“This is an elongated period of ambiguity.” That’s what a colleague said to me recently during a video call (is there any other kind of call in today’s day and age?). I told her it struck me so deeply I was going to write it down. It seemed like such an apt description of what our collective world is now facing.
As an Employer Brand Specialist at Kira Systems, I am no stranger to ambiguity. My role is often open to interpretation and a large part of my job is to bring my team members and leaders’ ideas for enhancing our culture and brand to life. My role is typically defined as a very external-facing role, showcasing Kira Systems’ culture and many of our in-office activities.
Given the changes we’re all now going through, I certainly (along with many others, I’m sure) have thought to myself over the past couple of weeks: “How can I best use my skills right now?”
HR, talent acquisition, recruitment marketing and employer brand professionals have an impressive toolkit of people skills. Whatever your role in HR, TA or EB, you absolutely have ideas and skills that can help your colleagues and organization adjust to this new normal. Below are just a few ideas and things we’ve implemented to get you thinking:
Leverage your writing and storytelling skills
Most in our profession are excellent communicators and very skilled writers. We know how to get a candidate’s attention through a compelling email, craft quippy microcopy for our careers site, or bake out a full Q+A-style article with an overarching message. Just because your external brand strategy is changing (many companies are focused solely on their response to COVID-19 right now) doesn’t mean you can’t leverage those writing skills.
Do teams need help creating company-wide emails because processes are changing while you’re working remotely? Does your HR/People team need eyes on policy revisions that have recently gone into place? You can be their go-to person.
Consider what employee experience initiatives might be helpful to implement
If your situation is anything like ours right now, your team is likely trying to get a lot of important communications to employees very quickly. Things changed rapidly and the “we’re working from home for the foreseeable future” message may have been delivered in some haste. But what comes along with that? How are you keeping team members engaged?
On Slack, we’ve started some new channels to house discussions around recipes, resources for parents or tips on in-home workouts. You can also consider scheduling ‘virtual hangouts’ for employee social hours to reduce feelings of isolation.
Offer to come up with employee engagement and experience ideas and to craft the communications about the value of these types of initiatives. It will help boost morale and motivation and your colleagues and leaders will appreciate the effort.
Keep your eyes open for employee-generated content (EGC)
A quick scroll of your LinkedIn feed these days and you’ll likely see many photos of team Zoom calls from the past week. Employees are using their voice on LinkedIn perhaps now more than ever. They’re showcasing their companies and they’re banding together to connect with each other online.
We’ve had instances of our team members having their little ones intro their team calls on Zoom, as well as our recruiters making themselves available for virtual coffee chats to new job seekers in their network who are looking for advice on their resume or general job search.
Keep your eyes open and reach out to team members if you think there is a story or potential opportunity to showcase something meaningful. We virtually brought our ‘Kirans’ together to celebrate being named one of Canada’s Best Workplaces for Women. Not only did it rally everyone together, but it gave us an opportunity to showcase and create some branded visual content.
You can also harness employee generated content via social media. Here are 10 Instagram-worthy employee experience ideas to gather inspiration.
Create and leverage a ‘Pep Taskforce’
These are incredibly challenging times. That sentence has been written countless times over the past couple of weeks, but it rings true. No one is exempt from feeling the anxiety and fear of the unknown associated with what COVID-19 is bringing. As a result, your team members are likely looking for a voice of reason, compassion and happiness right now. Be that person.
Before this crisis, your role as an employer brand professional likely involved rallying team members around a common cause or message. Or, having them act as your best brand advocates when marketing your culture externally. They still can be your best brand advocates.
You can learn more about key features of employer branding advocacy tools here.
Develop a ‘Pep Task Force’ (a term coined by one of my colleagues) to post motivational messages, update the company on virtual hang outs or just to say hey and check in. These initiatives will go a long way in extending a culture of inclusivity and hope while people work remotely.
At the end of the day, even in times of crisis, the welfare of our team members is still the focus for all of us. Just because content priorities are shifting, doesn’t mean all content marketing is stopping. Support your colleagues in any way you know how during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. Everyone is doing their best to adapt. Do what you can to support your team, while remembering to support yourself too. Stay safe and well, everyone!