Recently in a meeting with a potential client, we heard an interesting request. Can you help us create messaging to inspire employees throughout the company to come to work every day? It’s not an uncommon request but certainly an interesting way to phrase it.
We often talk about recruitment and retention without looking through the lens of your ‘employer brand’. Why do your employees choose to work for your organization? What does the top talent in your region think about your brand?
With shortages of physicians and nurses in many specialties, competition for talent will continue to grow. Your competitors would love to hire your best talent. And unengaged employees today have plenty of options. But what does this have to do with your brand? Plenty.
One of the most important roles of your brand vision is to inspire and engage internal audiences. Yet, if I ask employees of almost any organization what their brand promise is, most have only a vague, non-committal response. Many organizations miss the opportunity to engage employees and prospects in the mission and brand vision of the organization.
Sure, the mission, vision and values were covered in the recruiting and onboarding process of all employees. But what are you doing to keep your brand vision relevant? Below are three questions that may help you identify opportunities for your employer brand to work harder.
1. Do most of your employees know your brand promise?
Understanding and articulating the aspirations of your brand is not just the job of the marketing department. Every employee is involved in creating experiences that either live up to your promise or fall short of it. And the experiences your employees deliver will create deeper, longer lasting impressions with patients and families than any ad campaign ever could.
If your brand promise is not deeply felt within your organization, your patients, families and community are unlikely to feel it either. In this case, your first target audience must be internal audiences. They not only need to understand your brand promise, they need to understand their role in delivering on it.
2. Are your employees engaged in finding new and better ways to deliver on your brand promise?
Brands are inherently aspirational. Have you ever heard an executive say, “We have achieved our brand promise. Our work here is done.”
Continuous improvement is a common value in healthcare, but is it applied to your brand? If your vision and brand promise inspire employees, which it should, they may bring tremendous value to thinking about how they can better deliver on it. It may not take any additional meetings, just a different filter for the question of improvement.
3. Is your brand promise reflected in the recruitment process to attract physicians, nurses or staff?
I’ve worked with several organizations who have recruited top talent because they live their brand vision every day and it comes through in the recruiting process. It may not be the only reason for a person to relocate to join your brand, but I’ve heard several clinical leaders say they moved to an organization because they truly believe in the vision and mission and it can be felt in their daily lives. They can feel the authenticity from the people they met throughout the process.
Remember, your brand is the most important business tool you have. Not only is it instrumental in attracting consumers and patients, it can also be decisive in attracting and retaining top talent, but only if you leverage it.