Insights to Inform Your Employer Brand Strategy

Alyse Matteson, Implementation & Marketing SpecialistCulture, Employee Engagement, Employer BrandLeave a Comment

Your organization’s employer brand and value proposition might not be the first thing you think of when running an employee engagement survey. And, arguably, it shouldn’t be. But that doesn’t mean that the data and insights you gain from the process can’t also serve a dual purpose and inform how you position yourself as a great place to work. After all, your results highlight unique aspects of your culture and work environment straight from the source - your people.

What exactly is an employee value proposition?

Similar to value propositions leveraged to market consumer products by highlighting their worth and impact, the employee value proposition captures what your team “gets out of” their employment, meaning what they gain in return for their time, talent and contributions. This message is communicated through an employer brand strategy that paints the bigger picture of why your company is a great place to work.

Effective employer brand strategies are useful in attracting and retaining talent. And, in today’s world, the lines between a company’s corporate brand and its reputation as a workplace are intertwined. We expect to know who we’re doing business with on a deeper level and to respect an organization from the inside out. Furthermore, the values that shape a culture are embodied in both the employee and the client experience.

Take a moment to think about it. Who do you choose to buy from and why? How many times have you heard “I hear they have an awesome culture” – or the opposite, “I hear they’re awful to work for” – when discussing companies of note?

The key to effectiveness with an employer value proposition is authenticity. The claims you make about your workplace and the value you deliver to employees must be grounded in truth and backed up by employees’ experiences. This is where survey data comes in.

Any question that provides insight into the unique elements of your company’s culture, work environment or benefits can help you identify the areas where you are excelling and can set the framework for your brand strategy.

3 Ways to Use Survey Results to Reinforce Your Employer Brand 
Put It In Their Words 

Leverage the words your employees use to describe your company, its culture or your work environment. This will give authenticity to what you’re saying and also demonstrate that your organization values feedback and gives voice to its people.

Sample Questions:

  • What three words would you use to describe our company culture?
  • What do you value most about working at our company?

Next Steps:

  • Consider using a word cloud or other graphic visualization to display the information.
  • Highlight testimonials that speak to the strengths that surfaced in your survey.
Feature the ‘Top Reasons to Work at Your Company’

Include a question asking employees to rank what they value most about working for your company or have them provide their own responses. Ask questions that help define your work environment, culture, benefits and opportunities.  

Sample Questions:

  • Which benefits matter most to you?
  • Why do you choose to work here?
  • Do you feel our company fosters an inclusive and supportive work environment? If so, what factors contribute most to this?
  • I have career progression and advancement opportunities at our company.
  • I am able to be myself at work.
  • I am able to maintain a healthy balance between my work life and my home life.
  • The organization is supportive of well-being.

Next Steps:

  • Filter out the most common reasons and communicate these back internally, as well as externally.
  • Include these items in the messaging on your careers website, in recruiting materials and as talking points in the interview process.
  • Feature employee stories that exemplify the themes that surfaced as strengths.
  • Create a culture video that highlights the reasons your company is a great place to work.
Showcase Engagement Metrics

Celebrate the areas where your employees say you are doing well by producing infographics that highlight the results from the survey.

Sample Questions:

  • I would recommend this company to a friend as a great place to work.
  • Do you intend to stay at our company for the next 12 months?

Next Steps:

  • Highlight responses to high-scoring questions (ex: 90% of employees say they are able to achieve their career goals at our company) in infographics on your careers website, on your intranet and in recruiting materials. 

Finally, an employer brand is never finished – it’s always evolving. It’s important to continually measure progress and to take action where it matters most to employees. An employee engagement survey is a great way to check in annually, but the most effective strategies help companies listen on an ongoing basis, providing opportunities to course correct in real-time and to continually improve the employee experience.