Why employer brands need strength and stretch

Posted on Jan 4, 2016

The most effective EVPs combine credible ‘here and now’ strengths solidly grounded in the current employment experience and more future focused, stretch aspirations, underpinned by tangible leadership commitments and planned investment. Playing to current strengths helps to establish trust, which provides the essential underpinning to any brand. Playing to future aspirations builds vitality, which is also critical in maintaining a brand’s forward momentum and competitive edge.

When Coca-Cola Hellenic developed its first company-wide EVP a number of years ago it recognized that two elements within the proposition, teamwork and empowerment were credibly strong, but employees’ current rating of opportunities for development within the company was relatively poor. Despite this existing weakness they decided to incorporate this promise into the EVP as they recognized how critical it was to their talent attraction, employee engagement and future business performance. However, when this EVP was recommended to the board it came with a qualification. Development should only be included in the proposition if the leadership team makes a step-change in investment, otherwise it will be seen as nothing but wishful thinking and undermine rather than build the brand.

Coca-Cola Hellenic’s leadership team made the commitment. The Company began to invest more consistently in front-line training across the 27 countries in which it was then operating, established clearer career paths and improved talent mobility. The reward was a 9% increase in development related employee favorability scores over the following 2 years, a similarly high 9% increase in employee advocacy, and a top 10 place in Great Place to Work’s European-wide rankings. This external recognition came with a special prize for ‘employee development and progress’.

Adidas recently suggested that ‘an EVP should be uncovered not created’. They defined their task in terms of capturing the distinctive vibrancy of the existing Adidas ‘culture’ to enable them to celebrate and communicate it more effectively. This may be true of a handful of organizations, but for most like Coca-Cola Hellenic an effective EVP cannot simply uncover and describe, it also needs to inspire, shape and create future change.

If you'd like to learn more about developing an effective EVP take a look at the up and coming 'World Class Employer Branding' course brought to you by employerbrandingacademy.com. If you sign-up within the next 4 weeks I'll also send you a copy of my latest book - 'Employer Brand Management - Practical Lessons from the World's Leading Employers'.

Written by: Richard Mosley

Richard Mosley is widely recognized as one of the leading world authorities on employer brand development and management. His first book, ‘The Employer Brand’ (Wiley) published in 2005 has become a global best-seller, and the sequel: ‘Employer Brand Management: Practical Lessons from the World’s Leading Employers’, published by Wiley in September 2014, tracks the evolution of the discipline over the last 10 years, highlighting the latest best practices and trends that are likely to shape the future of recruitment, employee engagement and HR / talent management

Richard’s thinking draws on over 25 years’ experience in both brand management and HR consulting, and has led global employer brand development projects for a host of leading companies including Bacardi, BP, Coca-Cola, Ferrero, GSK, HSBC, Lafarge, LEGO, L’Oreal, JTI, Met Life, Nokia-Siemens, PepsiCo, Santander, Unilever and Verizon.

Today Richard serves as Global Vice President of Strategy at Universum and Senior Advisor for the Employer Branding Academy.

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