Employer branding: The Secret to Building a Workplace Identity that Attracts Talent

5 months ago

Lis Anderson, director and founder of AMBITIOUS shares her thoughts on employer branding

Work in the field of employer branding has increased for AMBITIOUS both for its clients and also for itself as an employer.

Lis Anderson recently spoke with Agency Hackers members on how they can foster a positive employer brand and the impact this can have on the team and the ability to grow the business.

In this article, Lis shares her top considerations for building out an employer brand strategy:

Cultivating self and social awareness

At AMBITIOUS, we adopt the DiSC profile approach which is a personal assessment tool. DiSC stands for the four main personality profiles: (D)ominance, (i)nfluence, (S)teadiness and (C)onscientiousness. 

This helps every member of the team to develop their self-awareness, but also awareness of others. We then build a framework around this which runs throughout our personal development programme.

  • Employees have a session every quarter, twice with their personal performance coach and twice with me. Based on data and evidence on how people respond, how they learn, and how they want to progress we can offer a tailored approach to the support we give them. 

It’s been a game changer not only for the personal development of everyone in the company but also for our company culture. The best team is a team made up of different personalities, so, therefore, there is a need to develop a culture where you respect everybody for who they are, rather than have everybody try to fit a particular mold. We celebrate the fact that every member of the team is different, and we tailor the training, support, and coaching around this. 

Personal development that unlocks full potential

Within our personal development framework, we cover, mindset, behaviour, and attitudes. The training support then covers some key areas with a big focus on skills for success. This may be to do with creativity, innovation, what we’re doing around AI, as well as personal skills which may include confidence building and presentation skills. That’s not underestimating the basics of working in an office and the health and safety training that goes with that.

We then have a management stream, which includes managing clients, managing people and agency management. We have a specific area for senior leadership, which predominantly focuses on the numbers. It’s important to realise that the senior leadership team may also need training and support in these areas as they won’t have been on the same journey as the company founders, or executive team.

Bringing them up to speed on financials and governance will elevate a management team.

Flexible benefits encourage more buy-in

It’s important to have a range of benefits on offer so that an individual can pick and choose what’s right for them and feel supported. The team also has a huge input into the providers we use. At one of our quarterly employee forums, the team decided that they wanted to invest their pension in more purpose-driven funds, so we arranged this.

  • We provide a two-hour session with a financial advisor every year to help everyone understand their options and decide what is right for them.

We’ve also got private health care insurance and income protection in place because we see this as very important. We recognise that different people will want different things and that we need to cater for their needs. 

Everyone has a stake in the business

As an agency, the client service team is by far the biggest team and everybody has their roles, but within that they will also have something that they’re passionate about or want to get involved with. This might be an aspect of new business, it might be driving our ESG and sustainability strategy, it might be running our internship programme, or anything else that is contributing to the business.

At each biannual session, we also ask everyone to make a pledge. That could be to go out and make more connections, look after our creativity team, or improve how we’re going to do our workshops. We then allow a chunk of time for that in the resource planning and the team loves this because it means that they’ve got a stake in the business.

Key considerations for initiating an employer brand strategy

If you’re struggling to know where to start with building an employer brand strategy, it can be helpful to learn that at AMBITIOUS, we built it up step by step and it has evolved to what it is today. So if you’re starting out, don’t think that you have to do everything all at once. 

  • Involve the team and make sure that feedback sessions are as productive as possible and act on that feedback quickly. Your team will come to those sessions more engaged because they know that what they’re saying is going to result in an action or feedback. 

Having an employer brand strategy that evolves with your business will strengthen it for growth and steady it when times look a little rockier. The result is a team that feels heard, engaged, and motivated in your mission. 

If you missed the session, you can listen to it here – this content is available to AH members only, for access, get in touch with Anne ([email protected]).

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