Employment23 Aug 2023
Building a positive Employer Brand in a remote work environment
Remote work has become a norm in many organisations across the globe since the COVID pandemic. Many employees now continue to favour either remote or hybrid work setting as their preferred work environment.
Employer Branding that promotes a remote work environment caters to the flexible work schedules of the employees so that the team feels able to balance life with work commitments. Organisations that promote more flexible work schedules tend to have stronger employee attraction and retention.
Why should Employer Branding be your top priority?
Employer Branding can influence the reputation of an organisation as an employer and therefore has many benefits such as:
1. It promotes and positions your organisation to the right prospective employees
2. It helps companies reduce recruitment costs
3. It helps companies retain and engage employees
4. It builds brand identity and awareness
How can you measure your Employer Brand's strength?
To measure Employer Brand strength, you need to check on various KPIs that the Employer Brand can influence, such as attrition rate, number of employees applying for open job positions, employee productivity etc. Overall an Employer Brand becomes more powerful over time as employees perceive the organisation in a better light.
The essential indicators for your Employer Brand strength are:
1. Social Engagement
2. Quality of Hire
3. Employee Referrals
4. New Hire Salaries
Build a positive Employer Brand when working remotely
When your team is fully remote or has a hybrid work schedule, and you need to build a positive Employer Brand, work inside out. These are many ways to build a positive employee experience when working remotely, which can be reflected in your Employer Brand. Some of the benefits include:
Remote work allows businesses to tap into a global talent pool without being limited by geographic boundaries. By embracing remote work, companies can recruit and hire top talent from different regions, benefiting from diverse perspectives, skills, and experiences. This increased access to talent can lead to a more innovative and productive workforce.
Remote work offers employees greater flexibility and the ability to create a better work-life balance. This flexibility allows individuals to work at their most productive times and accommodate personal obligations more effectively. Employees can avoid long commutes, spend more time with their families, and have increased control over their schedules. When employees have a better work-life balance, they are often more satisfied, engaged, and motivated, leading to increased productivity and higher retention rates.
To develop a remote workforce, organisations must establish effective and efficient digital onboarding that helps new employees to understand ways of working; such as the systems and processes, and values and behaviours expected. Remember to keep it human. Where can you add some personal touches? It may be sending them a welcome pack. A personal welcome video or call or email from a leader. A welcome virtual morning tea with the new team. Companies that help remote employees settle in quickly through a positive onboarding experience becomes part of the Employer Brand story, helping attract more talent.
Many tech tools such as Slack, Zoom, WhatsApp, Google meets etc., can cater to enhancing your remote team's relationships. These tech applications help bring energy, life and connection to remote team members, helping them feel ‘at home’ with the organisation. More communication is necessary when working remotely to ensure employees are not missing out on both important company and team updates, but also to encourage the informal ‘water-cooler’ conversations that would naturally occur in office but in an online environment.
An organisation's future becomes less certain when they struggle to attract the right talent. To develop an attractive Employer Brand, promoting flexibility around your employee's work schedules can be a strong pull factor that is highly desired by candidates in today’s modern working world. Additionally, remote working cultivates a culture of agility and adaptability within organisations. By operating in a remote work environment, businesses are accustomed to leveraging technology and digital tools for collaboration, communication, and project management. This adaptability positions companies to respond quickly to changing market conditions, technological advancements, and evolving customer demands in the future.
Remote work can also lead to significant cost savings for businesses. By eliminating or reducing expenses associated with office space, utilities, and facilities maintenance, companies can allocate resources more efficiently. This can enable businesses to invest in other areas such as research and development, employee training, or technology upgrades, which are essential for future growth and sustainability.
Rewards and recognition are an integral part of the organisation to retain talent. Without recognition, employees who work diligently will leave, resulting in a higher and faster attrition rate. Rewards, promotions and other benefits help companies arrest the attrition rate in uncertain times. With less face-to-face contact, it’s important companies rethink how they ‘see’ and recognise their people. Look at your metrics for reward and recognition and adjust them to suit remote working. You may need to ‘digitise’ your program, ensure recognition is public, timely and regular (though not predictable - as spontaneity makes it feel more authentic). These initiatives can foster a more compelling Employer Brand that reinforces a positive ‘I see you’ culture which is essential for remote companies.
Bring your culture to remote employees
Culture is a way of life in every organisation. It denotes all people's behaviour, attitude and beliefs within a company. To bring your culture to your remote employees, encourage involvement in team-building, meetings and informal gatherings whether that be virtually on-line or physical get-to-gethers.
1. Virtual Scavenger Hunt: Create a list of items or clues and challenge team members to find them within their own homes. They can take pictures or share their findings on a video call.
2. Online Trivia Night: Host a virtual trivia game using platforms like Kahoot or Quizizz. Prepare a set of fun and engaging questions related to your team's interests, industry, or general knowledge.
3. Show and Tell: Allocate time during a team meeting for each member to share something meaningful or interesting from their personal lives. It could be a hobby, a collection, or a memorable experience.
4. Virtual Team Lunch: Set a designated time for team members to have a virtual lunch together. Encourage them to bring their own meals and engage in casual conversation.
5. Emoji Storytelling: Ask each team member to share a story or experience using only emojis. The rest of the team can guess what the story is about, creating a fun and interactive guessing game.
6. Collaborative Playlist: Create a shared playlist where team members can add their favorite songs or tracks. This can help discover new music and spark conversations about different tastes and preferences.
7. Virtual Book Club: Choose a book that is relevant to your team's interests or professional development. Set a schedule to read specific chapters and discuss them during virtual meetings.
8. Online Escape Room: Engage the team in an online escape room experience where they have to work together to solve puzzles and challenges within a specific time frame. This promotes collaboration and problem-solving skills.
9. Remote Fitness Challenge: Encourage team members to participate in a remote fitness challenge. This could involve tracking steps, practicing yoga, or completing workout routines. Create a shared platform for participants to share their progress and motivate each other.
10. Virtual Talent Show: Allow team members to showcase their talents in a virtual talent show. Whether it's singing, playing an instrument, performing a magic trick, or any other talent, it's a fun way to appreciate the unique skills within the team.
Remember to choose activities that align with your team's interests and ensure they are inclusive and accessible to all members. Additionally, be mindful of time zones and individual preferences when scheduling team-building exercises.
How to approach Employer Branding in a remote-working world
Employers that promote remote or hybrid working can leverage their policies as a differentiator for attracting and retaining the right talent. To communicate remote working in your Employer Brand, consider messages that centre around:
1. Benefits of remote working in your Employee Value Proposition that your people value
2. Detail the systems, processes and technology you offer to support remote working
3. Showcase initiatives you have to engage, connect and foster belonging in your teams
4. How employees are seen, recognised, rewarded and progressing in a remote workplace
Employers can leverage the above elements of a remote employee experience as a competitive advantage.
Frequently asked questions
Why does investing in an Employer Brand pay off for remote companies?
Investing in an Employer Brand pays off for remote companies as it can work to cultivate positive associations for your employee experience. In turn, such positive associations can both attract new and potential employees and retain your current workforce who prefer the benefits of a remote or hybrid working model.
Can Employer Brand impact hiring for remote companies?
Yes, cultivating a positive employee experience which is reflected in your Employer Brand can go a long way towards impacting the hiring practices for remote companies. Many new employees get attracted towards companies investing in remote or hybrid employee workplace experiences.