If you’re working in human resources at the moment, you’re likely one of the busiest people in your company. You’re finding solutions for employee safety and managing a smooth transition back to the office for an unpredictable workforce dealing with all kinds of personal and professional challenges.
One way to help your team feel secure and give them a sense of normalcy during this transition is to reinforce the values and culture that make up your employer brand. This is the perfect time to remind employees why they love working for the company by introducing new and relevant benefits, programs, or policies that highlight your employer brand.
And when it’s time to start hiring again, the actions that your company has taken during these unprecedented times will be part of your employer brand as candidates look to see how you responded and treated your employees.
Here are ten ideas to help you evolve your employer brand strategy, and give employees and future employees the confidence that the company’s values are stronger than ever.
1. Reevaluate Your Company Values
The world has changed forever. People’s perspectives have changed as well. This might be a good time to rethink your company values to evolve with the times. Perhaps it’s time to add values that are more employee-centric like “Personal health matters” or maybe your company wants to get more involved with charities for social movements. A fresh look at your values might re-energize your team for the next chapter.
2. Message From Your CEO
For an employer brand to fully work within your company, the leadership team must demonstrate the values in their words and actions. As employees navigate their new work situations, they will be reassured that their company cares about them when they hear from the person at the top. Your CEO or company leader can send an email letting employees know how the company is moving forward while reinforcing the core values that guide the decisions. Depending on your company size, your leaders can also open up time slots for one-on-one meetings where people can express concerns or provide input.
3. Create a Re-onboarding Program
Although it has only been a few months, many people have forgotten what it is like to be in an office and work in your proposed system. Aspects of your culture might have changed or perhaps job roles are different. Take some time to onboard your employees as if they were new to the company. If there are new policies, this is the perfect way to communicate then to everyone and allow people to get acclimated.
4. Post-COVID Employee Stories
While the pandemic has brought fear and tragedy, it has also forced people to take a pause and reconsider what’s important. Find employees in your company who have interesting stories to tell and share their experiences internally or on social media. You can create videos or simply write a blog post. The point is to help people relate to their co-workers by sharing honest truths about what’s happening.
5. Introduce New Employee Benefits and Policies
Employee perks and benefits are an important part of your employer brand. These programs are what make your employee value proposition a reality. To acknowledge the changes that are taking place within the office and in your employees’ lives, you can add new programs designed to help them in this new environment. For example, a popular trend has been to offer meditation apps, flexible schedules, or other healthy options such as online or offline wellness classes.
6. Change the Office Vibe
In many ways, companies are starting with a clean slate as people come back into the office. Why not spruce things up by changing something about the office environment. It can be something small like adding a new coffee machine with high-quality beans and offering free healthy snacks to larger changes like new ergonomic workspaces or renovated conference rooms set up for larger video calls to make your remote employees feel connected during the larger meetings.
7. Get Employees Involved in the Next Chapter
Who says all of the new ideas must come from a small group within the company? Get everyone involved by asking for feedback on what your employees want or need to succeed. You can create a simple NPS survey or an AMA (Ask Us Anything) session where people can be part of shaping new policies, products, culture, etc. Your employees have been working from home and had some time to think about what changes they’d like to see as they go back to office life. Let employees know that they are your #1 asset.
8. Incorporate Using Slack In the Office
For many people, working from home was the first time they were exposed to new communication channels like Slack and Zoom. While these are typically ‘remote’ tools, they can also benefit people within the office. Create new Slack channels in the office to increase employee communications that will build a stronger community. If you still have a remote team, introducing Slack in the office as well will help keep both teams connected and all the discussions documented for reference.
9. Communicate Your Employer Brand Updates
As you implement new policies and programs to help your employees feel great about their work, don’t forget to communicate the news on social media, your website, blog, and anywhere else potential new employees are looking. Candidates want to see what changes your company has implemented, so don’t be shy about sharing all the new and exciting things you are doing.
10. Share Your Case Study
Over the past months, your management team has had to make big decisions and change the entire workflow of the company with literally just a few days notice. It was only natural that some of those decisions were a success while others failed. Other businesses, candidates and even your employees want to know how you made it through the storm. Your leaders can create a case study to tell the story. Make a video or write a blog post about it and share it on LinkedIn, or wherever it makes sense for your audience.
Now, over to you. What other employer brand strategies are you currently using to reassure your employees and attract new talent? We’re excited to learn about them!
P.S. If you’re looking to add new health benefits to your employee “welcome back to the office” package, take a look here.
Also, have a look at our 10 tips about how to show appreciation to your employees and how to build a successful employee health and wellness program.