Everything has to start somewhere. In the case of employer branding, setting the right foundation is part of the job done. The checklist goes as follows: getting the company mission right, articulating the vision, formulating values.
However, clearly defining fundamental components of the strategy is one thing. Being able to communicate them to the outside, clients, and employees is an entirely different challenge.
In one of our previous blogs, we have explained why companies should invest in employer branding. Now we are going to talk about its fundamental elements – company mission, vision, and values.
Why company mission, vision, and values of the company matter?
The foundation of the employer branding strategy veers upon the following questions:
- What concepts define your company? Is that what your company is standing for?
- How do you address these concepts in the vision of the company?
- What is your company’s mission?
Think about it – just like market analysis informs your business decisions, you need to gather some intelligence about your company to drive its employer branding. For instance, you can’t decide out of nowhere, “OK, we are the innovators; our company’s mission is to “make it new,” and we believe in the can-do approach.”
It takes more than that. The company doesn’t exist in a vacuum – it is a patchwork of different worldviews, cultures, and experiences. It is essential to find common things and create resonance through them.
How to Communicate the Company’s Vision & Mission?
The vision and mission of the company are like a movie logline. It is a summary that:
- Company mission and vision state the central ideas the company is built around;
- As a result, these points provide a “synopsis” of its modus operandi and a “hook” – a unique selling point (aka Employee Value Proposition) to stimulate interest. For example, in the case of a career page – this information engages the job seeker to decide whether he wants to apply.
These are the things branding messages revolve around. Therefore, you need to find a way to wrap it into an engaging copy.
Let’s look at TED Talks as an example of vision and mission presentation:
Short, direct, actionable sentences present the mission of the company. In this case, “spread ideas.”
The following paragraph explains the vision of the company. It is a combination of several elements that tells you everything you need to know about the company in a nutshell. Pay attention to the verbiage – these are values of the company hidden in plain sight.
- “a global community…” – a place of synergy;
- “…welcoming people from every discipline and culture…” – open-minded with no prejudices;
- “…who seek a deeper understanding of the world” – being proactive for the greater good.
The text goes straight to the point. Most importantly, it manages to get through every important point without overexplaining itself.
How to Express the Company’s Values?
Clearly expressed company’s values are like a map. It helps employees to navigate within the company and operate to their full potential.
In a way, discovering the company’s values is an exploration of the company’s psyche. It takes interviews, surveys, polls, observations, performance analysis to comprehend and map out the value landscape. In addition, you need to develop an external point of view on the way values are presented.
On the surface, you can break down the company’s values into several categories:
- Concepts the company believes in (for example, proactivity, transparency);
- Things the company strives for (for example, gender equality, cultural diversity);
- Things the company rejects (for instance, ends justifies the means approach, discrimination).
All these things inform a company’s culture – the way it operates. Similarly, these things inform how the company presents itself, interprets its vision, and realizes its mission. In marketing terms, values provide a perspective on things. In other words, it lets your vision resonate with the values of the target audience.
Let’s take a look at how Coca Cola presents its values. It is an excellent example of going straight to the point and not rambling.
As you can see, the description of the value breaks down into three distinct sections.
- The first section does the general overview that describes the company’s modus operandi in a snappy manner;
- On the other hand, the next two sections reinforce the aspects of the values that define qualities and approaches the company appreciates in its employees;
- “Focus on the Market” section describes what kind of work approach is the most effective from the company’s point of view;
- After that, the “Work Smart” part reiterates the previous section from the employee’s point of view. In a way, it serves as a reminder of fundamental things regarding work.
One of the biggest challenges of employer branding strategy is that its effectiveness relies heavily on the outside perspective. In short, you need to understand the way target audience segments perceive particular messages. This article shows how to nail down the fundamental elements.
Keeping the presentation engaging makes declaring the company mission, communicating its values, and expressing the company’s vision very challenging tasks. Hopefully, you can always turn for external help to fine-tune these aspects of employer branding. For instance, you can hire a consultant to provide extra polish.
If you need help with optimizing the company’s presentation, the way its vision spells out, or if you need to find the other approach of communicating your company’s values – our consultants can help you out.