ALIGNMENT OF EMPLOYEES WITH ORGANIZATIONAL GOALS
Treatment of employees and the quality of products and services rate highest in job-searchers’ perceptions of organizations they want to work for even though recent big-name collapses and layoffs might be attributable to financial health and market conditions. In fact, a recent survey found that 77% of adult respondents did not rate a company’s financial health as their top priority in determining its reputation as a place to work.
The survey, conducted by The Cherenson Group a New Jersey-based public relations and recruitment ad agency firm included 800 completed interviews with New Jersey residents age 18 and older. With a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5% at the 95% confidence level, the survey indicated that the most important factors in determining a company’s reputation as a place to work are:
The way employees are treated (36%) and quality of the company’s products or services (27%).
In keeping with results from last year’s survey, people earning more than $75,000 annually were more likely to consider financial factors as their most important factor.
In the 2001 Reputation Survey, 78% of respondents said they would rather work for a company with an excellent reputation than for a company with a poor reputation even if they were offered a higher salary.
The very first study indicated that people would actually accept a lower paying job, in order to work for a company with an excellent reputation. This study also revealed that nearly 8 in 10 people think with their hearts and not just their wallets.
According to the survey, a mere 4% cited CEO as being the most important factor, 3% pointed to a company’s charitable contributions and community support with 6% citing a combination of factors.
While the above factors may not have ranked as a top concern, other research offers strong evidence that a company’s leadership and commitment to community concerns are critical to the overall reputation and relationship building process.
The survey company remarked that company’s reputation is an asset that needs to be developed and secured. Currently study is made to get a deeper understanding of that asset and shows an obvious correlation between reputation and relationships, specifically the relationship between employee and employer.
Findings from both studies also confirm that by investing in reputation and relationships, businesses can realize bottom line savings in the form of recruitment, retention and overhead costs.
While one study looked at reputation from the recruitment/retention viewpoint the other for reputation research clearly indicates the power of reputation as it relates to consumer spending and investing.
Many large organizations were using the methodology of corporate brand-building strategy to attract and keep quality employees. Their survey found that “employer branding” was being used by 40% of respondents in a survey of 138 leading companies to increase their attractiveness to potential and current employees.
Most of these initiatives were relatively new, many started in the year 2000. However, funding and awareness of ’employer branding’ seems to be increasing, particularly in companies whose corporate brand image is not strong among the general public because, for example, they are suppliers to businesses rather than consumers. In other words, prospective employees are not so likely to have heard of them.
The challenge to employers is not only to make potential employees aware of the company as a good place to work and bring the best applicants successfully through the recruitment and hiring process, but to retain them and ensure their understanding of the company’s goals and commitment to them. Companies have found employer branding programs provide a real edge in competing for talent.
Executives told the market research company that their brand was being used as a rallying point for employees in a time of extensive change. Moreover, they expected employees to exemplify the promises the brand makes to the firm’s customers.
Comparing corporate branding and employer branding
Four goals are identified as being most important for the corporate brand by marketing executives:
1. Delivering the brand promise to customers (through employees);
2. Helping employees to internalize Companyâ€™s Value
3. recruiting and retaining customers;
4. instilling brand values into key processes (e.g., customer service)
The HR executives gave a very similar response with their highest priorities for the corporate brand being:
(i) delivering the brand promise to customers;
(ii) helping employees to internalize the company values;
(iv) Achieving reputation as an employer of choice.
Priorities for HR executives were:
* helping employees to internalize the company’s values;
* Achieving reputation as an employer of choice.
But it is realized at a senior level that mergers, acquisitions, spin offs, and other forces of change increasingly blur company identity, with adverse impact on the effectiveness of the workforce. The report notes that the “employer of choice” concept emphasizes improvement of recruitment and retention, but indicates true employer branding goes further. Employer branding is aimed at motivating and securing employees’ alignment with the vision and the values of the company.