In recent weeks, we have been witnessing impressive preparations by companies to cope with the new COVID-19 reality: remote working in quarantine surrounded by family, when the entire global village is on the same boat.
These companies are adapting their employee experience to working-from-home conditions. Regular meetings, events, all-hand meetings with the CEO and even happy hours have shifted to the virtual world of videoconferencing.
Companies that implemented accessible, anytime, anywhere e-learning are now reaping the fruits with their employees able to continue their development and growth smoothly.
Candidate experience is also transforming with the implementation of remote interview platforms for hiring employees. Today, the first person a new employee sees in the new company is the messenger from the IT department who brings them their computer and all the swag that will help them feel just a little more connected to their new place of work.
Particularly impressive and heartwarming is the responsibility organizations take towards the community and the environment, and their ability to harness employees, individually and collectively, to contribute to those sectors of the population that need help now more than ever.
The ability of these organizations to gear themselves in such a short time to working conditions so different from what they are used to attests to their resilience, and more so, to their employee-centric values.
How can your power to adapt be leveraged to benefit your employer brand?
1. Adapt your internal communications strategy. Plan your strategy by taking the following into consideration:
- What are the messages you must convey to employees (business notifications, successes in a market in crisis, operational notifications, and more)?
- What are the channels at your disposal (email, portal, Slack, etc.)?
- Which are the roles that should transmit the messages
(CEO, HR, IT, Operations, administration)?
- Which are your target audiences (employees by geographical location, profession, managerial level, etc.)?
Building a structured communications matrix will help reduce organizational ‘noise’ and make important notifications and announcements more accessible. In turn, it will drive to action and, above all, help ensure a sense of security and safety to employees.
2. Keep your social media efforts strong.
Even if there are no company events, there are still many positive experiences to be shared with your followers. Share fun team meetings (in our case, the best was when we discovered how to apply Snapchat filters to the PC´s camera, which resulted in a unicorn, a cat and a pickle participating in the meeting). Nice gifts for employees in isolation, packages of food and equipment to medical teams, and other such gestures are also worth sharing.
In short, anything ranging from a competition of the picture of the most creative meal to how to work while playing with the kids is excellent ways of engaging with your employees and continuing strengthening their connection with one another.
3. Work with ambassadors.
Your brand ambassadors are more connected than ever to friends and colleagues via social channels. If you follow the two recommendations above, your ambassadors will have plenty to work with. It’s also an excellent time to work with the ambassadors on their own brand, to help them gain insights into their personal and professional readiness to work remotely and share their experience in words or via videos.
4. Webinars and podcasts.
The tools available today for virtual meetings are amazing and very easy to use. It’s very easy to create a video-conference meetup and engaging experiences. Podcasts are also an excellent way to give your ambassadors a stage to demonstrate their professionalism. Digital promotions enable you to carry the message of a webinar or podcasts and continue touching your target audience with professional quality content.
What else can you do for employer branding?
While the focus changes, you may now have more time to plan your next moves. It is recommended to build an action plan, say for next month, but also try to assess the needs one quarter ahead. There are many infrastructures that can be prepared, including collecting data, writing marketing materials that you know will be used (for example, videos), revamping the Careers page or your website, and similar things.
If there is something the current crisis is teaching us is that companies that adhere to the ´company at the core´ value are appreciated by their employees and benefit from excellent media exposure. As a result, these companies can position themselves as leading employers that will be remembered long after the crisis is over.