Tracking your external employer brand comes naturally for most sophisticated employers, but tracking your internal employer brand is less common. Universum’s research indicates that there is a very strong correlation between the satisfaction an employee feels with his or her employer and the perception of the employer’s brand.
Thus. it is equally important to track your internal employer brand, what we call your Employer Identity. There are two reasons for this. First, you need to ensure that what you communicate externally is in line with your employees’ perception. Your employees are your strongest brand ambassadors. For example, employees are seen as a more trustworthy source of information by a potential job-seeker than HR professionals or corporate communication material. So in order to build a strong external brand, you need to track your Employer Identity and align it with your external communication. If your employees communicate a different story than yours, you are “in effect” throwing away your money.
The second reason why it is important to track your internal brand is that there is a strong connection between brand affiliation and satisfaction. In Universum’s Professional Survey, we ask how satisfied the respondents are with their current employer and which of 40 attributes they associate with them. Respondents who are satisfied with their employers also associate them more closely with the 40 attributes than the employees who are not satisfied. In the US Professional Survey, the average association for all attributes was 52 per cent, compared to only 39 per cent for the less satisfied employees. The biggest differences between the groups were for the attributes “Leaders who support my development” and “Good work/life balance”. Thus, these attributes are tightly linked to employee satisfaction.
Almost every employer tracks organizational health and provides feedback to managers. Universum’s survey is instead an employer brand survey, asking employees about their perception of the employer, rather than about their immediate surroundings in the organization. This information about your Employer Identity should be tracked continuously, compared both to your peers and to your external image. The results should be used to develop the employee value proposition as well as enhance communication, both internally and externally.