By Jason C. Blais
Communicating Your Core Values
Over the years, I've worked for many companies who have hosted great employee appreciation events, and many more who have offered referral bonuses when they were hiring.
Few, however, tied these programs together to clearly communicate and reinforce their employment brand. If you're going to put in place an incentive for your employees to speak with their friends and family about working for your company, you should ensure that your core values and unique programs are top of mind and clearly understood by all. Your values must be in line with the reality of your environment to ensure brand integrity and, ultimately, brand loyalty.
When we consider changing recognition or appreciation programs in our company, we always closely examine how it will affect our ability to hire great people. As an extension of that, we explore how it will affect the retention of our current staff, and what potential word of mouth "advertising" they will bring to their communities.
A Good Reputation: If You Build It, They Will Come
Aside from compensation, a company's reputation is the most important element to attracting applicants. Our company, for example, has built a reputation for fast growth, a casual atmosphere, engaged employees at every level, and the flexibility to generate, develop, and execute new initiatives.
Our perks are very much in line with this reputation, and serve to reinforce our employment brand.
Some of our special perks include:
- "Bring Your Dog to Work Fridays"
- Employee-driven All Star awards with photos on the wall
- Company outings to the local Triple-A baseball game
- An occasional harbor cruise
Even when times are tight, as they are now for most companies, we understand that any changes to these unique and special perks would impact our ability to retain and attract great employees in the future.
The perks have become part of who we are as a company. And they give us the flexibility to attract and retain great people without the exorbitant costs.
What's Your Employment Brand?
What special perks does your company offer, and how well do you connect them to your employment brand, both internally and externally?