Why Employer Brand Projects Get Shelved at Implementation Stage
- Posted by: Ali Ayaz
- Category: Employer Brand Management
You have worked hard to define your candidate persona and develop your Employee Value Proposition (EVP)… And now you want to turn your value propositions into a genuine employee experience that is aligned with your brand’s messaging. After all, if you promised your employees that they’re the future or they can make a difference… They should experience that in your company. However, implementing these promises is not always a simple task, and many employer branding projects may be abandoned at this stage. Let’s examine the reasons behind this and explore ways to overcome these obstacles.
1- LACK OF CLEAR GOALS AND STRATEGY
Without clear goals and strategy, starting an employer branding project can be more challenging. It’s akin to embarking on a long journey without a map or destination in mind. While you may make some progress, you’re likely to encounter various obstacles and roadblocks, and you may not reach your intended destination.
When you start an employer branding project without clear goals and strategy, it’s easy for stakeholders to have different ideas about what they hope to achieve. As a result, project objectives can become misaligned, leading to confusion and frustration among team members and stakeholders. Without a clear understanding of the project’s objectives and desired outcomes, it’s difficult to make progress and achieve success.
Misalignment can also lead to stakeholders and team members becoming uncertain about what they’re working towards, causing delays, misunderstandings, and errors that can hinder the project’s progress and increase costs.
To avoid these pitfalls, it’s important to establish clear goals and strategy in employer branding projects. Here are some key elements to consider below.
1A- Have SMART objectives
The objectives & targets should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). By setting measurable objectives and targets, you’ll be able to track progress, measure success, and stay on track towards your intended destination. The KPIs and metrics should be aligned with your project objectives and outcomes. They will be used to track progress and measure success.
1B- Understand the target audience
Identifying target audience and key messaging helps you develop two concepts. First, a clear understanding of who you’re trying to reach. Second, what messages will resonate with that audience. By understanding your target audience and key messaging, you’ll be able to create more effective branding materials and campaigns.
1C- Track the big picture
A comprehensive project that includes all the key elements of your project; including objectives, targets, KPIs, and messaging, and a detailed timeline with milestones & deadlines will help you stay on track and manage the project effectively.
If you’re struggling to set clear goals and strategy for your project, start by conducting a comprehensive needs assessment and analysis. Your goal will be to understand the current state of your employer brand and identify areas for improvement. This should include reviewing your company’s values, culture, and mission, as well as analyzing your target audience, competition, and industry trends. You should also consider conducting stakeholder interviews and surveys to gain valuable insights and buy-in from key team members and stakeholders.
Next, establish a cross-functional project team that includes representatives from various departments. The best practice is to include marketing/communications and HR to ensure that all perspectives and areas of expertise are included in the process. This team can work together to develop a comprehensive project plan and timeline that outlines the key objectives, milestones, and deliverables for the employer branding project.
Finally, consider engaging an experienced agency or consultant with a proven track record in employer branding to provide additional expertise, support, and guidance throughout the process.
To make the steps easier to follow on the most efficient employer brand strategy, you can download the checklist here.
2- STATIC TOUCHPOINTS
If you set out with a slogan or tagline like “You are the future!”, then your employees should experience that they are the future. Or if you say “Come and make a difference!”, they should have ways to show their difference in your company.
While designing your actions according to your list of priorities, sometimes it will be enough to simply change the name of a practice. In other times, you might have to kill an existing practice and design a new one from scratch. For example, changing the name of an “assessment center” that causes a negative reaction, to “development center” can solve the problem without changing the essence of the job. Because people do not like to be assessed, but most of us like to develop ourselves.
To deliver what you promised with your EVP, during implementation, you should go through all the touchpoints and restructure according to your new EVP so that the employees and candidates experience it.
3- LACK OF EXECUTIVE BUY-IN
The success of an employer branding strategy is heavily dependent on executive buy-in, as it ensures that the employer branding strategy receives the necessary support to make a real impact:
- Resource allocation: An employer branding strategy requires investment, both in terms of time and resources. Executive buy-in ensures that the necessary resources are allocated to the employer branding strategy.
- Integration: The employer branding strategy needs to be integrated into the organization’s overall business strategy. Executive buy-in facilitates this integration, ensuring that the employer branding strategy aligns with the organization’s broader goals.
