Does Your Brand Communication Strategy Include Employees?
Companies are made of people. The successful ones are made of the right people — people who share core values and can thrive within their role and contribute to the company’s future. If an effective brand communication strategy understands that the customer relationship exists before and extends beyond the decision to engage with your company, a successful talent acquisition and retention strategy takes a similarly thoughtful approach to the employee experience.
An employee value proposition can bridge the gap between your talent strategy and brand communication strategy — here’s how.
Employee value propositions:
- Identify and celebrate the shared core values that define your company culture
- Align with your existing brand story and style guidelines
- Differentiate your company from other employers in a crowded job market
- Deliver key messages for each stage of the employee lifecycle from recruitment through offboarding
- Provide guidance on the practical application of the employee value proposition to content creation
Human resources departments are creating more content than ever, from email communications across the employee lifecycle to job posts, digital ad copy and more. You may already have style guidelines that inform your strategic brand communications, but an employee value proposition provides your HR, leadership and management teams with a useful messaging framework. And that framework can help them create content that fosters meaningful connections with candidates who matter and transforms employees into important brand champions, even after the working relationship ends.
The Employee Value Proposition Aligns Human Resources, Marketing Communication and Brand Strategy
The employee experience includes everything people encounter, observe and feel throughout the employee journey — and investing in it can increase retention and productivity. Organizations that want to deliver big on employee experience — and activate the potential of their greatest resource — must be able to clearly articulate why employees should choose to work with them.
“96 percent of talent professionals say employee experience is becoming more important.” —LinkedIn, Global Talent Trends 2020 Report
Brand and style guides can do a great job of conveying your company’s story and value, but they often focus primarily on external communications and audiences. Your brand guide probably has all the information the marketing team needs to communicate with your customers, but it may be an incomplete resource for human resources and talent teams tasked with delivering a meaningful employee experience and creating effective, engaging content.
Ultimately, an employee value proposition will coexist alongside your brand guidelines and complement your strategic brand communications. And it will drive recruitment and engagement efforts by providing your human resources and communications teams with a functional tool that can help them create content that connects with the people who matter most — your people.
A Well-Constructed Brand Communication Strategy Meets Well-Crafted Internal Communications
PCL Construction is an industry leader with a strong brand identity, clear style guidelines, and a winning company culture. But they were also experiencing a major organizational dilemma: human resources leaders were struggling to unite under a shared understanding of how to best communicate with a key internal audience — prospective, current and former employees.
They needed a foundational — and functional — messaging document that could separate the company from other employers, reflect the diversity of available career opportunities and unify human resources teams working in distinct districts across North America. And they needed it to align with existing brand standards. It was an important project that would require the expertise of a creative branding agency and PCL tapped Communications Strategy Group’s (CSG®) content and creative services team to take the lead on crafting their employee value proposition.
We started by immersing ourselves in the PCL Construction brand. We studied their brand book, examined their existing marketing collateral and we listened to the voices and stories of their team members. That foundational work enabled our writers to craft a custom brand manifesto, messaging pillars, and matrices that could speak to prospective, current and former employees.
It was no easy feat. PCL’s employee base is highly segmented and specialized. It includes skilled labor and craftspeople, corporate and administrative professionals, and students and recent graduates. But the process was made easier by our investment in understanding the PCL brand as well as PCL’s fundamental understanding of who they are as a brand.
Together, we built a unique employee value proposition that crystalized what only seasoned PCLers knew: PCL Construction is an organization that somehow exists as an industry leader without losing sight of the people that make it possible. Now, that intangible feeling of family, support and opportunity has been given language. And the story of what it means to be a PCLer is as well-defined as the story of what PCL does for its clients.
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