Are you an employer of choice?
What are the facets of your business you consider important when you draw up your website, blog, marketing flyer or social media site?
Are you focused on the product or service at the centre of your business? A section about the business (the ubiquitous ‘about us’) and perhaps an interesting story about how you got started, to add a human dimension. If so, you are not alone. Yet, this information misses the opportunity to showcase your business as a great place to work.
If your business model includes growth to include staff, then read on, because marketing your business as an ‘employer of choice’ is an essential branding tool in your business arsenal. To attract and retain great staff, businesses need to consider how they meet the expectations workers have of employers.
According to the recent poll by Gallup, State of the Global Workplace, employee engagement in Australia is at a disheartening 24%. This figure is alarming, when we know employee engagement leads to a greater investment at work and better employee retention.
Beyond a reasonable wage, workers want to: value the work they do and be valued by employers; work in a business with professional development and growth opportunities and; work for a business which matches their outlook. Expectations may also centre on flexibility in work hours, brand appeal and promoting diversity and inclusion.
If your business satisfies worker expectations, you will have workers who are enthusiastic about their job. Enthusiastic workers not only help build your business, they become advertisements for the great culture of your business. If you are an employer of choice, you’ll have people queuing up to work for you.
Building your reputation as an employer of choice can be daunting, but ultimately rewarding. Some of the suggestions put forward by employment specialists are below:
- if you cannot offer above the market or award rate for a position, think about perks you can offer as an additional attraction (be aware of Fringe Benefits tax).
- make sure every piece of written information about your company, from Facebook to flyer, conveys your business culture.
- prepare a professional development plan for your employees and encourage your employees to set development goals. It shows a commitment that can result in better staff retention.
- communicate with your employees. Ensure they understand businesses goals and values, the business’s operation, how responsibilities are delegated and how they fit into the business framework.
- play fair. Nothing breaks down a balanced workplace quicker than the perception that some workers are favoured over others.
- if you have performance reviews, ensure to include recognition of each worker’s accomplishments and a section for employee feedback.
- act on the performance review and feedback; it will do you no good if you just file it.
- if your business allows for it, think about flexible work practices to encourage staff with family commitments to stay on.
- get your employees involved in your business. Staff often have great ideas for business strategy or operations that can streamline or value add to your business, and give staff another reason to engage in your business.
- walk the talk. Workers will move on quickly enough if they find your business isn’t living up to the hype.
Finally, if it’s feasible, talk to the local TAFE or the University of Newcastle about attending career days to get your presence out into the community of up-and-coming workers.