An authentic statement of purpose creates emotional connections between brands and customers; between institutions and people; and it creates meaning for employees at work.
It may be inherent to your organisation or it may be a higher ideal that you seek to achieve alongside your business goals. But it is not enough to think that organisational purpose alone creates meaningful work. The motivation of individuals is an interwoven strand that drives people to achieve things for themselves and for others. It impacts how much effort they put in and how they relate to their work. When fulfilled, it can carry them further and deeper into a positive relationship with their work.
Most companies realise that their reputation can make or break them, and that employees are an integral part in the equation. Fewer companies really consider the impact of their corporate reputation on their existing and potential employees.
The employer brand arena is dominated by a handful of organisations who for strategic reasons – such as long-range resource planning in a competitive market – recognise the power of the employee voice in employee attraction. Getting external branding experts and internal human resource experts to work together delivers a more effective recruitment and retention strategy that builds employee advocacy from the inside out.
The inner truth, the integrity of your brand promise, is the central piece of the PRIDE model, and it should at the very least meet the expectations set by your employee brand proposition.
You should think of the employee experience – from recruitment through to retirement – as a framework, but don’t forget to add the dimension of their everyday interaction with colleagues at work. Culture, values and behaviours are the real-life demonstrations of policies, standards and processes and every individual person contributes to the whole. The larger your organisation, the longer the chain of interactions, with line managers key to making work a great place to be. They need to be givers not takers, motivators not judges and, ultimately, driven by the success of their teams.
Clear and visible direction, and a sense of contributing to a future goal, is a huge factor in employee engagement. This is often expressed in terms of vision and strategy, where an organisation is going and how it is going to get there; but it also needs to articulate what employees need to do to contribute.
Leaders should be well versed in providing the line of sight between a goal and a task, but what else should they consider? For the PRIDE model, they also need to consider employees’ direction of travel – what life-stage they are at, and where they are in their own skills development. It is vital to set direction but also to know how far and how fast people are able and willing to come with you.
The Energy component of Pride looks at the physical, mental and indeed spiritual health of your company and its people. It puts forward an Energy plan that makes for a healthier body, mind and spirit.
It’s about operational health, premises, flexible working and space for creative thought. It’s about inspiring people to give their best and be in the flow. From an organisational point of view, these factors will build longevity, sustainability and stamina at a time when the life expectancy of the average business is falling and it takes more energy to survive and thrive. At the same time, individual health and wellbeing is a massive economic issue. We are not only living longer but we are working longer too. Organisations not only need to nourish all their employees, but also accommodate a more multi-generational workforce than in the past, which may require smarter, more flexible working patterns.
“PRIDE and its diagnostic tool have come at a time when it’s so important to show return on investment in order to gain buy-in from key stakeholders. It’s refreshing to have a model of employee engagement to help us as internal communication pros measure the effectiveness of our campaigns. My favourite factor is Integrity – I believe a company has no chance of retaining an engaged workforce if the employee experience does not match the brand reputation.”