Authored by Rajeev Bhardwaj, VP-Human Resource, Sun Life Financial Asia Service Centre, India
A corporate brand is the sum total of several ideas. It encompasses your organization’s philosophy, culture, and approach to business as well as its reputation among its customers. A brand is reflected not just by the belief system of the top management but by each and every cog in the establishment’s wheel. For people who like to see the world in boxes, Human Resource Managers are merely tools for ensuring a good flow of talent into the company, and have little bearing on the brand. However, a closer look at the interconnected aspects of branding will prove that Human Resource Managers are key to the organization’s branding. They not only ensure compliance with labor laws and employment ethics, but also make sure that people in the organization are in sync with the brand image and value of the establishment and also reflect it externally.
A brand is the identity of a company in the eyes of its customers. To put it more precisely, it’s the promise that customers associate with the experience, value and quality of the services extended by the organization. If the promise is not delivered to the customers each and every time, the brand image suffers. Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, famously said that organizations should look after their employees, who in turn will automatically look after the customers and maintain the brand value. This is why the role of Human Resource Managers is important and key to the brand image.
By being the vanguard of an organization’s culture, by moulding the environment of the organization, by instilling the right values in new employees and bringing them in sync with the organization’s core values and beliefs, HR professionals determine the continuity of the organization’s brand at every level. In this manner, they also act as brand ambassadors of the company they represent. More precisely, they ensure that each employee becomes a brand ambassador of the organization.
Competitive pressure in today’s business environment has catapulted the HR department from an administrative overhead to the fountainhead of innovative solutions to cultivate and nurture talent, and act as the conduit between the top management and the ground level executers. This is how the core philosophy of brand flows from top to bottom internally.
Learning about the standards and trends prevalent in the industry is the key HR solutions provider as it helps organizations keep pace with the changing needs of time. For example, companies today are adopting employee friendly measures such as flexible timings, work from home options, paternity leaves and longer paid maternity leaves to make working more amenable and happy experience for employees. Organizations that take lead in adopting such friendly measures will automatically rank higher on employee preference and will have better retention results. Happy employee translates into the most suitable brand ambassador of an organization as he/she act as an influencer in the industry and persuades more talented individuals to join the organization.
Today, HR managers need to think like marketers and know how to market USPs of their organization to potential talent. Their role is crucial in explaining their company’s work culture and benefits to prospective candidates. It’s also crucial in retaining experienced candidates as they seek job security. Hence, the importance of retention, particularly of quality talent is key to maintaining the organization’s brand value.