international - Hay Group

today is now loud, placing employer branding and EVP on .... powerful communication tools at an organization's .... 1 1 'People talk... but are you listening?
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Employer Branding is Back and It’s All about Value-added Stuart Hyland Stuart Hyland leads the Reward Solutions Consulting team in Hay Group UK. He began consulting in reward when he joined Hay Group in 1997. After nearly 10 years with the firm he left to work for Deloitte, where he led its Strategic Employee Reward team for London and the South of England. In 2009 he rejoined Hay Group as a member of the Key Clients team, which saw him working with a range of clients across Europe before rejoining the UK organization the following year to lead the Reward business. Since 2011, Mr Hyland has been a member of the WorldatWork international training faculty.

was forced to make redundancies for the first time in its near 200-year history and the manufacturer that had to ask all its employees to choose between job cuts and ‘short hours’ working (with related salary cuts), and the list of similar examples goes on. All these activities chip away at the trust that an employee places in his/her employer and damages a relationship that might have taken decades to build.

The re-emergence of the employer brand and employee value proposition (EVP) has been a steady one. Starting in 2010 with a few quiet murmurings, the noise has quickly built up over the last two or three years and today is now loud, placing employer branding and EVP on the ‘to-do’ lists of organizations, HR professionals and forward thinking business leaders around the world (even when they are not exactly clear on what this means or should involve), but its revival should not come as much of a surprise when recent history is considered.

THE EROSION OF TRUST Countless research studies show trust is a key part of any relationship if there is to be a degree of genuine commitment and engagement. When trust is broken, motivation and engagement levels begin to slide with consequent impacts on personal and organization performance. This then forces the organization into harder survival measures and a cycle of decline is well and truly under way as illustrated in FIGURE 1 below. Breaking

The global economic recession, which started to impact in 2007/08, forced many organizations to react in ways that deviated from their norms and that damaged the relationship they had built up over many years with their employees. There are plenty of examples of such activities, including the global family-run business that


As organization results and profits fall, job security declines and people feel vulnerable and concerned about their future

Cycle of Decline

Company profits fall Further organization survival steps

Company performance suffers

To survive, organizations are forced to take more steps to manage cost, including cutting pay awards

Frustration and decline

As staff commitment decreases, they fail to deliver previous levels of performance and the company results are impacted

Staff feel unfairly treated and trust declines

Individual performance decreases Staff commitment falls


Based on this experience, staff are less prepared to ‘go the extra mile’ and focus more on doing ‘enough’ to get by

this downward spiral will require a concerted intervention. It is highly unlikely that it will just stop on its own – but where to begin? With so many constraints on financial costs, the majority of organizations will not be able to simply buy their way out of trouble with pay increases and bonus awards. Consequently, attention has shifted to look at the breadth of the employee experience, including many of the non-financial components of the total reward package,* to ensure they are being integrated and leveraged to maximum benefit. It is at this point that organizations find themselves looking at their employer brand. In view of this, it is perha