What could be common between the aerospace giant Airbus and the 200-year-old Citi group? Nothing, it might seem on the surface but a look at the L&D culture would show that both these giants have hugely committed themselves to developing the competencies of their employees to meet any current and future needs. This in turn also gained them a reputation as an employer brand which makes the best want to work for them.
Turning their attention to the internal brand aka the employee brand has become a must for organisations the world over. Gone are the days of treating only the customer as the king. Companies and organisations, big and small, understand the importance of focusing on improving their employer brand- how they are perceived by current employees, future and passive candidates. The employer brand, they recognise, is how people will see them as a great place where they want to work at.
Given that 55 per cent of job seekers are looking for opportunities in growth and development, among the many things that you can do to build and improve your employer brand is an emphasis on learning and development as a core value and part of the company culture is sure to win brownie points with the right audience. Let’s take a closer look at the different ways in which L&D contributes to your employer brand:
- Statistically employees that receive regular training are more likely to have a positive outlook. So, when they go to a site like Glassdoor they will be able to post their recommendation in that light. Thus, these employee testimonials praising your commitment to L&D will look very attractive to any prospective employee on the lookout for a job with you.
- Ongoing education is crucial for retaining employees because it helps improve employee engagement which is a fairly used measuring tool for employee happiness. You would be surprised that in America alone this figure stands at a meagre 33 per cent, meaning that roughly 66 per cent of the workforce feels disengaged. By providing opportunities to learn and develop their skill set you are doing your brand a favour and gaining happy, engaged and skilled employees who are invested in your company’s vision.
- Research from Universum and DHI group found that 68 per cent of the world’s most attractive employees already have an employer branding strategy in place and their EVP is linked to their talent development strategy. Glassdoor reports that 60 per cent candidates consider any job offer holistically i.e. beyond just compensation and job title. Therefore, providing L&D opportunities can be a key competitive advantage over your competition in these times of war for talent.
A surprising thing has been happening at workplaces all over the globe. For the first-time ever there are people from about 3 to 5 different generations working in the offices at the same time. These active 5 generations are based on the years they were born in.
The Silent Generation who make up about 3% of the workforce are the people born between 1900-1945. Baby Boomers were born between 1946-1964 and Generation X, born between 1965-1980. The most prevalent generation globally at 25%, going on to hit the 50% mark worldwide by 2020, the Millennials or Gen Y are the people who were born between 1981-2000. Then there are the Nexters or Generation Z who make for more than 25% of the global population right now, compose another 3% of the global work force. They are on their way to be at par with the Millennials by 2020 and can be expected to form at least a 25% of the workforce.
Coming together of this mix of people belonging to different eras in time can mean a lot of different things. They all bring to the table their own strengths and viewpoints. Though seemingly they are all different from each other yet what binds them together are their basic needs and desires at work.
Thus, arises the need of ways in which this multigenerational workforce be tapped into to harness the diversity to empower innovation and branding. Let us look at some ways in which this can be achieved:
- Know them well: Kris Snyder, the founder and CEO of Vox Mobile- the mobile technology management company- offers his employees varied benefits, compensations and assignments. He says, that he has developed these different perks keeping in mind where a certain person is in his/her professional and personal life. The best way to get started on something similar is by knowing the people who work for you and what they prefer. For every generation, something like work-life balance will look different. Frequent feedback and evaluation will help you manage the generational needs and the employees will be happier to work with single minded devotion towards the organisational goals.
- Create space for knowledge sharing: Encourage the people from the first two generation, whichever they might be at your place of work, to act as mentors to the people from the latter generation. Older generations have experience and wisdom on their side and should be encouraged to share trade secrets with the others. In turn, foster reverse mentoring as well- a culture of innovation and inspiration led by Generations X, Y and Z which can be embraced by people from the Silent Generation as well as Baby Boomers. Look towards the US Marine Corps for inspiration where 22 year lieutenants are routinely put in charge of 45-year-old sergeants.
- Show them the future: Career planning should be the norm for everyone. Making people see the direction in which the organisation is headed and where they fit in, in the scheme of things is a great way to communicate goals and expectations which puts each generation on an even playing field.