In the competitive world of today, every company seeks to have the best talent around. This is the reason that it has become extremely difficult for the employees to get into any company. But as far as the best talents from the high-profile universities are concerned, companies have to come up with exciting packages so as to ensure that the highly-talented lot can become a part of their functioning. So, as far as the current research is concerned, an employee brand is what attracts the employees towards a company. It is actually an image that the company makes of itself in the minds of many that it is the best place to get employed at. An employee brands ensures a sense of belongingness in the people and this makes the employees play an integral role in the achievement of success. Hence, one can say that an employee brand is the value of a company that exists in the corporate. Hence, one can say that in the present scenario, one of the goals of a company is related to employee branding. This goal is to achieve customer satisfaction where the customers are nobody but the employees themselves. One can also introduce employee branding as one of the core values of an organization. Those companies that this research has seen to have a good image in the market place are the ones which also have a good extent of employee brand attached to its name. The most important question that needs to be answered with respect to brand employer building is that the company has to know as to what they are and what their vision is. Along with this, they also have to meet the expectations of the stakeholders in the meanwhile. (Mangold, 2004)
Internal View of Employee branding
One must be able to define the meaning of employee branding to the company. It must be remembered that employee branding is actually the image of an organization for the people working in the organization. It is this reputation that the companies make of themselves inside their premises that are also carried outside to the passive candidates, the customers, the clients and also the others who are affected by the proceedings of the company. Hence, one can say that within the company, employee branding is done to attract the employees, and also for their subsequent retention in times to come so as to improve the company’s image of employee branding. The management of every country has to understand a very simple fact that it can’t lay a narrow focus on the employee branding. If this is done, it would only be a departmental project and would not have been entitled to be a part of the overall business strategy of the company. One must keep another fact clear that if employee branding is only considered to be a part of the recruitment process and then given the back seat, there will be too many cases of absenteeism resulting in subsequent resignations at frequent intervals. (Turning staff into brand ambassadors, 2009)
Importance of defining Employee Brand Objectives
Every activity that is regular in a company requires a definition for its subsequent planning. The reason for the same is that once the objectives are defined, the company would certainly save a lot of money and time in the process that are carried in the latter stages. We are all aware of the fact that every company has a different lifecycle stages and objectives at different times. So, defining the employee brand objectives would be of help at all these life stages that the company has For example, one of them can be to establish an employee referral program. These objectives with respect to employee branding can be to integrate the culture of two companies in process of doing a merger, or to decrease the turnover rates of the employees, to increase the hire volume for a particular period of time, training to improve the quality of the employees, and also to update the career section in the websites to ensure that the company can convey the idea of employee branding and the importance that it holds in the organization. These are all the cases that need to be defined with respect to employee branding for better implementation and subsequent success of the company. (Pickard, 2009)
Relationship between Employee branding and Marketing and Communications
A company must define the ownership of a brand strategy so as to make a reach to the consensus and also so that the employees of the country remain united in their ways. The management of a company must always take the forefront in driving employee branding with the help of education in the organizational premises and also by awareness building. There are certain employees who stand as unconditional and do not require a general need for motivation. But for most of the organizations it is a long-term and also strategic attempt of talent management. These strategies are designed in order to attract, keep busy, prevent absenteeism etc and these strategies can only be fulfilled by a collaboration of the employee branding department with the marketing and communications department. As for example, the marketing and communications department s can be of extreme help in the case of analysis through websites, or also in the segmentation of the target market. Research says that wherever this collaboration stays weak, there is certainly a large struggle, or delay in the projects or even the creativity can be minimized to a large extent.
Modes of Discovering Employee brand
One can develop an employee branding strategy by making a comprehension of the culture followed in the organization, the work experiences of candidates, the drivers of talent, external perspectives of the organization, vision of the organization, the leadership issues and also the management practices. If a company focuses on these areas for discovering its employee branding, it would be able to make a construction of its message platform which would have the characteristics of being the most authenticated, of a compelling nature and also distinguished. This systematic procedure would also be embraced perfectly in the internal organization. Other than this, the external reach of the organization would also better as a result.
There are also various ways of carrying the development program of employee branding. These are both quantitative and qualitative research. This can be in the form of focussing on groups, conducting interviews of leaders and also meetings and seminars. One can also gather competitive intelligence in the process. If the company wants to develop itself externally as well, it can check the online reputation of the firm so as to find out the views of the organization about what is said about them on the web through the blogs, or some social networking sites like Facebook and Orkut.
