We're told that we're on the last lap of the CV19 pandemic. What does that mean for your organisation? How can your brand respond as life begins to return to something like it used to be? When should you begin to plan?
It's the 21st January 2021, the Thursday after 'blue monday', the most dismal day of the year, in the most dismal of new years. How're you feeling? I hope that the answer is 'good/great/hopeful/excited', or of course, 'fine, thanks' if you're British ;)
Personally I think there are lots of reasons to feel good/great/hopeful/excited. 2020 was awful of course, and the start of 2021 has been hard too. But, there's light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks to the endless efforts of those working in Healthcare, as Scientists, at home keeping things ticking over, and in business and government to keep the economy moving. We're told that we're in the last chapter. Thank you and thank goodness.
Brutally though, not all brands have done a great job during the pandemic. You'll have your own examples of organisations who are more or less attractive now than they were. Perhaps they treated their customers well, perhaps they didn't? Perhaps they treated their people with care and attention, perhaps they ignored them. Perhaps they profiteered. Perhaps they did the best they could. Perhaps they froze and didn't make any decisions. Perhaps they provided sub-standard school meal packs with half a carrot and a tin of beans (grrrr).
To steal from one of the most famous recruitment posters of the 20th century, 'What did you do in the Covid Pandemic, Daddy?'.
It's surely only a matter of time before the social posts with 'X number of things that post-covid means for employer brands' start to appear. But assuming that the people who do work for you, and could work for you are the most important asset in your organisation, there's probably only one question that you need to honestly answer as you start planning ahead:
What has happened to my employer brand since the start of 2020?
There are broadly three answers to this; it's in a better place, a worse place, or pretty much as it was. Time to ask some further questions:
- If it's in a worse place, why? What happened to your brand that made it fall back? How much ground have you got to recover? How are you going to do that? What can you affect in the organisation you work for to make sure that doesn't happen again?
- If it's in a better place, why? What was it that happened to increase engagement, preference, motivation? How can you do more of that to capitalise on this advantage? How can you retain that, perhaps, market leading position?
- If it's pretty much the same, is that good enough? The world seems to be changing rapidly, are you doing enough to carry on maintaining that position, is that where you want to be? How can you invest to ensure that your employer brand carries on delivering value to you for longer term, rather than becoming a reductive proposition?
In my opinion, it's now time - the perfect time - to take a clear-eyed view of the effect of the last year-and-a-bit on your people, and how they feel about working for you? Definitely time to think about how you need to adjust how you communicate your offer to resonate perfectly with the reality of what happens next. Time to be proactive about employer brand management- rather than waiting to react in the moment as the recovery hits.
Let me know if we can help with figuring out what happened to your EB - and what the answer to some of those questions are. In the meantime, it's a sunny day, and nearly the weekend. There's always a reason to be cheerful.