Shout Your Brand
By Aruba Abid
Nothing will shape a company’s employer brand as much as how it treats its workforce during the current health crisis. Even the word ‘unprecedented’ has taken on a whole new meaning. While the workforce remains concerned about future prospects, and there is reason to be concerned, equally, even in their silenced state, employees ought to be seen as brand champions and ambassadors. Get them to shout your brand! While the present home working or furloughing allows for greater introspection, it ought not to silence communication. Those who are vocal now and are bucking the trend, not wearing hard helmets and heading for the bunkers will most probably be early winners when we emerge from this pandemic, and emerge we will!
So what is your communication strategy? While we are busy understanding the parameters of modern engagement, it’s imperative that you’re also engaging, and positively, externally. Now is the time to be heard, when all are silent. Now is the time to tell your story. Now is the time to tell others about your employer’s values and how they’ve stood firm by them. Keeping staff on, furloughed or not, takes courage and confidence on the part of the employer. Recognise this.
Getting the voice and tone right is every bit as critical as getting the story selection right. Be tirelessly empathetic, and human. Try to speak directly from the heart – avoid corporate lingo and jargon. Remember that different audiences will be in different places regarding how they are handling the coronavirus outbreak or what they need. Try to be sensitive to all of them.
The instability and anxiety that defines this moment can be immobilising, but being silent will not help your company. It’s important to not lose sight of what ultimately matters: how you treat your people. They want to hear from you. They want to know who you are. They want to know how you are actively navigating current challenges to safely reach the other side. My tips:
Take a breath and take stock!
If we look at the COVID-19 outbreak as an opportunity for employers to better understand and potentially leverage their branding via social media and digital spheres, it’s going to be crucial for employers to take a moment, breathe and review their current branding and messaging in order to make adjustments and tweaks. You need to be uber-mindful of both optics and tone of voice with your branding – both are key factors in not only maintaining your employer branding across social channels but also hopefully standing out from the pack and attracting top tier talent when we’re all back to normal, whatever the new normal might look like.