Posted in Human Resources Articles, Total Reads: 1526
, Published on 22 September 2012
The phrase “Employer of Choice” has become synonymous to what “Excellence” used to mean back in 80s. But not everybody made it to the level of this ‘excellence’ and certainlynot everybody can become the ‘employer of choice’ for whom employees are more than willing to work and would go an extra mile to be with him. That doesn’t mean that those who don’t make it to be the employer of choice would go out of business.
They will also succeed. But the quality of success will be significantly different. The employer of choice will undoubtedly enjoy a higher level of performance, greater workforce stability, lesser turnover and a level of continuity that assures preservation of the valuable knowledge base, customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, employee satisfaction, employee loyalty and definitely a higher bottom line.
To be an employer of choice means to be an employer for whom the employees choose to work, even when presented with many other choices of employment. It would a conscious decision or even a series of decisions, made when joining and deciding to remain in the organization. This deliberate choice also influences the overall productivity, as then the employee would be willing to do whatever it takes to make their employer successful.
Employees today have innumerable choices, more than ever before. There are choices for everything – employee, work location, pay packages, perks, industries, sectors, work arrangements, timings, everything. At such times, being an employer of choice will not only assure that the best brains in the market come running to you, but it would also mean a long series of benefits, like –
Increased employee morale
Increased customer satisfaction
Increased job satisfaction
Improved health and safety of employees
Reduced employee turnover
No doubt the employers of choice would enjoy an immense tactical advantage over their competitors in the market. They will have knowledge, experience, resiliency, and the ability and power to respond to the external environment in the shortest possible time while delivering what their customers want effectively and forget being nagged by those employee turnover figures that give sleepless nights to the competitors.
So how can one become an employer of choice? In order to achieve this, one needs to follow the six principles of CHOICE, as they are famously called. Here CHOICE forms an acronym where each alphabet stands for a principle.
C: Caring about employees, ensuring that they feel valued, trusted and appreciated
H: Honesty and fairness in the way employees are treated and build their trust and confidence as well as retain it
O: Open communication to nourish a positive and productive environment
I: Involving employees to instil a sense of contribution and autonomy and to strengthen their personal commitment to the employer and the organization
C Coaching and assisting the employees to grow and realize their potential to develop a win-win situation for everybody
E: Ethical practices followed in pursuit of a worthwhile purpose to reinforce a belief in the employer and the organization
One thing that should be remembered is that employers of choice are decided in general for the majority of the people. In a specific situation, it is not necessary that an employer of choice for an employee X will be the same as the employer of choice for employee Y. But the choices and preferences can be drawn in general for the vast majority of employees. Individual choices can vary from person to person but the overall opinion about an employer can always be drawn.
So what is it that the employees expect from an employer of choice? Common findings and opinions include –
a) Job security
b) Empowerment and authority
d) Opportunity for growth
e) Access to information
h) Positive relationship with colleagues and co-workers
i) Work-life balance
j) Performance culture
l) Recognition and rewards
This is definitely not an exhaustive list, but it just includes some of the top expectations employees have from an employer of choice. And if an employer has implemented a significant number of these in his or her organization, he is well on his way to become the employer of choice.
There are numerous organization around the globe that offer certification for being the employer of choice. But just a certificate will never be enough to reach out to each employee and put that satisfaction and fulfilment in his mind.
Once you are an employer of choice it means you have created an awesome work environment within your business and that the best people would want to work for you. Thus, you have created an employment brand for yourself. A McKinsey consulting study shows that companies with excellent talent management achieved total shareholder returns that were 22 percentage points better than the average.
An employer of choice will keep the employees just beyond the border of their comfort zones. This will make their jobs challenging and stretch them just enough to be on their toes and yet be devoid of stress. The employees of an employer of choice are rewarded well in recognition of their contributions they make to the organization. This needn’t always be about money, just a praise in public or a small incentive gift enhances employee morale greatly.
An employer of choice accepts responsibility to work for constantly developing the skills and bettering the levels of his or employees by imparting training to them. Corporate social responsibility ventures and corporate ethics play a very important role in becoming an employer of choice as well. The employer of choice has to be flexible and yet firm, provide sufficient opportunities for employees to grow and progress and treat all the employees together as one big family. He would have to be a good listener and have the door to his office open, always and for everybody.
Once the employer of choice strategy is developed, the HR team would work closely with marketing teams to develop an employer branding and communication strategy that would announce to the world how great an employer you are and how nice it is to work for your organization. This would then enhance the effectiveness of being an employer of choice.