5 Employer Branding Lessons To Take From Twitter’s New CEO
Click-bait headlines advertising the best places to work seem to be everywhere. The top 10 start-ups you’ll want to work for this year! The best tech companies to work for in your city! But list articles like these need to be more substantial today–readers expect data and anecdotes to back them up.
Employer rating systems, like those on Glassdoor, are a good example. You can read real reviews from employees, get an inside look at working conditions, and even learn what employees think about their CEO. Take Jack Dorsey, CEO and co-founder of Square, who has just returned to Twitter as interim CEO.
One of Dorsey’s priorities at Square has been creating a fun and innovative place to work. And Square’s results on Glassdoor suggest he’s been successful. If 89% of reviewers would recommend the company to a friend, and 96% approve of Dorsey as CEO, it’s safe to say the employee turnover rate at Square is below average.
Jack Dorsey will undoubtedly bring this approach to Twitter, where the recent departure of CEO, Dick Costolo, caught many employees by surprise. As Business Insider pointed out, Dorsey has treated his Square employees well in unexpected ways, and has built an engaging employer brand as a result.
There are lessons shared in Business Insider’s article that all companies can use to make people want to work for them. Because—after all—a strong employer brand greatly reduces pressure placed on recruiters to continuously attract talent.
1. Make Sure Your Employees Are Happy
Happiness is an employer branding and consequently recruiting strategy in and of itself. Square starts every week with satisfaction surveys, asking employees questions like “How do we feel?” and “What are we not talking about?” A Google Doc holding the answers is then shared with everyone in the company.
Management can gauge happiness and satisfaction within each team, and address specific issues that may be harmful to employee morale.
Imagine if your boss wanted to hear about your feelings every week. It might sound awkward, but problems that would normally be swept under a rug could be dealt with quickly, improving your work environment. A positive experience isn’t just for potential candidates–it can be beneficial to your existing employees too.
2. Go Off the Beaten Path with In-kind Rewards
Great benefits, like healthcare and vacation time, are certainly desirable. But more personalized rewards can lend an extra level of cachet to an employer brand. Square lets interns make a wish when their time is up, and tries to grant as many as possible.
The fact that the most popular wish has been an invitation to Square’s holiday party shows just how well the company has cultivated relationships with its employees. Potential applicants should know about these benefits, because a perk like that just might be enough to get them to click “Apply Now. ”
3. A Little Visibility Goes a Long Way
Board meetings at many companies can feel like the conclave of a secret society. But at Square, the details of each quarterly board meeting are shared with all employees in advance. Afterwards, employees can ask questions and hear further feedback from the board.
Opening up board proceedings instantly erases that feeling of a secret society. And that information can be the difference between bad reviews on Glassdoor, and a feeling of connectedness within the company.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Wow Your Own Employees
Tech companies are known for quirky offices. Google’s London headquarters includes a space called “Granny’s Flat” complete with chintz chairs and floral wallpaper. LivingSocial has skeeball and a rock climbing wall. But Square has the ultimate tech toy–robots.
The mobile video “windows” offer live streams from all of the company’s offices, and allow employees to interact with their colleagues across the globe. You may not be able to offer roaming video monitors, but adding a few features your competitors don’t have gives your staff something to boast about, turning them into brand ambassadors.
5. Create an Environment Where Employees Are More Engaged
If you want employees to double as brand ambassadors, it would help if they could speak knowledgeably and passionately about your products. An office can kill two birds with one stone just by engaging employees more directly.
Square has an in-house cafe where its latest products are tested as employees order nonfat sugar-free extra shot macchiatos. As a result, staff see their company’s products in action and can help spread the word, or even boost innovation internally by providing feedback.
Why It’s Important For Leadership to Care About Employer Brand
As Jack Dorsey rejoins Twitter, supported by positive results at Square, he’ll bring his emphasis on employees and employer brand with him. Clear, positive engagement with employees will surely be welcomed after the departure of Costolo and other leadership changes, including five product heads in five years.
The culture at Square, or any company, is shaped by its founders. But as companies grow into larger organizations and people change jobs, culture becomes the domain of senior leaders. CxOs must maintain and continually improve their corporate culture, because increasing revenue is not what keeps the average employee happy.
The Society for Human Resource Management analyzed employee satisfaction and engagement in 2014, and found that “respectful treatment of all employees at all levels” was the top contributor to employee job satisfaction. Trust, benefits, and relationships within a company also ranked highly (along with the more obvious factors of compensation and job security).
The benefits of thinking about, improving, and promoting the lessons above should be top-of-mind for recruiting leaders. And while there are many things that can be done in this respect, the way a company treats its employees is one of the best ways to project a positive and engaging corporate brand to the rest of the pool of job seekers. Just ask Jack Dorsey.
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