Weber Shandwick, in partnership with KRC Research, released The Employer Brand Credibility Gap: Bridging the Divide. It follows Employees Rising: Seizing the Opportunity in Employee Activism, a groundbreaking study published in 2014 about how employee activists were sparking a new social movement in the digital age.
The new survey of 1,902 employees from 19 markets worldwide (including the Benelux region) finds that only 19% of employees perceive a strong match between how their employer represents itself and what they personally experience working there. Despite this low level, the study finds that the terrain for improvement is wide open. Only 7% of employees strongly disagree that there is any alignment between what employers say about themselves and what they experience. The largest segment (74%) falls in between. These are “marginally aligned” employees, and their employers have the opportunity to change perceptions by better defining and living an employer brand that employees recognise, believe and promote.
The research finds a strong business case for creating stronger alignment between employer brand and the employee experience. Closing the gap provides an opportunity for employers to more successfully drive recruitment, employee engagement and advocacy, and retention. An authentic employer brand is particularly critical in an age of extreme transparency where job candidates make reputational assessments with ease based on what an organisation’s employees say online or through word of mouth.
Trust in leadership
In the Benelux region, employer brand alignment is particularly low with 12% reporting a strong match. Most harming alignment seems to be tied to issues of leadership. First, only 7% of Benelux employees strongly agree that they trust their leadership (compared to 16% globally), Second, only 6% strongly agree that their leaders openly show appreciation when someone does a good job (compared to 17% globally). These are two examples of several drivers that go into building an aligned employer brand. Employers who manage to bridge gaps between employer brand perception and employee experience are much better off; as these aligned organisations globally have six times as many employees trusting the leadership (41%) and being acknowledged by leadership for their work (41%).
The Employer Brand Credibility Gap provides insights for building and activating credible employer brands from employees and from Weber Shandwick’s global Employee Engagement & Change Management practice.
Click here to view the report and view the infographic below.