You’ve got the best gig ever, employer branding (I know what you are thinking…biased much? Raving fan of EB over here and proud!). Undoubtedly you will start to think about ways to build awareness and strengthen your organization’s reputation. Often employer of choice awards come to mind. With more and more award organizations popping up and categories emerging, it’s hard to know what is worth pursuing.
Employer of Choice Awards can be helpful within the world of employer brand management and employee experience strategy. When they are part of a larger people plan, they can provide intentionality and help narrow your organization’s focus on programs that are truly meaningful within the employee experience.
Here are five ways employer of choice awards can strengthen your organization’s position in the talent marketplace.
1) They force you to reflect upon the employee experience and make it better
The award submission process can serve as an opportunity for reflection. In my humble opinion, awards should not be a random exercise in throwing tactics against the wall to see what sticks. Like my philosophy around the broader people promise and employee experience, awards play a role in intentionality. They provide an opportunity to pause, reflect, and optimize. This may mean reviewing award criteria to better understand organizational gaps so that these gaps can be remediated. This may mean not pursuing awards for a period of a year to right the ship, do the heavy lifting, and serve the employee population in a more thoughtful manner.
Whether you are in it to win it in year one or simply information gathering, the awards circuit allows us to look in the mirror and ensure we are building a world-class employee experience.
2) Brand enrichment
For those lucky enough to be finalists or recipients of industry or employer of choice awards, employer brand enrichment can occur. Promotion around award programs provides additional reach and broader brand awareness to populations who may not have had the opportunity to interact with the brand in the past. Just think back to the last award list you saw and you will probably recall seeing names of organizations that provide a product or service that is not consumer-facing, thus you may not have had the opportunity to interact with the brand up until that point.
This means brand awareness grows, as does prestige, as discovery was through being noted as a leader within the industry and/or the employee experience.
3) Social proof
Social proof is essentially reinforcing a brand’s credibility by having a trusted third party associated with it. Think of your consumer brand purchases, you likely visited sites that mention the product or service being featured in a major publication or being used by a large multinational corporation. Social proof leverages the existing trust of these global publications and/or multinational organizations to establish credibility. Awards are valuable social proof.
4) Additional traffic
From a talent attraction perspective, many award sites link to either a career site or directly to one’s ATS thus providing an additional traffic opportunity. Let’s face it, attention matters. Gaining additional attention streams can serve both your employer brand, as well as your consumer brand.
5) Employee pride
Last but certainly not least is the benefit of employee pride. Being appointed a finalist or the recipient of an employer of choice award benefits more than the leaders of the organization, it can help to ignite employee pride. Employees want to feel proud of where they work as it is a pivotal association made with them as individuals. Being associated with an award-winning business with employee-centric practices helps employees feel proud of who they work for and indirectly helps elevate their personal brands.
There you have it, five reasons to consider industry and employer of choice awards. Once again, in order to derive the greatest benefit from this investment, it is important that there be an overarching people strategy that embeds the employee value proposition (EVP), essentially “the why” into each stage of the employee life-cycle. Once established, awards can provide intentionality, focus, and commitment to an exceptional employee experience.
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