Page 24

engagement, external customer experiences and bottom-line results. Businesses that invest time and resources on building outstanding employee cultures and work experiences see the impact of their efforts in that their people stay more engaged over time and speak more favorably of them as employers. They’re able to consistently attract and retain top talent, and they see positive business results in the form of increased levels of safety, quality and productivity, as well as higher operating margins and earnings per share. The simple fact is that employees spend more time each day in relationship with their employer than with any other business or brand in their lives. Regardless of what they do or where they work in the world, people are having countless experiences every day with employer brands. That constitutes more interactions and opportunities to engage than we could ever imagine with our traditional consumer brands, but leaders’ job as employer brand owners is no different. They must focus on addressing and deepening the relationships they have

with employees. If leaders want to receive employees’ best work throughout the employee lifecycle, the experiences people have while they work need to be positive, meaningful and worthy of engaging.

The big questions in this discussion center less on why leaders need to prioritize employee experiences and grow employer brand equities, and more on how. How do leaders build an employee experience so exciting that people come to work from day one engaged and ready to give their all? How do leaders sustain that experience and help their cultures thrive over time, so their brands, businesses and customers thrive too? How do leaders create a meaningful experience that leaves people feeling happy and positive, especially when it’s time for them to leave? In the key takeaways and recommendations from its 2016 Global Workforce Study, Willis Towers Watson provided its answer to the how question: Businesses looking to increase engagement should begin offering their workforces more valuable “consumer-like experiences.” Today, retention risk is higher than it’s ever been. Top talent now moves more fluidly from one employer to the next. Nearly half of the employers surveyed in the Willis Towers Watson study indicated that their recruitment activities are having to increase year over year, and more than one-third of the same employers report that churn and turnover is on the rise. What would happen if a company’s customers were churning at such increasing rates? Leaders would likely be focused on finding out what needed to be improved and doing something about it. Leaders therefore need to consider holding employee experiences to the same standards. It’s never been more imperative that leaders reverse this momentum by beginning to consciously design and create experiences that workers want to have. In fact, in the same study, Willis Towers Watson uncovered that employees wanted to be treated more like consumers; 70 percent of workers who responded believe companies should understand their employee needs to the same extent that employees are expected to understand the needs of external customers. Yet only 45 percent believed they worked for employers who viewed them as consumers. That’s a big gap that needs to be closed. One way companies are beginning to act more like employer brand owners is by placing an increased importance on inf luencing and listening to the stories being told about how their employees experience their work. Opinions of how businesses and leaders treat their people and how their people feel treated have never been

24

T a l e n t E c o n o m y • W i n t e r 2017

Talent Economy — Winter 2017  

Like the Industrial Revolution at the turn of the 20th century, today’s technology boom will upend industries and norms for generations. Its...

Talent Economy — Winter 2017  

Like the Industrial Revolution at the turn of the 20th century, today’s technology boom will upend industries and norms for generations. Its...