Role of the CEO and the Higher Authorities in Employee branding
It is extremely important for a company to have its top management converse about the employee brands in the earlier stages of the development of the same. There is an institute called the Employee brand Institute which suggests that it is highly positive for a company’s future prospects to get involved with the key stakeholders on this issue. These issues can include the following:
* The support of employee branding in development of the business strategy
* The culture of the organization and its consistency across the globe
* The perception of the organization both internally and externally
* The channels of communication for bottom-up and vice versa
* The most critical positions of success and the extent to which the company has gone in achieving the same
* All the above defined can be with respect to the attraction of the employees towards the organization, the engagement in achieving the organization’s goals and finally the removal of policies of absenteeism from the organization and achieve maximum retention of employees (HR faces the challenges of 2002, 2002)
Significance of Employee brand
Many researchers have argued that in spite of following all the characteristics of employee branding, companies have generally considered it as a shortcut for getting the best talent available in the surroundings. Many companies also tie up with ad agencies so as to market their employee branding even if they do not practice them in reality. These are some of the activities which fall totally against the much valued significance that employee branding has. It is often said that if one takes good care of his guests, there is all the probability that the guest will become your own and will continue to be loyal with you. This is followed by organizations like Google and Marriott. Every organization must understand this fact very clearly that the organization’s core values are defined by the extent of being productive and responsive towards the customers. In others words it is a common belief that if a company takes care of the people it affects, these people would certainly take care of the company. The competitive world of today teaches a very simple concept which is that every gain is mutual. Along with the services, it is the employee brand of a company that it would have to deliver to make the best possible returns.
Implementation in UAE
Employee branding has seen its heights touched in UAE. One can see that every now and then there are some new entrants into every big organization. For example, if one has a look at the statistics of the country, more than 80% of the population is that of the expatriates. The level is even increasing every now and then. For a person to make a living in country, the work atmosphere has to be very good and along with that it is also required that the companies offer many opportunities for the candidates. Both these characteristics on which the employee brand depends are highly followed in UAE.
Employee branding and Tourism in UAE
The incessant development of tourism in the country is based on a number of reasons. There is an entire integrated system that is responsible for the same. The country would never have had the same number of tourists just with the advancement in the infrastructure itself. There are also many other reasons for the same. These reasons include the application of employee branding in some of the famous companies in UAE. Alshamel Holidays is a very well-known name when it comes to tourism planning in the country. The company has reached its success because of the fact that the employees are highly satisfied with the processes that are followed by the company. The company has attracted the employees not just by giving exciting packages in terms of money and the other extra incentives along with it, but also with the level of motivation that is practiced in Alshameel Holidays. The organization connects more than 45,000 hotels all over and most importantly; this strong network is maintained by individuals employed all over.
The difference that the company has with respect to other holiday designing organizations like Al-Futtaim is that, the company has made an image of itself that can’t be imitated in the market. The company has used its employee brand strategy as a part of the organizational goals that have been discussed in the first section. There are many companies that are looking forward to hire the type of employee collection that Alshamel Holidays can offer but the only difference is that they have used the false significance of employee branding as mentioned above. Many tourism companies only guarantee a democratic mode of leadership with a flat organizational structure where the employees would also have their say in making strategies. This is actually followed in Alshamel Holidays organization. Every seminar which is held so as to make the strategies to attract new tourists is also attended by the other employees as well whom the company feels to make a suitable contribution in the making. This also develops a healthy competition amongst the employees and the employee branding is advanced further. Once again, we see that a mutual benefit has a major role to play. The company’s prospects increase this way as well as the employees’ morale.
Employee branding and Real Estate in UAE
Not many of us are eluded from the fact that the real-estate business in UAE is amongst the best in the world. Once again, there are many reasons for the same. The country has seen some of the nest structures that it would not have even dreamt about in the past. Where did all the skill come from? Every real-estate company in the country follows the principle of Employee branding. They know exactly where they are and what they want to become. Not only this, they are also particular about giving the employees all the benefits that they deserve and even more on the company’s success. Whichever company does so, has an image for employee branding and wherever this is not possible, the case is different. A UAE citizen must have heard the names of Emaar Properties and also Emirates Property Investment. The two companies are the representatives of real estate business in the country. They are responsible for making the tallest structure on earth, the largest mall in the earth and also have the reputation of accommodating the highest number of people in the world. It is not just a matter of chance that has made this a reality. The companies have the best employees that a real estate company can ever have. First of all, their recruitment policies implement the employee branding to the fullest.
