Sep 15, 2022 - Economy

Communications role in the war for talent

Illustration of a toy army figurine holding an envelope like a bazooka.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Fifty percent of employees are actively looking for new jobs, according to Bully Pulpit Interactive (BPI) research.

Why it matters: Most leave because they don’t feel connected to the company’s mission, values or strategy — but smart communicators can turn disconnected employees into super fans.

State of play: Only 30% of people are excited to tell others where they work. If business leaders can revive employer pride, they can solve attrition, explains Bully Pulpit president Andrew Bleeker.

  • How you tap into that pride varies depending on the company's goals, says Bleeker. “The driver of employee pride at Goldman Sachs isn’t going to be the same at Patagonia — one is trying to save the climate, while the other is trying to be the absolute best in their field.”
  • BPI found that nearly half of workers would forgo a higher salary to work for a brand they are proud of — and they are more likely to stay in their role or recommend the company to others.
  • Plus, an organization's performance improves when employees understand the brand, per a recent Gallup study.

By the numbers: 71% of employees say the amount of communication they receive is about right, but roughly half say it lacks substance — which is a sure fire way to lose them.

  • As the founders of Axios examine in their book, we spend an average of 26 seconds reading a piece of content, and our brain decides in 17 milliseconds if we like what we are seeing.
  • "You can’t rally people around a strategy or an idea if they don’t understand what you’re saying — or zone out."

Zoom in: Employees are the best, most authentic spokespeople for the brand, and they must be viewed as a prized audience.

  • To effectively reach them, you have to put in the same amount of effort you would give an external campaign — one that is tightly messaged and micro-targeted.
  • You are more likely to gin up employee pride by showing appreciation for workers in public facing ways — like Lyft's driver-focused messaging and hospitals' "Thank you heroes" campaigns, says Bleeker.

The bottom line: Companies that target employees across all channels will draw more eyeballs, increase employer brand and combat attrition by connecting the work to the mission.

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