Mergers and acquisitions – even a new company name or logo redesign – can cause uncertainty for employees and potential candidates. While many companies create campaigns and communications plans oriented toward customers and shareholders, employee needs are sometimes overlooked or included at the last minute. But ignoring the way your employees and potential candidates feel throughout the process is a huge mistake. After all, your employer brand is part of your corporate brand. Therefore, any activities affecting your corporate brand will trickle down into your employer brand.
Here are the 5 big mistakes to avoid during any kind of corporate transition:
1. Keeping employees in the dark
In the worst cases, employees find out about major events after the press, creating resentment and discontent that damage the employer brand. When they are not kept in the loop, employees end up voicing their concerns and frustrations on platforms like Glassdoor. In addition, if external communications are managed poorly, candidates receive mixed messages as they research your company. At Glassdoor, one of our missions is to help companies promote employer transparency to employees and job candidates alike. One of the best ways to do this is by becoming an OpenCompany, a signal to job seekers that your organization is committed to transparency.
2. Not defining your brand story
Employees who are insecure about what your company stands for will be less receptive to the changes and less willing to adapt. If your employer brand is somewhat undefined, a transition provides the opportunity to look back at what was working for your employees (brand strengths) and identify how it needs to evolve given the changes. By observing the positive aspects of how employees adapt, you’ll be able to uncover key values and develop an employer value proposition that sets your company up for the future. To develop a well-defined brand story, refer to our eBook, Employer Branding for Dummies.
3. Ignoring feedback
During a transition, the temptation can be to put your head in the sand because the ground itself feels unstable. But when you do this, you close yourself off to feedback, which is an easy way to gauge how people are feeling and head off attrition. Instead, stay tuned in to employee sentiment with pulse surveys, employee forums, town hall discussions, candidate surveys, and/or Glassdoor reviews. By staying connected, employers will be able to evolve their messaging and communications strategies as issues arise. Learn more about How to Create a Culture of Feedback.
4. Failing to rebrand properly
For companies that change their names or merge with another company, it’s a miss to not leverage the previous company’s brand equity and redirect traffic to the new company’s Glassdoor page. Make sure you bring together the best of both brands, and proactively shape your new company’s positioning on Glassdoor. For more details on how to boost your brand on Glassdoor, read The Link Between Your Glassdoor Profile and Your Employer Brand.
5. Not engaging employees
When there’s major change afoot, it can be extremely distracting for employees. In order to prevent a blow to productivity, make a point of regularly celebrating employee accomplishments. Engage employees through storytelling about individual and group wins, large and small. Create channels to share individual stories such as customer service triumphs or group stories such as team product launches. Our guide on Employee Engagement Activities shows you exactly what initiatives you can put in place to develop employees who are more productive and innovative while also being less likely to leave an organization.
The bottom line? Successfully managing your employer brand through a transition helps employees integrate changes into their daily life, and gives candidates and employees alike clarity on what’s to come.
To learn how to execute an employer brand transition plan that keeps employees engaged, download our eBook, How to Manage Your Employer Brand Through a Corporate Transition.