Now, more than ever, do employees look to managers for information and leadership on many levels. We’re all in this together, there is nobody to blame for this pandemic, and it’s testing for every employee of an organisation.
But what about employer brand leadership? Surely that is the responsibility of all managers, not just the upper echelons. Some might argue that employer branding is only required in times of large scale hiring; however, they’re missing the point. Employer brand is about the whole employee experience, and now more than ever, it’s about ensuring this experience is as good as it can be. And let’s not forget candidates, who are in the hiring process and understandably unsure about their prospects.
Here are a few tips for managers, inspired by The Economist:
1. Have a clear message. What is the company doing to support its people? What are the expectations of employees? Who is in charge of what? These are the basics that all leaders should know and communicate clearly.
2. Keep calm. The leaders of an organization have to keep a level head in a crisis. Some have experienced tough times in the past, others haven’t, but they are typically more seasoned than their team members.
3. Be available. There will be questions beyond the ones above; now is the time to proactively check-in with teams and individuals. Whether it’s on Zoom, Teams, or other places; team members need to know managers are there for them.
4. Listen. What’s on the management agenda may not be what worries staff on a daily basis, use your meetings and interactions to really understand what matters to your people. Consider running a Q&A session open to all employees.
5. Be transparent. First of all, your managers are not going to have all the information people ask for. That’s fine, as long as they say as much. They should let their teams know they’re working on it and will keep everyone posted.
The job of the employer brand team, together with communications, PR, marketing, HR in general, is to ensure leaders and employees are kept updated regularly.