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Is your employer brand attracting the best talent – and once they are in, do you deliver what you’ve sold them?

It’s often said that people are a business’ most valuable asset, but today’s talent pool are a hard bunch to please. According to an annual engagement report from Investors in People (the leading people management accreditation service), an unprecedented 17.4 million UK workers are considering moving jobs in 2015. With the economy beginning to gain pace, the report warns that British businesses need to invest in their people, or risk facing a potential exodus of talented staff.

For employers looking to attract and retain the best people; the bar is being set increasingly high. And it’s not just about salaries anymore. Employees want the whole package; they expect training and accreditations, opportunities to get involved in charity work, maternity and paternity benefits, and to be rewarded for their loyalty. The market is tough. And it’s getting tougher.

So when employees and potential employees are comparing your employer brand against the John Lewis’ of this world – what message are they getting? Do you stand out against your competition? Most importantly, if you asked your existing employees – would they say they are happy in their role?

Keeping people happy is an ongoing challenge, but here are some of our top tips for being the best employer you can be:

Reward loyalty: When employees have been with you a long time – do you demonstrate how much you value their contribution? Lawrence Jones, CEO at UKFast rewards 5 year workers personally with £1,000, and 10 year workers with £10,000, to show how grateful he is for their efforts.

Create a feedback culture: Do you have an open and honest environment with employees? Do they feel like their opinions are welcomed and ideas embraced? New pulse survey systems such as TINYPULSE ( can be a simple way to introduce regular feedback and praise into your culture.

Promote friendship as well as teamwork: Encourage employees to get to know each other outside of work, so that they genuinely care about one another. Put aside money in your budget for team social events. Some companies even do team ski trips, retreats, nights out at sector awards dinners – all of which provide opportunities for friendships to form.

Help with stresses: Remember that the majority of people have the same stresses. Childcare, finance, holidays, health. If you can’t invest in a formal employee benefits scheme, then take the time to form relationships with specialist providers in these areas. Ask them to visit your offices and speak to your employees. Show them that you care about their personal situation, and want to help.

Care about health, happiness and heart: Make it about the whole person. Show that you care for health by providing gym memberships, or organising team sports. Bring in cake to celebrate birthdays, or offer a birthday holiday in addition to annual leave. When someone gets married, or has a child, make sure everyone celebrates.

Most importantly – you can’t fake a strong employer brand. When your culture is one of care, it will shine through your people. Your employees become your recruiters, because people share experiences. Make yours a good one!


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