Dansk Coaching Institut - Securing your employer brand value in downturns

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Information about Dansk Coaching Institut - Securing your employer brand value in downturns
Business & Mgmt

Published on February 17, 2014

Author: 41dinesen

Source: slideshare.net

Description

At the onset of the economic downturn, many companies chose very quickly to take drastic actions due to the perspectives of a future crisis. One action was to lay people off in order to save money on payroll. I was a witness to this in the spring of 2009.

Securing your employer brand value in downturns By Christian Dinesen Published in Universum Quaterly, November 2009 The global crisis has put a strain on all industries, global household names and local leading brands. All have had to look at their situation, tighten the belt and restructure to manage the situation. Some have had more luck with this transition than others. Panic causing turmoil At the onset of the economic downturn, many companies chose very quickly to take drastic actions due to the perspectives of a future crisis. One action was to lay people off in order to save money on payroll. I was a witness to this in the spring of this year. Situation: At a conference centre in Copenhagen, a group of people from a leading airline was gathered to be briefed on their new situation. They had been laid off. Out there in the corridor they were waiting for judgement day. What would happen? They had already mentally decided what should happen. They were sacrificed. At least that’s how they felt. I listened from a nearby chair drinking my coffee, and listened to their anger, frustrations and sadness, not only for losing their job, but also for losing some their identity and all their beloved colleagues. One thing was for sure, as I heard them speaking with low voices, they would for sure not miss the management or compliment them on the action taken leading to their dismissal. Their exit was characterised by bashing the company brand. Consequence: The people now leaving this airline left with a bad experience. Not only them being laid off, but the whole situation around it, the way it had been handled. People being angry, once being dedicated employees, felt sacrificed. When I stood there, feeling in myself on their behalf the impact on their dignity, I understood their frustration and anger. I thought to myself, ones these people were proud ambassadors of their airline, now they are angry former ambassadors. Result: This employer brand took some serious hits to its reputation. As someone said, “It takes generations to build a great brand, and it takes two seconds to ruin it”. This goes for corporate branding as well. Have you thought about that your corporate branding investment is not only to attract the best talent, but also to keep it at its best when this talent moves on to the next career opportunity? ! What story do you want ex-talents to tell about you, not only to a new employer, but also former customers and partners which they meet in their future? New situation: Now this company have sent angry and frustrated ex-employees out in the job market. What can we learn from this and what could they and the rest of us do different in the future? Here are some suggestions: ! ! ! Have an employee exit strategy – How do you make sure that people leave with dignity and respect? Conduct an exit interview with people leaving at all levels. As well as with their manager and a HR-person. Gather as much information about how they (the employee) have reacted to the exit process. 1

! ! ! Create a best practice list for employee exits and interviews. Create a budget for outplacement for all employees to be used by them to get a new start. Develop a contact group in your company for ex-employees to support them in their career and life transition. Remember the impact on the whole family when a member looses the job and financial stability. If your company shows empathy and support, they might keep momentum in securing a new job faster. Goal for securing employer brand value in times of employee exits Set up a measureable goal for your exit strategy supporting your brand value. Here are some questions for reflection: ! ! ! ! ! ! How can you make sure that your former employees stay ambassadors for your company? What is the first thing a former employee should think of your company? What is the most important thing a former employee should tell the next employer about your company? What is your next step to make sure this happens? When will you implement this exit quality assurance in your employer branding strategy What is your proof that you have succeeded in this? Value of a exit quality assurance What will it bring to your company and most important, to your brand, when making sure that not only new hires are being well taken care of, but also those who leave? ! Keep in mind that those leaving, speak to those people who could be your next potential talent that you want working for you. The talent pool is massively decreasing, due to demographics in the western part of our world. Furthermore, more women than men now have higher education. This is bound to have a huge impact on the future family structure and traditional business structures. It has become even more sensible to balance how one handles onboarding and exits of talent. ! What immediate actions can your company take to secure brand value for those leaving? Conclusion and recommendations A saying is “what comes around goes around”, and my conclusion is that never before have we had this sort of crisis, though why is it that most companies never seems to learn from previous crisis? Exits happen, this time in bigger bundles. I believe if you and your company invest much in the talent life cycle from onboarding to exit, you will have a higher rate of positive ambassadors, who might even bring return business to you or even come back as a business partner becoming valuable for your supply chain. Ask yourself and be honest, “If you were asked to leave, how would want it to be and what would be important in order for you to stay a loyal ambassador to your now former company? Personal bio box: Christian Dinesen, CEO, Danish Coaching Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark Mail: cd@danskcoachinginstitut.dk 2

Sidebar: Lessons learned or tips box: Securing your employer brand: ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Set up a frame for employee exits Do have exit interviews Set up outplacement programs Be emphatic and understanding Set up support groups for former employees Make sure to honour their results and contributions in times when things went well Secure that the family also are being supported when the breadwinner looses the job Introduce “Corporate Employee Responsibility” Develop an ambassador programme and make former employees stay loyal Company bio box: The Danish Coaching Institute was established in 2002. With headquarters in Århus and an office in the capital of Copenhagen, the institute employs 25 people and deliver accredited business coaching programmes such as a “Talent coach certification training for managers and executives to develop talent in real time”. The Institute focus on transforming science into adaptable business skills and behaviours through action learning and real experience for an immediate return on investment. 3

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