- Communication: The executive team has a significant impact on how the organization is perceived. Executive buy-in ensures that the messaging of the employer branding strategy is consistent with the overall organizational message.
In order to secure the executive buy-in, you may want to develop a strategy that is detailed below.
3A- Understand Executive Motivations and Objectives
You need to identify what matters most to them, what challenges they are facing, and how your project can help them overcome those challenges. By aligning your employer branding strategy with the executive team’s objectives, you will increase the likelihood of securing executive buy-in.
3B- Develop an Appealing Pitch
A compelling and persuasive pitch should highlight the benefits of the project. You can show how it aligns with the organization’s broader goals, and how it will impact the bottom line. You should also make it clear what resources you need and what the expected outcomes will be.
3C- Provide Detailed Financial and ROI Analysis
Executives want to see a clear return on investment. To secure their buy-in, you need to provide a detailed financial and ROI analysis. This analysis should include the cost of the employer branding strategy, the expected return on investment, and the timeline for achieving these results.
3D- Demonstrate the Benefits of Employer Branding
You need to clearly explain how employer branding can help attract, retain, and engage employees, increase productivity, and drive revenue growth. Use data and case studies to back up your claims.
3E- Establish Clear Processes and Communication Channels
With a plan that outlines the objectives, goals, and timelines of the employer branding strategy; you should also establish regular check-ins with the executive team to provide updates and discuss any concerns they may have. If possible, organize project launch meetings separately in each department, with the participation of top management. These meetings should be sincere, and people should be able to ask questions and leave by really understanding what’s going on.
4- OTHER DEPARTMENTS ARE RELUCTANT TO HELP
Employer branding projects require a cross-functional approach, with the Branding and HR teams working closely together to implement the employer brand project successfully. Failure to communicate and coordinate effectively can lead to misunderstandings, delays, and ultimately the shelving of the project.
When you start a new project, other departments may be reluctant to help, as they believe it will increase their workload. To avoid this, you need to involve your top management team in the launch of the project, and explain how it will help with their business strategy, as well as show the functional benefits of the project.
Another reason is that people, by their nature, are resistant to change. Implementing an employer brand project can bring about changes in the organization’s culture, policies, and processes. Resistance to change from stakeholders, including employees, can lead to the project’s failure.
When employees do not fully understand the purpose and benefits of employer branding, it may cause huge pitfalls. This lack of knowledge can lead to skepticism and a fear of the unknown. Employees may feel uncertain about how employer branding initiatives will affect their roles and responsibilities. This fear can lead to resistance to change, particularly if employees believe that the changes will negatively impact their jobs. Additionally, employees may feel comfortable with the current way of doing things and be resistant to change. Furthermore, his attachment to the status quo can make it challenging to implement new employer branding initiatives.
For overcoming resistance to change in employer branding, you may want to implement the following strategy.
4A- Communicate the Benefits of the Change
Clear communication is essential in overcoming resistance to change. Employers should communicate the purpose and benefits of employer branding initiatives to their employees. This can help employees understand the need for change and how it will benefit them.
4B- Educate Employees About the Changes
Employers should educate their employees about the changes they are implementing. This education can be in the form of training sessions, informational videos, or one-on-one meetings. Providing employees with the necessary information can help alleviate fears and concerns.
4C- Involve Employees in the Change Process
Involving employees in the change process can make them feel valued and invested in the changes. Employers should seek feedback from their employees and involve them in the decision-making process whenever possible.
4D- Provide Training and Support
Employers should provide employees with the necessary training and support to implement employer branding initiatives. This can help employees feel more comfortable with the changes and enable them to succeed in their roles.
4E- Address Concerns and Objections
Employers should address employees’ concerns and objections about employer branding initiatives. They should listen to their employees’ feedback and address any issues that arise. By doing so, employers can create a culture of openness and trust.
4F- Celebrate Successes Along the Way
Celebrating successes along the way can help build momentum and keep employees motivated. Employers should recognize and reward employees who contribute to the success of employer branding initiatives.
4G- Lead by Example
Employers should lead by example and embrace the changes they are implementing. By doing so, they can inspire their employees to follow suit and fully support the employer branding initiatives.
