The approach to the concept of internal branding has changed in recent years. At the end of the ’90s, the term “employer branding” emerged, aimed at showing a company’s ability to attract and retain talent. This led many of them to propose an equivalence with respect to what they were already doing abroad (Consumer Branding). To do this, it was necessary to develop Employer Value Proposition (EVP), which in many cases, in addition to achieving certain professional and personal benefits, focused on achieving maximum consistency between external and internal communication of the Company.

But times have changed. The internet and social media have given people the power over brands. And people today believe their peers more than brands or companies. The problem lies in the fact that most organizations are far from having built true engagement with their employees, who are the first to experience the brand, as evidenced by various studies. This is a real problem of value leakage. And if so, what is the brand image they may be projecting abroad?

Customer, employee and company

In a world that demands transparency from all angles, companies should no longer think that it is enough to align employment and employee communication with consumer communication to build a good employer brand. The starting point is the correct transmission of values and organizational culture. And this leads to the revision of the EVP concept itself.

In most cases, the parallelism between the customer and the employer cannot be taken as something rigid. Let’s think that the relationship with a customer – who perhaps spends 1 hour a month in our store – is radically different from that of an employee – who is in the same store 175 times more.

It’s not about conveying the brand identity, it’s about how to make people live according to each need.

The Employer Value Proposition should focus on the Company, not the employee. Values are an indissoluble part of the Organization’s DNA, they help to identify its purpose and are the lever on which to build the behaviors of the entire team. For this reason, the focus of EVP is based on the corporate essence and, once identified, it must be directed towards employees. This implies that it is necessary to achieve commitment from the highest management levels so that it is something shared by the rest of the staff. Transparent leadership will make it easier for employees to understand that purpose, which also facilitates their integration and training, and will translate into loyalty to the Company and, ultimately, to the brand. The EVP represents the why of the relationship between the two. However, the reality shows that the disconnect between what mission, vision, and values statements say and what employees say they experience is generally alarming.

This leads directly to the need to periodically review the brand strategy. Business circumstances change, so do markets, and with it the brand strategy itself must evolve. On many occasions it is built exclusively towards the outside, because the business strategy itself also has this projection. But at present, it is necessary to start from a dual vision capable of protecting the aforementioned but also of understanding how it can be transferred inwards.

EVP-Brand Focused

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When was the last time you reviewed your corporate values?

Corporate values speak of shared attitudes and beliefs. And if companies evolve, they must also evolve their values, without rejecting their past but open to a future that can make the brand stronger. This requires an open mind capable of understanding that it is necessary to break down the silos in which Organizations traditionally settle and bet on a model that generates true identification. It will be responsible for facilitating the action and making employees feel proud to share the beliefs of the Organization, recommending its products and services, as well as the Organization itself.

To bring values to life and transform them into shared beliefs, it is essential to work on a clear purpose that identifies where they are within the Company, which will allow them to be modulated in all directions. EVP takes a holistic view of the relationships between people, where they work, and the environment around them.

The role of marketing and communication

While employees have long “belonged” to the HR department, internal brand building involves crossing those boundaries by seeking synergies between HR, Marketing and Communication.

Social media has propelled the construction of a company’s reputation and, as with customer experience, employee experience is a perfect catalyst. Person-to-person communication emerges as a great opportunity to build engagement in two directions. The appliance brand Balay is a great example of this. Highlighting employee satisfaction in external communication undeniably affects how the brand is perceived, both for customers and for workers (present and future). When well worked, PVD culminates in a primary focus which is
happiness
.

This is the perfect terrain for Marketing to take advantage of the second main asset of Companies: talent. The first is branding. Also for Communication to acquire a more strategic role by incorporating the management of intangibles and helping to inter-relate beliefs and actions. Of course, the integrating element of this trinomial will always lie in the vision of the CEO.

To conclude, just reflect on a phrase by Stephen R. Covey, an authority on leadership, “Treat your employees exactly as you would like them to treat your customers.”

 

Carlos Puig Falcó

President of Branward®

Photos: Shutterstock