Whistler Question featured column ~ January 24, 2017: Put Employees First to Boost Your Brand
Whistler can be a tough place to live. And it can be a tough place to do business. But it’s also a special place.
According to data compiled by the Whistler Chamber of Commerce, 67 per cent of people living here do so to find the perfect work and lifestyle balance. That is something that employers can’t ignore.
So how do you support your employees in reaching that very clear mandate? TWEET THESE TIPS
Your Employer Brand
The launch point is clarity around your employer brand. Companies often build a brand around the look and feel of their business and support that with savvy marketing but overlook their “employer brand”.
Employer branding is a compelling offer that positions a company as a desirable place to work.
BC Business magazine recently published ‘The Importance of Employer Branding’ with a claim that “spending time and effort to determine the employer brand and then communicating and upholding that brand consistently, both internally and externally, is critically important to attract ideal employees.”
Further, the article offered some components to consider promoting employer brand. They include descriptions of unique attributes of the workplace, employee testimonials, engaging employee videos, identifying brand ambassadors, describing how the company brings its values and vision to life, highlighting community involvement initiatives and using available methods to convey the essence of what it’s like to work for the company.
What Do Employees Want?
An employer of choice must first determine the needs, wants and motivations of the organization’s ideal employees. Businesses often think they know what their employees want — money and benefits.
Of course, it’s important to local economic development to pay fair wages but the demographics of your employee base may lead to perks and benefits that hold more punch to achieve that work and lifestyle balance.
All businesses should definitely poll their employees to determine their desires but the Whistler Chamber released a ‘Recruitment & Retention Toolkit’ brimming with creative solutions. Download the Toolkit
Corporate Social Responsibility
Your actual company brand may be aspirational but it’s imperative that businesses “walk the walk’. The Whistler Chamber also speaks to this topic in their toolkit: “Being a responsible corporate citizen is not only ethical, it’s a way to attract employees and inspire them to give back in their own lives”. Moreover, the report quotes a recent survey that shows 88 per cent of Millennials and Gen Xers in the United States and United Kingdom believe brands need to do more good in the world.
Of course, it’s important to maximize profit but apparently not at the expense of communities. The expectation for businesses today is to blend efficient and profitable operations whilst building value for your communities and the world.
It Is Up To All Of Us
Whether employee or employer, it is up to all of us to better understand the Sea to Sky Corridor’s employment landscape. On February 1st, the next Whistler Open Forum Event will explore ‘How Putting Employees First Boosts Your Brand’. Guest Speakers Diana Mulvey of Seeds Consulting, Caroline Bagnall of Connect Hospitality Strategies and Maya Maute of Vancity will share their knowledge on being employers of choice when it comes to brand, wages and benefits. Event details RIGHT HERE.
At Lighthouse Visionary Strategies, Cathy Goddard offers business and life coaching, workshops and the popular Whistler Open Forum Speaker Series. She is founder of Lighthouse Mentor Network, a mentor program nominated for Small Business BC Awards for 5 consecutive years. Cathy writes this business column for the Whistler Question newspaper.