April 6, 2020

Employer Brands are built around people, now it’s time to show it

Like the vast majority of people in the UK and beyond, March 2020 will be a month forever imprinted in my memory. Not just because I officially entered my late 20s, but because the world has been uprooted by the most severe event that 99% of us have ever experienced. Things that we thought were important mere weeks ago, now feel more insignificant than ever. It is crucial that we prioritise and value the health and wellbeing of those around us. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has never been so apt.

Pink Squid, not unlike many other businesses, has had to adjust to new ways of working, communicating and delivering work for our clients. Being in the world of Employer Branding means that we are feeling the issues and challenges our clients are facing first-hand. One thing that we are hearing loud and clear from the vast majority of businesses is that the most important thing to them is their people. 

In November last year, Nick wrote about 2020 being the year of People Powered Brands. Now, more than ever, your people are at the centre of your business. Those that continue to remember and act on this will emerge from this in a position of relative strength. At Pink Squid, we always say that your Employer Brand has to work as hard, if not harder, for you and your employees during challenging times.

Those companies we have seen in the news over the last few weeks gaining plaudits for their actions are utilising their Employer Brand in the right way.  Whether it be communicating with their people, ensuring that their culture remains strong and engaging their people or defining a path through the uncertainty to inspire their people for the future, they are keeping their people at the forefront.

From what we have seen internally and in the industry, here are a few tips that may help us keep our people engaged, motivated and inspired during a time of remote working and economic uncertainty. 


1. Treat people like you’re in the room with them

It may seem obvious but now that many people are working from home, we’re communicating in different ways. When we’re on calls with people, it’s easy to look at your phone or be on a different tab – being present and on the call will lead to better productivity and a healthier dynamic.


2. Communication is incredibly important

We all have different personalities and communicate in different ways. This is heightened when we’re working remotely. Developing group and team communication strategies and plans has never been more important to ensure that people feel connected, without being forced. At Pink Squid, we’ve created a diary room where people can pop in at any time of the day to have a chat and a virtual cup of tea. There are countless stories of how businesses are coming together and maintaining their culture.  


3. Honesty is the best policy

Always the right thing to do of course, but especially in these circumstances. Tough decisions are having to be made in businesses all over the country and further afield. The future is even more impossible to predict than it already was. Being honest with your people and ensuring that they are kept as informed as possible will help develop a culture of unity and togetherness. 


4. People want to help

This is more true than ever before. Everyone in your business wants to help in whatever way they can. Developing a plan for the future based on your Employer Brand and values that have your people at the core, will lead to a workforce inspired to help. Involve people. Let them come up with ideas. This will help recovery when this is all over. 


When all is said and done, it is our people who are going to help businesses come out of this pandemic in a strong position. Now, more than ever, companies need to realise that a strong Employer Brand is what will help them move forward and continue to put their people at the forefront.


Stay safe and look after one another.