A distributed workforce is slowly becoming the neo norm, where the old rules of engaging employees just do not apply. As the Gig Economy grows, more and more companies will need to have a distributed work force and hence need to find newer ways to create an employee branding proposition.
The numerous benefits of a distributed workforce go beyond the obvious of reducing facility expenses, commute time and promoting a better work life balance. It entails attracting the best talent cutting through geographical limitations, enhanced employee productivity, retention of knowledge and assets, promoting diversity, faster project ramp-up time, quicker entry into new markets, and greater competitiveness with lower costs etc. However the advantages of a distributed workforce come with their own challenges of potential information security issues, cyber crimes, the inability to maximize gain through the interaction effect, reduced communication and endangered synergy, collaboration, efficiency, engagement, a fragmented sense of belonging and insecurities of a remote workplace.
While technology (Skype, Slack, G Suite, GoToMeeting, Yammer, Google Workplace) plays a critical role to enable a collaborative yet distributed workplace, the integration of employee branding with the internal communication strategy is what is going to drive the Gen Z and the Millenials forming a large chunk of this distributed workforce.
A strong and compelling employee branding proposition can counter the challenges of a distributed workforce by keeping this remote and fragmented workforce engaged through a consistent and continual communication of the Employee Value Proposition (EVP). While creating a unique and strong EVP is the hardest to achieve, it goes a long way to create an emotional connect , develop a sense of identification of the employee with the company and align the personal vision with the company mission thus driving the employees to become brand ambassadors. In order to keep the wheels of productivity moving in the organization, a culture of transparent & synergetic communication; recognition & celebration of personal and professional milestones goes a long way in building the emotional connect, keeping engagement levels high and boosting productivity.
Communication has to be constant, concise, instant, transparent and digitized. It should take the organization values and culture, policies and processes out of the board room right on to the floor. Not only does it have to be informative, it has to be interactive.
Sharing of feedback on a regular basis about the products, services etc should be a two way process to not only help improve the product but also in improving the relationship and engagement levels between employees and employer.
Employee Engagement Activities like Town Hall sessions, regular team events, trainings, and encouraging social opportunities to build camaraderie. Leveraging social media could be a game changer. Using social platforms not only magnify the brand visibility but also motivate the distributed workforce to communicate informally and cultivate engagement amongst teams.
A culture of recognition and celebration plays a critical role in augmenting engagement; building role models. The process needs to be regular and relevant, simple, seamless and speedy and most importantly genuine. Gifting alternatives should provide for standardization yet customized solutions, which can keep these severely disengaged employees living in their silos to be constantly connected to the Brand.
Instant Gratification is the key for the employee engagement in a distributed environment. Using technology to create a program, which is anytime, anywhere for anyone is what is required.
The beauty of the entire in-branding proposition is that it creates a win-win situation both, for the company and for the employee, enhancing the relationship between the company and the far flung employees, the products, values, mission and vision, keeping them connected and boosting employee productivity.
We at Storecheq have created this unique proposition where are customers are using their brand for all their gifting and rewarding requirements. The employees feel connected with the brand always and take pride in flouting the same amongst the peers. And this association is not only restricted to the tenure in which a person is employed, but goes beyond that. The association of the brand through Storecheq remains for the life of a person.
The bottom line being that a distributed workforce provides an opportunity to harness the power of a global economy and grow at an unprecedented rate. And this opportunity needs to be tapped in by rethinking the employee brand and making it stronger than ever before. So are you ready for it?