Maintaining your employer brand during time of crisis
Organizations everywhere are struggling as the world has come to a stop because of the novel coronavirus outbreak. It is an unprecedented situation that we have found ourselves in today, with little to no clarity about tomorrow. With quarantine and social distancing in place, the business world has changed. There is no denying the impact COVID-19 has had till now on companies big and small, it is not a pretty picture. These are challenging times, and how your company reacts today will have long-lasting consequences.
In these times, when the priority of businesses is their customers, companies need to remember about their employees as well. Now more than ever is the time to deliver on your promises as an employer and maintain your employer brand. It is a time of uncertainty and confusion, and your employees are bound to be stressed and scared. Whatever decisions you make today, whether it is hiring more because of the sector you serve, or you lay off employees for cost-cutting, how you deal with them will leave a mark on your employer brand. Potential candidates are going to remember your company’s response today while looking for jobs tomorrow. While each company is dealing as well as they can with the effects of this pandemic, there are few simple things they can consider to manage their employer brand and maintain their company’s reputation during and after this crisis.
Your response to the crisis
Many large corporations and big brands have stepped up during these tough times in aid of the community and their employees. Whether it is through relief funds or monetary help for other small companies or extended paid leave to COVID affected employees, there are many brands out there who have taken steps to help, and their efforts are welcome and appreciated by the society. It is a reflection of the company’s values and dedication towards human society.
So, you might want to take a page out of their notebook and follow these examples. Of course, every company is different, and not everyone has extensive resources to help on such a large scale, but it doesn’t need to be. Every little step counts. Compassion and empathy towards your fellow humans are of paramount importance in these trying times, and it reflects well on your company, whatever little help and understanding you can give out to your employees or community. Your action, as small as it might be, will be looked at in the coming months by potential employees, so let it be known that you stood by them during this time.
Your marketing approach
While people are made to stay at home, social media and other online platforms have had an increase in traffic. With time at hand and no place to go, they look for online distractions. So this is the time you can benefit from social media marketing. But you can no longer carry on as you used to earlier, your strategies, your content needs to change. Any recruitment advertisement or general brand awareness needs to be appropriate according to the current mood. Many big brands such as AUDI, McDonald’s, Coca Cola, and more endorsed social distancing through their ad campaigns. Not only is it an innovative way to connect with their customers, but it also showcases their awareness about the situation and builds a positive image.
A similar approach can be implemented by companies of all scale with their hiring advertisements as well. Make them tone appropriate. It is essential to keep in mind that there are people and families out there who are distressed and suffering. Your posts on social media regarding any hiring for employees should be sensitive and positive, without being overly cheery. Your company should portray a picture of hope and strength for any candidates, not of apathy.
Your communication with employees
Your interaction with your employees at such times must be clear. Build on relationships with your employees, listen to what they have to say, and accommodate their needs where possible. Encourage self-care and provide counseling and therapy for those in need. They will be loyal to you if you are loyal to them.
But observe transparency; let them know where your company stands and if there are any tough decisions to be made. Your employees are not going to like being laid off or their benefits being cut, but they are going to love it even less if you are inconsiderate about it. Your employees, to some extent, can understand the difficult position you are put in as an employer during this crisis, yet they won’t appreciate being kept in the dark. State out all the facts and be frank with them. Sensitivity is crucial while interacting with your employees.
Every company is dealing with this crisis in their own way, but don’t let the troubles of today cloud your company’s future. Your actions have consequences, so think at every step. Hopefully, these little steps will help you manage your employer brand today for a better tomorrow.