approach, then activities, planning to deliver the messages and generating leads of talents.
Sometimes there is a mismatch between what they communicate and what the reality in the company is. In such cases, the newly recruited talents might not stay long…
Because this is not genuine employer brand … It is a made up one.
So, where is the starting point for building a good employer brand?
Our lovely CEO Maria Gergova-Bengtsson shares her thoughts on the topic.
Here is my discovery. The genuine employer brand starts with developing genuine company values. Shared by all. Loved by all. Lived by all.
Core values are five to seven shared beliefs that are bone-deep. These are the essential and enduring tenants of the business, that are not to be compromised for financial gain or short-term expediency.
I would like to share our story of discovering and growing the UP company values, driven by our desire to live and work in harmony while producing great results for our clients.
All started with an exercise of discovering our top five shared values. We had a drawing of a person representing the UPerson. Everybody was supposed to write down the top five behaviors they admire in colleagues on a post-it and then stick it somewhere on the drawing of the UPerson. At the end we selected those top five behaviors that repeated the most.
This lead to our discovery – five words that would unite us, that will guide us for hiring and firing, for making daily decisions, for living a good life at work, for building our Employer brand that will attract talents with similar values, talents that will make our team stronger and better.
Many companies stop here – defining the five values and hanging them on the wall in the office.
But we didn’t stop here. To grow the employer brand, we needed to make those company values come to life – with text, visuals, video and cool activations.
We did a storytelling workshop with all team members to create the texts, that describe those values in an attractive energetic way. So when someone reads it and shares similar values, he or she instinctively wants to become part of such a group.
Positivity: We see the glass half full, not half empty
We have a family-like atmosphere created by fun and friendships. We face every challenge with positivity and conviction that we will excel! We never let difficulties or a sudden change in circumstances bring us down. We chase our (and our clients’) goals with determination and positive attitude – because we are problem solvers!
Innovation: Creating and Thinking Forward
We are adventurous and creative! We challenge the status quo. If there is a better way, we’ll find it. We are excited by new inventions and thrilled to find and try the latest ones. We always aim to improve and make life better for our clients, and for ourselves.
Learning: We are Curios Creatures
Being curios and hungry for knowledge moves us and our clients forward. Learning is our commitment to constantly improving and growing: personally and collectively. We inspire others to learn and grow.
Reliability: Count on me
We are trustworthy, we know how to keep promises and sustain a constant performance. We are not just a group of professionals, we are friends who thrust and believe in each other. We are strong team powered by mutual thrust. We keep every promise we make, and make only promises we can keep.
Passion: Love my job
We’re madly in love with everything we do. We wake up excited to create and deliver. We’re passionate about making a positive impact in the world using our craft.
During the last few years I learned an important lesson – you can teach your team members professional skills, but you can’t change their values.
If we let people who are performing really well on the numbers, but aren’t aligned or are actively breaching the values and the deeply held beliefs of the leaders in the organization, we are going to have a toxic culture.
We’re going to have a place where no one wants to work. We might be able to pay the bills, but no one wants to work there.
Good employer brand requires good company culture.