Successful employer brands tell their culture story from the inside out, and the best storytellers are your people.
When you can tell the story of your company culture through the genuine experiences of your employees, your employer branding is “inside-out.” Because, if employees are having a great experience, you don’t need to search any further than your own people to establish an authentic and sustainable employer brand.
Recently, my colleague Raven Tolbert explained the importance of building a strong employer brand for attracting and retaining top talent, with some excellent advice from Fortune 100 Best Company to Work For® company, Atlassian.
Our research reveals that when employees like their company, they’re 149 times more likely to recommend their workplace to others – truly inside-out storytelling!
Here are four ways to communicate your employer brand from the inside out:
1. Share how employees are living out your company mission and values
Don’t bottle away how you ensure all employees experience your mission. Share the stories of how individual people are living out your values daily – beyond your company walls. Transparency brings strength and authenticity to what your organization projects to the world.
For the last 23 years, the Wegmans grocery store chain has been named to the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For. One of the company’s values is, “We care about the well-being and success of every person.”
We interviewed Wegmans about how they are protecting their frontline workers during the pandemic and it is clear that employee well-being is top-of-mind.
Extra breaks, daily team huddles, and making employee recognition part of every day are just a few ways the company protects employee wellbeing.
How Wegman’s values “the success of every person” can be told through the company’s Employee Scholarship Program.
Wegmans publicly announced, even amidst the pandemic, 1,842 new employee scholarship recipients in 2020. This brings their total of $5 million in tuition assistance to both new and returning scholarship recipients during the 2020–2021 school year.
After college, some of their scholarship winners pursue a new field, taking their Wegman’s experience with them. But many of Wegman’s grads choose to pursue a career within the organization.
Given our battle against a global pandemic during 2020, it is unsurprising that efforts to make workplaces safe were amongst the initiatives that employees appreciated the most. Likewise, it is heartening to note that Filipino employers went out of their way to ensure the safety of their people. The Trust Index© survey results show that these two statements are two of the highest scoring statements, with 97% and 96% of employees indicating their consistent positive experience of these issues at Philippines Best Workplaces™ 2021.
2. Partner with like-minded organizations
Each year, Great Place to Work sponsors the Black Joy Parade in Oakland, California – a yearly celebration of Black cultural influence on our past, present and future.
We look forward to this event each year because it lets us connect with our local community and people who share a mission similar to ours. That is, the mission to build a better world by helping organizations become great workplaces for all people.
Great Place to Work® Philippines is delighted to collaborate with our community of GPTW-Certified™ companies, in reaching out to disadvantaged communities and provide support to our fellow countrymen who were greatly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Focusing on our charity of choice, the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation, the GPTW community raised resources to support its Covid-19 response program, called ‘Educational Hub’ or ‘E-hub.’ These e-hubs provide students and teachers in the mangrove villages of Layag-Layag, Zamboanga with laptops, stable internet, printers and supplies that will cater to their educational needs despite the limitations the pandemic has brought.
3. Connect your brand ambassadors with the community
Often, it’s efforts at the grassroots level – where employees are serving their community or connecting with customers – that have the most lasting impact on your employer brand.
Restaurant chain MOD Pizza prioritizes employer branding by assembling an “All Star” team of enthusiastic hourly workers to travel the country to help open new restaurants and share its unique culture with new employees.
MOD Pizza also builds relationships between its teams and local nonprofits by donating their profits from the grand openings of new locations. They also donate profits from the week of Thanksgiving at locations all across the country.
The results of these efforts is that employees at MOD Pizza find genuine satisfaction in serving customers:
“What makes me love working here are the return customers,” said one MOD team member. “And putting a smile on their faces when you remember their usual order or just remembering their name.”
Even while committing great emphasis towards the wellbeing and needs of their staff, Philippines Best Workplace list-maker and now, Asia’s Best Small and Medium Workplace, Canva equally devoted as much energy towards assisting the community.
One of their most inspired initiatives was the provision of free Canva accounts for teachers and non-profits. With thousands of applications coming in daily, they already had 219,000 teachers and students signed up for their ‘Canva For Education’ and over 70,000 Non-Profits registered in their Canva for Nonprofits programs.
4. Empower your employees to amplify company award wins
There’s nothing more genuine than seeing employees express exuberance for their company’s success. Employees’ words of affirmation also validate the hard work you’ve done building your company culture.
For companies that have earned a Great Place to Work-Certification™ for their company culture, the sharing doesn’t need to stop with getting the branded badge.
Melanie Hopkins, our own social media maven, says that the secret is in simplicity. “The easier you make it, the more likely your employees are to amplify your messaging. Give them a photo and write some simple copy-and-paste text your employees can use on their social media to express their pride in your organization.”
We just celebrated our Certification Nation Day– a day when the entire Great Place to Work-Certified community came together on social media to recognize employees that drive culture forward and celebrate the tremendous accomplishment of getting #GPTWcertified. Check out how we celebrated this global event here.
Regardless of what stage your organization is at on the workplace culture journey, we invite you to consider how to tell the story of your journey through the experiences of your employees.
Lizelle Festejo Hsu is Director of Programs and Events at Great Place to Work®. She is responsible for the overall strategy and planning for the Great Place to Work For All Summit, where leaders from organizations come together to learn from one another and reaffirm how great workplaces for all are better for business, better for people and better for the world.