Employer Brand Fatigue - How to Get Your Employees to Care (As Much As You Do!)

Employer Brand Fatigue - How to Get Your Employees to Care (As Much As You Do!)

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As marketing messages bombard us daily from every angle, they eventually become white noise, and you start to ignore them. But unfortunately, this phenomenon isn't limited to consumers alone; employees can also fall out of love with their organization's employer brand if the messaging conflicts with their employee experience. 

Fatigue with your employer brand has a direct negative impact on attraction, employee engagement, and retention. Therefore, preventing or alleviating brand fatigue is crucial for organizations that want to maintain a motivated and dedicated workforce.

While consumer loyalty might keep customers buying products even when they're fatigued by their marketing, employees who experience brand fatigue are unlikely to be aligned with the business strategy or even enjoy working for the organization. This leads to underperformance and disengagement.

Brand fatigue can arise from excessive repetition of messaging, outdated messaging, or conflicting messaging, particularly during internal upheaval or external challenges like COVID-19. 

Why Employees Experience Brand Fatigue

When brand fatigue sets in, employees experience a dip in pride for the brand they work for and begin to focus on the negatives. They'll forget the positives about working at your organization and why they joined in the first place, which is sadly just human behavior. 

Due to COVID, the way employer brands engage their employees has shifted to adjust to remote working, uncertainty, and disconnection. However, by understanding the root causes, prioritizing communication, and treating employees with empathy and respect, brands can start to mitigate employer brand fatigue. 

The common root causes for employer brand fatigue are:

  • Lack of Communication: Communication is essential, particularly for remote or hybrid employees, to ensure they are connected to your brand, your people, and their colleagues. Employee engagement and brand pride thrive when employees feel connected to their work and are treated with respect. This connection starts with effective people managers who can bridge the communication gap.
  • Lack of Alignment: With a clear understanding and buy-in from employees, organizations can avoid misaligned individuals hindering progress toward an organization's true north. This stems from a need for more transparency from leadership, including the C-Suite, people leaders, and regional leaders, which can create a productivity problem. To avoid these problems, leaders must be open and honest with their employees and transparent about challenges and setbacks. When employees feel kept in the loop, they are more likely to be supportive and understanding.
  • Exhaustion: I don't know anyone who isn't exhausted right now! Exhaustion at work doesn’t always equal unhappiness, but it is the first step toward becoming overwhelmed and burnt out. Employees can’t engage with your brand positively if they spend all their energy trying to make it through their day. Providing people managers with the tools to encourage employee well-being, celebrate wins, and foster collaboration takes the pressure off your employees to have to ask for help.

Now that you’ve identified which, if any, of these root causes are impacting your employee engagement and creating brand fatigue, what’s next? Your employer brand is your people, community, and value proposition. You must make your people feel part of the bigger picture, not just a lone wolf on their journey.

Practical Tactics to Combat Brand Fatigue

This is great in theory, but identifying the causes is only half the battle. To combat brand fatigue and create a thriving and engaged workforce, I’m sharing practical tactics you can collaborate on with your HR, TA, and executive leaders to foster a sense of belonging, connection, and alignment in your employees.

  1.  Enable people managers

Effective people management is critical to fostering relationships and ensuring employees feel valued and connected, especially when not face-to-face. Whoever is in charge of your talent's happiness must know how to do that. 

And if they don't, connect them with thoughtful mentoring and training or put a contingency plan in place to ensure your employees have the support they need to feel valued. 

  1. Foster community

Feeling connected to the organization is a no-brainer. You can foster a sense of community by creating opportunities for collaboration, brainstorming, and sharing experiences. Create space for meaningful connection through online or offline workshop sessions full of brainstorming and cooperation rather than just having keynote speakers. 

Put tools in place for people to tell their stories and journeys and share what they are up to in work and life. And when people have successes, then celebrate it! Ensure you're sharing the stories people want to hear and, most importantly, listen to your people.

  1. Make your Employer Value Proposition (EVP) Agile

Clear EVP/s help talent understand what's expected of them and outlines clearly what they'll get in return. Your employees want to feel like they’re working towards something meaningful and tangible.

Building an agile EVP requires a realistic and honest approach. It's not always about presenting an upbeat or fantastic value proposition; it's about being authentic and transparent with your workforce, even in times of transformation or market downturn.

Once you have a strong value proposition embedded in your business that's up to date and recognizes current industry and social environments and pressures, you have the foundation to build an employer brand that is believable and relatable.

  1. Track the pulse of your workforce

To address the pain points contributing to brand fatigue, you must stay in touch with your employees' sentiments. Deploy employee surveys, NPS scores, and brand voice surveys to track the pulse of your workforce. When you notice changes, do something about their pain points. Talk to your people managers, regional managers, and different groups to see if there is consistency across the business and align your brand messaging to match. 

  1. Adjust based on your people’s attitudes

You can't fix everything. You can't make every employee happy. But you can look at the root causes of disengagement and brand fatigue and take active steps to address the issues. 

To immediately impact your employees, communicate your plan and let them see you're doing something to avoid brand fatigue and re-energize them. Listen to their feedback on your strategy, respond to any input in a constructive way, and adjust where needed to meet your employee’s concerns.

Fight Brand Fatigue and Amplify the Right Messages 

Brand fatigue is real, and organizations are responsible for doing their best for their people because, I guarantee, most of your people are working hard for you. 

It can be challenging to help business leaders see beyond the goals they need to kick. But you must remind them that you can't do that without your people. Amid busy schedules and ambitious goals, it is essential to remember that employees are the driving force behind a company's success.

Organizations can combat brand fatigue and create a thriving work environment by prioritizing employee well-being, encouraging a sense of community, tracking employee sentiment, and making adjustments based on employee attitudes.

Once you've nailed this part of the journey, you can focus on specific tactical ways to improve, such as your Glassdoor rating and your employer brand's social sentiment.  We’re here to help you build brand advocacy online, so reach out if you need a hand. Amplifying the right messages at the right time is what we do best.

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