I’m a firm believer that your employee brand trumps the employer brand and recently came across an amazing app that enhances employee communication, advocacy, and engagement. As this app is trusted by companies including Deloitte, Unilever, and Dell, I reached out to the COO of Smarp, Mikael Lauharanta, and he has provided these valuable insights about employee and employer branding and what it means for your business.
By helping your employees improve their personal brand and influence, you not only attract better talent, but also help those employees be more successful at what they do regardless of their job function – Mikael Lauharanta
“In case you have not lived under a massive rock for the past decade, you should probably have heard of employer branding. However, the lesser known term of employee branding often gets lost in the shuffle, which is unfortunate, because it could very well be the more important one of the two when you look at the big picture.
Both employer branding and employee branding have multiple benefits for the organization and the individual alike. Whereas employer branding has traditionally been more connected to recruiting, employee branding touches a wider variety of functions within a company. If employer branding is the process of improving the company’s reputation as an employer, employee branding is improving the reputation of the employees instead.
A common mistake in employer branding is stopping after you’ve hired someone, or only doing external employer branding. To retain the best talent you have attracted, you need to help them fall in love with your organisation continuously. The competition for the best talent is fierce so you need to make sure you live and breathe your employer brand in your day to day.
The benefits of employee branding, on the other hand, are many-sided. By helping your employees improve their personal brand and influence, you not only attract better talent but also help those employees be more successful at what they do regardless of their job function.
In addition, the biggest draw for talented people is often other talented people in similar roles within the organization. What better way to attract the best developers to your company than having the reputation for having the best developers? A good example of a company that is doing employee branding right is EY, who have for long positioned their employees as thought leaders in their industry.
Employee branding also meshes well with other ongoing trends like social selling. As prospective buyers are looking for more and more information and value online before engaging a sales professional, it is of utmost importance that employees have a presence, a brand, and a voice on social media. And because the purchasing decision could be made without contacting a sales rep altogether, this requirement is not only limited to people with sales, marketing or other traditionally externally focused roles.
I’m a strong believer in the knowledge economy and a proponent of an employee driven company culture. At a time when employee engagement worldwide is hovering as low as 13% (Gallup), we need to find clever ways of engaging employees. In our experience one of the best ways to achieve this is giving employees more freedom, keeping them informed, and encouraging them to participate in internal and external discussions as well as positioning them for individual success.
If all this sounds overwhelming, luckily there are apps that help you do a little bit of both employer and employee branding. Employee communication apps like Smarp help you communicate your employer brand both internally and externally, but perhaps more importantly, they allow your employees to source good content for everybody to share both internally and externally and to tailor the experience according to their individual preferences and topics of interest.
Mikael Lauharanta is a digital media authority and one of the founding fathers of employee advocacy. As the co-founder and COO of Smarp, he has helped foster the expansion of the company from the founding team to a global organization with 60+ employees and offices all over the world. Mikael has won several pitching competitions for Smarp including Arctic15 and is a frequent speaker on the topics of social selling, employee advocacy, and social media measurement. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Aalto University (formerly known as Helsinki School of Economics) where he graduated with honors.