5- LACK OF EMPLOYEE BUY-IN
Employer brand projects are not just about creating external messaging and visuals. It is equally important to engage employees and get their buy-in to the new employer brand. Without employee engagement, the project can fail to gain traction and momentum. If employees do not understand the purpose of the project and how it benefits them, they may not be supportive, causing the project to lose momentum and ultimately be shelved. To avoid this, it’s important to start by engaging employees and explaining the importance of the project, the expected outcomes, and the benefits they can expect to receive.
5A- Engagement is top priority
To build a successful employer brand, it’s essential to have engaged employees. Engaged employees are those who feel connected to the organization and its mission. They are enthusiastic about their work, and they feel invested in the organization’s success. Engaged employees can serve as brand ambassadors, spreading the word about the organization’s culture and values. When employees are engaged in the employer branding process, they are more likely to feel ownership of the brand and to represent it accurately.
On the other hand, the causes of disengagement can vary. Common factors include a lack of recognition or support, poor communication, and low morale. Disengaged employees can harm the employer brand by speaking negatively about the organization or failing to represent the brand accurately. Later on, this can lead to a damaged reputation and a lack of interest from potential candidates. The financial and reputational costs of failed employer branding initiatives can be significant, and the organization may struggle to recover.
To ensure that employee engagement remains a top priority in the employer branding process, organizations should implement strategies to engage employees. This can include communicating the organization’s vision and values, involving employees in the branding process, providing opportunities for professional growth, and recognizing and rewarding employee contributions.
5B- Quick tip for increasing engagement
Finally; include employees as much as possible in the process, procedure, and practice design. You may not see the details of daily lives of employees, but they do. Let your employees design the things that will affect their lives and give them a say in the decision-making process. For example, consider involving employees in the creation of job descriptions or in the design of the company’s performance evaluation process. This approach not only helps to ensure that employees feel valued and heard, but it also helps to identify potential problems or roadblocks early in the process.
The ultimate strategy for securing both employee buy-in and executive- buy in would be to start with a positive change. Have a big positive impact on or bring positive change to all or most of your employees. Let everyone feel, believe, and embrace the first steps of change.
6- INSUFFICIENT PARTNER RESOURCES
Employer branding is not just about creating a catchy slogan or a pretty logo. It requires a multifaceted strategic approach that involves a deep understanding of the organization’s culture, values, and vision. It is a specialized field that requires a range of skills and expertise, including marketing, design, and communication. A competent agency will have a team of experts in these areas. Make use of their years of experience developing employer branding campaigns for a variety of industries. Partnering with an agency can give you access to this wealth of knowledge and expertise, helping you to develop a strong employer brand that resonates with your target audience. They can also provide insights into the latest trends and best practices, ensuring your employer brand stays up-to-date and relevant.
It can also be challenging to objectively evaluate your own employer brand, particularly if you’re too close to the subject. Partnering with an agency can provide you with a fresh perspective, helping you to identify areas for improvement and develop new, creative ideas. Additionally, this can help you to define your brand’s values, messaging, and visual identity, and ensure that your employer brand is consistent across all channels. This includes your website, social media, and recruitment advertising.
Finally, because developing a strong employer brand is a significant investment, it is essential to measure its effectiveness continually. A competent agency can help you to set benchmarks and goals, and track the success of your employer branding efforts. They can provide regular reports and feedback, helping you to adjust your strategy and tactics as needed. This accountability is critical to ensuring that your employer branding efforts are successful in the long term.
To summarize, the implementation stage of an employer brand project can be challenging, but it is critical to turning your value propositions into a genuine employee experience. To increase your chances of success, ensure that you have buy-in from top management, involve employees in the process, and start with a simple yet impactful change with your team and agency. By doing so, you can help to create a positive and lasting employer brand that attracts and retains top talent.
To learn more, you can join a free week session of Employer Brand Academy certificate courses here or you can download our free ebook creating an authentic employer brand here.
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[…] Leadership plays a critical role in developing and maintaining an effective EVP. You must commit leaders must to continuously evaluating and improving the EVP. As a result, they must create a culture of continuous improvement within the organization. This involves incorporating feedback and insights into leadership decisions and developing strategies for addressing gaps in the EVP. […]