Devin FosterNovember 25, 2020
Topics: Employee Experience

The Wow Factor: How to Build an Awesome Company Culture – Remotely [VIDEO]

A strong employer brand can reduce turnover by 28 percent and cost-per-hire by 50 percent, according to a recent LinkedIn research project.

Resolution for 2021? Explore fresh approaches to creating a culture that resonates with employees and job candidates, even while many of us are all still working from home, or another place outside the office.

We dug into this topic on last week’s episode of Talent Experience Live with Alex Her, Global Employer Brand Manager at Informatica. Get inspired by his different approach to reinforce an authentic employer brand, boost morale, and attract best-fit candidates, as well as tips from Dan Eggimann, Product Manager at Phenom, on how to spotlight your employer brand.

What are some of the biggest differences you’re seeing related to company culture?

The industry and economy as a whole had been heading in the direction of a work-from-home model, according to Her's view, and the pandemic accelerated the move.

With employees working from home rather in a traditional office environment, camaraderie has had to pivot from an office cubicle to virtual platforms, like pinging coworkers on Slack or jumping on a quick Zoom call. The shift means finding new ways to bring employees together, maintain a sense of family, and keep engagement strong.

How can companies differentiate their employee experience right now?

In the absence of fun office “toys” like pool tables, foosball, and beer fridges, companies should be thinking about how to show they care about employees’ wellbeing.

Ideas for more meaningful perks include:

  • Free workout classes
  • Gift cards to food delivery services like GrubHub, Uber Eats, or Door Dash
  • Compensation for mobile service and/or home internet
  • Online learning opportunities

“These might not be the ‘sexy’ perks, but they can help the employee and the organization,” Her said.

How has the mindset of employees and leadership shifted in response to workplace changes?

Her said he perceived a mindset change even before the Covid-19 pandemic: Job candidates and employees were shifting away from being dazzled by amazing in-office perks to a desire for employers to value them as individuals.

Job seekers today want more out of a relationship with their employer.

Now, it’s about giving people a chance to be experts. And, Her noted, people want to feel that they can “bring all of themselves” – including individual and family needs – to the table and see what the company can do for them.

Have you seen any great examples of remote events that have boosted employee morale and camaraderie?

Maintaining a sense of belonging has been a major challenge in an all-virtual workplace. In the second month of the pandemic, Her’s office hosted a virtual happy hour and put a different spin on it by using Zoom’s breakout session feature to offer a range of activities: games, DJ music, even themed conversation sessions about interests like arts and crafts.

His company also started a blog on which employees can share pictures and stories about their pets, which Her said has been well-received.

What can we learn from approaches taken by various companies that faced workforce changes early in the pandemic?

We had a chance to see how badly things could go versus how well they could go, Her said. Even when companies are forced to do layoffs or furloughs, they can do it in a sensitive, respectful way, making extra efforts to help laid-off employees find new work.

Sending the message that you care and still consider former employees part of the family can help preserve the employer brand. Also, transparency is a must – there’s no sense in trying to keep information like this under wraps in today’s always-connected world.

As circumstances continue to evolve, how can leaders support their people?

Be open to change. Realize that core values may have been developed early in the company’s life span and might need an update to reflect current employee and customer needs.

Listen to your people. ”Give them a mic. Give them a town hall,” Her said. Encouraging an open dialogue to discover what’s best for your employees is a far better approach than making assumptions.

You can follow Alex Her on LinkedIn. He also contributes to the Employer Brandwagon, a site that shares news and insights from global branding leaders.

Employer Brand: How to Use Your Career Site for Maximum Impact

As a product manager with Phenom, Dan Eggimann’s goal is to give companies the tools they need to spotlight the most unique value propositions of their employer brand.

If you’ve been inspired to shake things up in 2021, check out his tips on creating an employer brand that will resonate with candidates and effective ways to communicate your brand digitally.

Can you share a client success story?

A Phenom client that recently revamped its brand story and career site saw a staggering 140 percent increase in applications, Eggimann said. The rebrand focused on communicating the far-reaching impacts of the company’s product lines (which include several household names used by millions of people around the world).

The message to candidates – that working at the company means they’re changing lives for the better around the globe – really resonated thanks to consistent placement on the career site and in digital touches along the candidate journey.

What are the most effective ways to use video?

That video has become a must-have for talent recruitment is pretty much undisputed at this point. Video content has shown to be two to three times more engaging than text and images, Eggimann said. Here are the most modern ways to use video to show your employer brand:

  • Video must be authentic. That means using day-in-the life videos from the perspective of employees as well as footage from hiring managers and executive staff.
  • Leverage video across the career site and candidate lifecycle. For example, rather than the typical phone call or email to present a job offer, consider doing it on video.

What’s the most important takeaway for talent managers planning to revamp their employer brand and career site in 2021?

Focus on the one thing about your brand that you want candidates to understand, and build the site, content and processes around that, Eggimann said.

Companies often make the mistake of trying to communicate too many brand points to candidates at the same time, which waters down the whole message. So find that one differentiating aspect of your employer brand and make sure that it’s reflected across the entire candidate lifecycle, from the job description page to the homepage, through the interview process right up to the job offer. Then carry it through onboarding and into the employee lifecycle.

Looking for more inspiration? See how we communicate our own employer brand – visit Careers at Phenom People online!

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