5 Steps To Assess Employer Brand For Small Biz Owners
As a leader of a small business, you are likely familiar with the importance of brand as it relates to your business’s profitability and growth. Your consumer brand represents who you are as a business to your customers and prospective customers; this includes how you stand apart from similar businesses, and what your goals are in delivering your product or service. A bad brand is a bad business; where one goes, the other will quickly follow–most business owners understand this.
But what about your employer brand? What is this, and how does it affect the health of your business?
Your employer brand is essentially the same as your consumer brand; however, an employer brand represents who you are as a business to your employees and prospective employees. In other words, your consumer brand makes and fulfills (hopefully) a promise to individuals with the goal of gaining their continued business, and an employer brand makes and fulfills (hopefully) a promise to individuals with the goal of gaining and keeping their talent through employment.
Your Employer Brand Right Now
Though the word “brand” is sometimes cast in a negative light, building a brand is a universal practice for businesses–even if it’s not realized by the business itself. Negative connotations associated with brand likely come to mind when we confuse it with the marketing strategies and tactics used to promote the brand. So putting aside marketing strategies and tactics–logos, slogans, messaging, materials, advertisements, et al.– consider these three questions as a quick and dirty way to assess your employer brand:(Note: These can be used to assess your consumer brand, too, with a few tweaks.)
- What is the purpose of our business?
- How is working at our business different than other businesses with similar purposes?
- How do people feel about our business before, during, and after working here?
By answering these questions and, more importantly, asking your employees to answer these questions, you will have the building blocks of your employer brand. It is vital that you complete this before creating a strategy to strengthen and grow your brand. If your brand (what you are) is not in alignment with your brand marketing (what you are promising to be), then you will be misleading your job applicants and laying the groundwork for a bad brand image–that means low sales for your business, and low morale/high turnover for your employees.
5 Steps to Assess Your Employer Brand
- Develop a brief survey to determine the essence of your current brand using the three questions above
- Distribute the survey to all employees and business stakeholders in a way that allows for anonymous responses
- Collect and compile the responses to identify common brand perceptions
- Identify perceptions that are negative or threatening to your business
- Incorporate the assessment insights into a prioritized continual improvement plan
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