The employees are attracted by the already created image of excellent work conditions within the company. Also, they are given the best packages and incentive in course of their working in the country. But, for most other real estate companies this is the end of employee branding that they do. On most occasions, the companies do not even follow the incentive policy that they promise. This is the reason that in spite of the exceptional success of the real estate business in the country, there are very few actually known. Here again, we can see the mutual advantage of the employers and the employees. Once the old employees resign old companies, they move on to companies like Emaar and Emirates Properties. This way, the latter companies also have an idea of the competent strategy that is made. One of the best ideas of employee branding that are followed by the top management in Emaar and Emirates Properties, is that they always hold meeting in personal with the employees so as to follow the purpose of attracting and retaining. This way, even the level of absenteeism and initial resignations are prevented. The best part is that the top management also follows the ides of employee branding with respect to the work experience of the employees and also the talent that they are capable of. They do not leave a stone unturned in motivating the employees as and when required. The two companies are also highly bothered about the fact that they have an excellent external image. This is because; the entrance of employees is highly based on the same. (Warren, 2009)
Employee branding and Hotel Industry in UAE
We have all heard about the Hilton Hotel in UAE and the Le Meridian hotel in Jumeirah Beach. These are amongst the best hotels that even middle class tourists can hope to accommodate themselves in. Not everybody in the country has the privilege to afford Burj Dubai. But when it comes to making profits, the two hotels are not far behind Burj Dubai! A very important reason behind the same is the applicability of Employee branding in the two hotels. Even during seasons when the rates are slashed, the guests are treated in the best possible manner. The two hotels believe in the principle that if a hotel takes care of the guests, the guests will take care of the hotel and also be an integral part of the same by being loyal in the future. This can certainly not happen without the significant contribution of the hotel staff. The staffs of Le Meridian and Hilton Hotels in UAE are recruited from amongst some of the best hotel management institutes in the world. The credibility of the staff is so much that they can also be recruited in hotels like Burj Dubai and that too with higher salaries in the beginning. But what keeps them to the mentioned hotels is the amount of care that the top management has for them.
Not many employees are given the option to choose amongst their own suitability of duty timings. These hotels are amongst the only exceptions that allow this to happen. There are many occasions that even the higher officials are ready to assist the staff during extra critical situations. This not only gives a sense of confidence amongst the employees but also makes them loyal to the respective hotel in the future. The two hotels are so bothered about their staff that they keep taking their interviews and also be a part of observations so as to see if the leaders behave ethically or not. Much to the surprise of many leaders, the hotels also take action against the leaders who do not turn favourites amongst the staff. Even though it does decrease the power to control, the company sees to it that the results are very close to what actually takes place in the practical sense. Another principle of employee branding that the two hotels follow is to check the distribution channels. A guest is served only after a systematic set of processes followed by the hotels. For example, the receptionist, the escorts, the serving staff, the cleanliness staff and all other departmental staff that the customers encounter. The two hotels ensure that all these staffs are happy with the proceedings of the hotels. The reason for the same is that, if this is not followed and even if one distribution channel fails, the hotels’ reputations would be at stake. So, one can see that the employee branding ideology of frequent conversation with the staff for the betterment of the organization is highly followed in Le Meridian Hotel and Hilton Hotel for their best prospects.
I am a pre final year student at the Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management, Gwalior, India pursuing a five year integrated course (dual degree) leading to the award of B.Tech (Information Technology) and MBA. I am currently in the 9th Semester. ABV-IIITM Gwalior, a Deemed University, is an apex Institute, established by the ministry of HRD (Human Resource Development), Government of India. The competitive environment at my Institute coupled with my inherent trait of trying to learn something new from each experience has made me come a long way in these four years. I have not only learnt to work under pressure and intense competition with some of the brightest students in the country but have also worked with an esteemed KPO called CBI Solutions in the meanwhile. This has given me the experience to get exposed to some of the most challenging marketing traits in the business. Moreover, I have been awarded first rank for IT and Entrepreneurship at the end of my 7th Semester. I have been privileged to work at Polaris Retail Infotech Limited, Gurgaon from May to July’08. This taught me the practical application of relationship marketing as I saw the preparation of customer interfaces through their software Smart Store. This is visible at billing counters at retail stores of the fame of Shopper’s Stop. Also, I’ve been in the editorial board of my college magazine, La Vista for the past 3 years and eventually I hold the responsibility of the Chief Editor.