By Harsh Pamnani
In an organisation, vision flows from top to bottom, but the performance flows from bottom to top. For example, the CEO would define the annual revenue target, which will get divided at the business unit levels, followed by project level targets. Suppose employees working on these projects are not able to perform in their respective roles and don’t deliver expected outcomes. In that case, the vision of the leader will remain limited to his PowerPoint presentation. To turn vision into reality, an organisation needs the right set of employees. However, without a good employer brand, hiring and retaining top employees is extremely difficult and highly expensive. To attract talented employees, a company has to convince them that it is the best workplace.
Many companies think that they can attract employees by demonstrating their authority and positioning themselves as heroes in their industry. They brag about themselves, communicate too much about their numbers, awards, and clients. However, people won’t care how great your company is until they know how it takes care of them. Many companies think that by paying salaries, organising pizza parties, and providing basic training, they take care of their employees. But that’s a mistake. Achievers look for working at places that could make them feel like heroes of their own short story. Let’s have a look at a few strategies that could help you in creating an attractive employer brand:
Facilitate overall development
Every employee would like to become a better version of himself or herself. Staying fit and healthy plays a significant role in rational decision-making and productivity improvement. To encourage fitness, PolicyBazaar arranges sports meets for its employees annually and fosters them to take part in various sporting events in and around the city. Apart from this, the company has in house fitness trainers to drive its employees to take care of their fitness and nutrition goals.
Employees who want to grow in their careers want to expand their knowledge about the business as a whole. Zoomcar promotes cross-training culture so that employees in one function are well aware of the work of different functions. This approach is also beneficial for the business. By getting a holistic perspective, employees can link their goals to the company’s broader mission and figure out collaboration opportunities with other teams. The best business results come through collaboration, and within an organisation, collaboration happens when co-workers understand each other’s challenges and empathize with each other.
Empathize and reward performance
When employers empathize with employees and recognise them for their achievements, employees feel good and consider themselves as valuable members of the company. Rising satisfaction among employees leads to a higher rate of customer satisfaction.
BigBasket has thousands of blue-collared employees, including packers, stackers, delivery boys, etc. Many of them come from rural India. For them, clean drinking water, safety, and hygiene are important. For them, the company provides dormitory-style accommodation and shared apartments. Any employee who has spent more than 12 months at the company is eligible for educational assistance (reimbursement for school and college fees, books, etc.) for themselves and their families.
From the recognition perspective, every month, the company recognises the top 20% of employees in each region and rewards them for their performance, and sends the bottom 20% for re-training. The company also has a biannual award BB Rockstar given to the top 30 employees across the country. BB Rockstars are flown to the corporate office in Bangalore to attend the Annual Day, where they are called upon the stage amidst thunderous applause. Interestingly, even the families of Rockstars are invited to the award event.
Encourage the flow of ideas from employees
Due to their pre-defined assumptions, many employers make their employees victims of their defined titles. But, achievers are not driven by title. Instead, they are driven by the desire to make an impact.
Along with the regular business functions, Josh Talks has created a special project team that is responsible for building new properties, conceptualising new ideas, and taking them to a logical conclusion. To facilitate the flow of innovative ideas from its employees, the company has created an experiment group where employees share new ideas. To attract new ideas, every idea by employees is listened irrespective of its quality or practicality. To avoid the blame game, the company has made it mandatory that a certain number of ideas in the experiment group have to fail every quarter.
Create a respectable and positive work environment
Employees who feel respected and work in an environment that reflects positivity are more grateful to their employers. They perform better individually, cooperate with their colleagues, and happily take direction from their leaders.
In the Indian caste system, cobblers are placed at the bottom of the social system. But by valuing their talent and love for leather, Hidesign has turned them into the finest pool of skilled leather workers in the world. When people think about leather factories, mostly the unclean working environment’s images appear in their minds. But Hidesign’s factory campus is green. It is surrounded by ponds, and waterfalls. Lunch time is pretty much outdoors, under the trees, sitting on rock benches and tables. Besides, no workspace holds more than 100 people at a given time so that there is a plentiful tidy workspace for every worker.
Turn your alumni into ambassadors
You never know, your former employees could become your brand ambassadors at highly networked places. Their word of mouth at these places could attract clients, partners, and top-notch talent. Epigamia runs a unique two-year program in which youngsters join the company to work with the CEO office directly. In this period, they work as CEO’s ears and eyes on the ground and get exposure to various aspects of running an FMCG business. With this rich exposure, many program participants get into business schools, get jobs in FMCG companies, or grow within Epigamia. Some of the alumni of this program have gone on to work for venture capital funds like Verlinvest and Sequoia, while others are attending business schools such as INSEAD and London Business School.
Inspire employees to solve large problems
People need to feel they are doing something worthwhile beyond just making money. ShareChat is India’s largest vernacular social network. Because of the company’s mission to shape the social media experience of millions of Indians coming online for the first time, ShareChat’s co-founders were able to attract many IITians who already had lucrative job offers. As the vernacular social network is an evolving concept, the number of problem statements in the company is always more than the number of team members. Working on these first-time problems and the feeling of working on India’s answer to global behemoths like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, keep the team members motivated.
So, where do we go from here? The HR department of your company can implement initiatives that could help employees grow in their life, and feel respected and recognised. You never know, your HR department could come up with initiatives similar or better than the ones shared above. Once your HR department implements these initiatives, they could collaborate with the internal communication team to capture and craft employee transformation stories. These stories could be communicated at internal and external forums. People love listening and sharing stories. When your employees and outsiders will spread these stories, your employer brand will grow.
The writer is author of the book ‘Booming Brands’. (Views expressed are personal and don’t necessarily represent any company’s opinions.)