Imagine that I gave you a giant swig of truth serum, and then asked you what it’s like to work for your employer. What words would you use to describe the company culture, your work environment, your boss, your co-workers, etc.?
Now, imagine I did the same thing with dozens of your co-workers, and captured all of the responses.
What do you think the most common themes, descriptive words and adjectives would be?
That is your “employer brand,” and it can make or break your company.
Not surprisingly, studies have shown that employer brand can significantly impact a company’s ability to attract talent and retain current employees. It also impacts overall employee engagement.
We have gone through this process with several employers recently, and here are some of the responses; Terrible, Awful, Head for the Hills, Miserable, Stressful, Chaotic, Sh*&%y, Dysfunctional, This Place Haunts Me.
We went through this process internally a few years ago and our responses were slightly different.
Before I share the results, I should probably mention that EDSI happens to be the only company in Michigan to win ALL 5 of the following awards in 2016; Detroit Free Press Top Workplaces, Crain’s Cool Places to Work, National Best and Brightest® Companies to Work For, Metropolitan Detroit’s 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For and the Sloan When Work Works Award.
Here were our responses on company culture; Awesome, Innovative, Progressive, Results, Altruistic, Opportunity, Super-Awesome-Crazy-Good, Gratifying, Heart, Helpful, Supportive.
This kind of positive culture doesn’t happen by accident.
Our CEO is quite possibly the most genuine and sincere individual that you will ever meet. He puts people before profits and family before everything. He writes handwritten notes to over 600 employees each year on their birthday. He mails people gifts as well as a handwritten note on their work anniversary. Even during the economic downturn, he sent every single employee a gift card and a thank-you note during the holiday season. He arrives to work before anyone else and he parks in the very last spot in the lot (rain, snow or shine). The list goes on and on. He has created a culture of servant leadership. We know that he has our best interests in mind, and he empowers us to make smart decisions. He has built the company around the tenants of “Show Up, Smile and Support,” and created four “Daily Ways” under each of these tenants.
- I always arrive on time
- I am the best me that I can be today
- I use my judgment and take initiative
- My word is my bond
- I wonder
- I am self-aware
- I treat my colleagues like customers
- I am part of the solution
- I live my professional life in service to others
- I love other people's perspective
- I do what is best for the EDSI blocks
- I talk with people, not about them
These serve as our fence posts.
Our employer brand is shaped from the top, and it trickles down from there. We volunteer in the community. We mentor students at local elementary and high schools. We raise our hands to mentor our newly hired employees. We have pot luck lunches during the holidays, we host baby showers, we celebrate birthdays each month, and the list goes on.
As a result of all of this, our co-workers feel like an extension of our families. We are there for each other to celebrate during the happiest moments and we are there to pick each other up during our saddest moments.
My intent is not to be boastful. On the contrary, my intent is to give you a glimpse of what a workplace could and should look like, and then help you to get there.
Right now, we are in discussions with a company to be brought in to help overhaul their culture. In doing so, we would directly impact the lives of roughly 200 employees. The ripple effect could be huge. In theory, these employees will leave work and hopefully be happier mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, spouses, neighbors, patrons, etc. The potential impact in the community could be staggering. This is why I get out of bed in the morning, because we can truly help change lives.
If you feel like your company could use some help with its employer brand, please email me at: email@example.com or click on this link to take our free talent survey https://www.edsitalentsurvey.com/talent-survey. You’ll get specific feedback from EDSI experts on how your company is doing in five critical areas related to talent, including: Assessing, Attracting, Developing, Retaining and Sustaining.