As a business, you’ve most likely invested time, energy, and cash into branding your product or service for potential customers or clients. You’ve researched what your prospects are looking for. You’ve positioned yourself as competitive and desirable. You’ve strived to build ongoing relationships with leads and customers.
But have you done the same for potential employees?
Employer branding can help you hire and retain quality employees by building a positive company culture, communicating strong values, and ultimately, offering your employees an enjoyable, beneficial experience at work.
Employer branding isn’t just a “good idea,” however. It can offer your business great ROI by helping to contribute to overall employee productivity and job satisfaction.
In fact, one study published by Forbes found that happy employees are 20% more productive than unhappy employees. And Gallup reports that engaged employees can improve a company’s bottom line: “Business or work units that score in the top quartile of their organization in employee engagement have nearly double the odds of success”.
All that being said, investing effort into employer branding can really pay off–in the form of happier employees, reduced turnover, and potentially higher profits.
In this article, we’ll take a look at 4 companies with amazing employer branding and the strategies they use to attract top talent and keep their existing employees happy (and productive).
Google: Incredible Perks + Strategic Hiring
For 6 years running, Google has ranked #1 on Fortune’s list of best companies to work for, and with good reason.
While the massive tech company is perhaps best known for offering outstanding perks (free gourmet food on campus, an onsite gym, free haircuts, free massages, free transportation, even free cooking classes), their employer branding is about more than just awesome freebies.
Google cares about actually developing their employees, and giving them time and space to thrive as human beings–not just “cogs in the machine.” That’s why they….
- Allow employees to use 20% of their working hours to devote to a project of their choice (ultimately resulting in significant new innovation for Google)…
- Encourage employees to volunteer their time to the community (even allowing employees to use their own working hours to give back)….
- Devoting time and energy to developing great leadership, knowing that great leadership can build a better working environment.
As for hiring? Google focuses more on a candidate’s problem-solving skills rather than academic accolades – attracting cutting edge talent that know how to innovate and ideate.
While not every company has the resources to offer extraordinary perks like free food and gym memberships, business owners can learn this powerful lesson: job candidates will flock to companies that care about them as individuals, and are committed to helping them achieve a great work-life balance (Proof? 2 million people apply to work for Google every year).
Patagonia: Powerful Core Values + Flexible Working Hours
Patagonia is a California-based outdoor clothing company that’s built a powerful company culture through an emphasis on corporate social responsibility (CSR).
In fact, Patagonia is widely recognized as a pioneer in CSR–having given over $185 million to nonprofit environmental groups since its founding nearly 50 years ago. They’ve also given an additional $38 million to socially responsible groups and ventures. And yet, Patagonia remains extremely profitable–founder Yvon Chouinard was reportedly worth $1 billion in 2018.
Patagonia not only advances its core value of “using business to protect nature” through its giving; it instills this powerful value into its employee culture.
In fact, Patagonia hires for employees that enjoy the outdoors–reportedly reading resumés from the bottom up to look for interests, activities, and volunteer work that reflect the ethos of the company. And, once you’re hired, you’re given time “to play.” They give employees every other Friday off, offer childcare, and even provide paid leave to volunteer with an environmental project.
The result? Patagonia has an extraordinarily low turnover rate–only 4%, according to Inc.
Zappos: High Employee Happiness → Great Customer Relationships
Zappos calls themselves “maniacally obsessed with making sure our customers are happy”…and they live up to the hype.
The online shoe retailer is famous for extraordinary acts of customer service, such as last-minute free overnight shipping for a best man whose shoes had been delivered the wrong address (plus an upgrade to a VIP account and a full refund); a famous 10-hour and 43-minute customer service call; and more recently offering to listen to customers process anxiety about the coronavirus outbreak.
Zappos’ customer service reps are more than willing to go above and beyond. Why? Because they’re excited about working for a company that successfully “builds a positive team and family spirit” (one of Zappos’ core values).
To build their employer branding, Zappos has a highly unconventional but highly strategic onboarding process: Every single employee that’s hired goes through a 4-week training process followed by 2 weeks as a customer service rep–even if that’s not the position they’ve been hired for. At the end of the training, they’re given a tempting offer: Receive full pay for the training plus a $2k check to leave the company.
The goal of that seemingly counterintuitive process, according to Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, is “to weed out the people that are just there for a paycheck.”
Remaining employees get the benefit of working for a company that’s committed to employee happiness. Their company environment includes: a relaxed dress code, team-building activities, discounted food and drink, and a culture that encourages employees to be themselves–even if that means quirky!
The result? Greater employee happiness, decreased churn, and lower overhead costs.
Salesforce: Building Family, or “Ohana”
Salesforce is a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform that helps companies to integrate marketing, sales, commerce, IT, and more from anywhere. Its worth has grown astronomically over the past decade, and is even slated to become the world’s “next trillion-dollar company”–putting it in the ranks of Apple, Amazon, and other top corporate powerhouses.
Salesforce offers an excellent service, understands its market, and has evolved over time to become a critical piece of success for major companies all over the world. But part of its success can also be attributed to its employer branding, which is built on the concept of “Ohana” or family.
Salesforce calls it employees “trailblazers,” and seeks to build a community on transparency, trust, and inclusivity. They’ve built a social media presence that highlights their amazing work culture, and in 2020, were named One of the Best Workplaces for Millennials by Fortune Magazine.
The stats live up to the hype, too. A whopping 92% of Salesforce employees believe they work in a positive environment, and 80% are proud to be a part of the Salesforce brand.
The result? A true “ohana” that works together to build a better company.
Building Better Employer Branding with Nailted
You may not have the resources or capacity to give your employees free PTO, or offer new hires thousands of dollars just to leave (to test their loyalty)…but you can create a work culture that puts the happiness of its employees first. The result? A stronger, more profitable company that attracts and keeps top talent.
Nailted is a web-based product that can help you significantly improve employee satisfaction and build a more positive work environment through:
- Strategically measuring employee satisfaction on a regular basis.
- Encouraging positive and instructive employee feedback–creating more transparency and improving processes.
- Giving employees a stronger voice in the company.
- Identifying markers of employee burnout before they cause turnover.