How your business can become the employer of choice

· April 3, 2019

two men and two women at work looking at a laptop

Want to attract and retain the best talent? Then you need to create a working culture and environment that makes people want to work for you. Sounds simple, but it actually involves a lot more than you may at first think.

So why bother? With unemployment at an all-time low and younger generations becoming more discerning over who they work for, employers need to do more to attract and retain the best talent, and those that do are gaining a competitive advantage. Quite simply, being an employer of choice is good for business.

What makes an employer of choice?

Why do some companies attract more talent than others? This is complex and it’s not all about pay and perks. A powerful factor is a sense of connection with the business mission. NHS workers, for example, care about the patients they are ultimately working for over pay.

Millennials in particular think about work differently. It’s becoming more important that the work they are doing matters to them. As an employer, it is no longer sufficient to offer high salaries and assume you will get the best employees.

The characteristics found in employer-of-choice companies include:

  • Role security – the company is financially solid
  • Autonomy – employees have the authority and flexibility to contribute to the organisation’s development alongside core duties, as well as being encouraged to achieve a good work-life balance
  • Recognition – a fair process of regular feedback and acknowledgment
  • Communication – employees feel trusted and interconnected
  • Growth – employees are encouraged and supported to learn and develop
  • A good atmosphere – happy, engaged staff
  • Values – consistent with the employee and customer experience

How to be an employer of choice

Being an employer of choice is ultimately all about your culture, which includes the crucial components of employee engagement, employee experience, employee voice and employer brand.

Building a positive culture starts with understanding how your employees are feeling. To implement an effective employee engagement strategy, you need to understand what human beings need to be happy and perform well.

The 4C Model that underpins WeThrive is based on a comprehensive understanding of these human needs, and the particular ways they play out in the workplace. WeThrive employee engagement survey is designed to give you the insights you need to get a temperature check on engagement, wellbeing, motivation and productivity.  The employee survey results translate into actionable insights for managers to build a coaching culture and unlock the potential of their team.

Improving employee experience and engagement needs to be at the heart of your business strategy. This includes opportunity for development and to share ideas, flexibility around working hours, wellbeing initiatives, and collaboration, as well as understanding individual needs. It’s also about the ethics and values of your organisation.

Being an employer of choice doesn’t happen overnight and it takes a lot more than a few perks and one-off initiatives. It requires a dedicated on-going programme of supporting employees to be at their best.

The benefits of being an employer of choice

An increasing number of platforms are publicising the best companies to work for. Schemes like The Sunday Times Best Companies List provide highly visible ways to portray value to potential employees. Recruitment site Glassdoor provide the opportunity for employees to rate past and existing employers. They also publish their own annual listing of best places to work.

There are also a growing number of national awards highlighting the organisations that are creating the best workplaces, such as The Employee Engagement Awards and The Business Culture Awards.

Candidates can easily research potential employers now, and not just to find out business performance stats, but to find out what it is actually like to work there.

We live in an unprecedented era where employee experience is driving recruitment outcomes, staff retention and business success. Listening to your people is now more important than ever before.

Read our white paper ‘becoming the employer of choice to attract top talent and retain the best employees‘ to find out how your business can become the employer of choice to attract and retain the best employees, or, catch up on our recent webinar.