#Nextchat: Employer Branding Starts with Company Values



Employee referrals have always been one of the most powerful forms of recruiting.  And, in today’s digital landscape and competitive talent market, leveraging your employee advocates is more important than ever. Still, educating and empowering your “Army of Brand Ambassadors” to share your story in a way that will resonate with potential employees is not enough. Sue-Ellen Watts, CEO and founder of wattsnext, believes it all starts with your organization’s values and ensuring that your employees not only understand them but live them every day. 

“For values to be truly lived and breathed and be a useful tool, you need to share the meaning behind the value,” says Watts. “Every value should have a story behind it, and those stories need to be told! Why it was created. What gap it is filling, and real-life examples of when each value was needed and how it was used.”

Watts is an HR pro and entrepreneur who has been a leading voice for years in helping organizations create their employee brand and corporate culture. In the blog post So Your Company Values Look Good on the Wall. Now What?, Watts writes about the importance of sitting down with employees and discussing how they live the organization’s values. 

“I ask my team to share how the values have helped them and how they have used them in the past. This way they can continually connect the values to their day to day work.”

Once employees can articulate their connections to the organization’s culture, your organization can then empower them to share that story far and wide. And, with 92 percent of consumers saying that they trust recommendations from a person more than the same content delivered by the company itself, it’s to an employer’s advantage to harness the power of persuasion that exists in its happiest and most engaged employees.

In the post Social Media Is Your Friend Not Your Foe, Watts describes both the balancing act we have with social media, personally and professionally, and how her organization has not only embraced it but insisted on its use: “At wattsnext we implemented a social media strategy whereby every employee now has social media KPIs [key performance indicators].” 

How do you build an employer branding program for your organization and make employee advocacy an integral part of your overall recruiting efforts?

Please join @SHRMnextchat at 3 p.m. ET on May 30 for #Nextchat with special guest Sue-Ellen Watts (@Sel_Watts), the CEO and founder of the HR company wattsnext.  We'll chat about how building a successful employer brand starts by creating a corporate culture that your employee advocates can truly believe in and share. 


Q1. Before employees can share the company’s values, they must fully appreciate them. What steps do you take to ensure your employees understand, and live, your organization’s values? 

Q2. Message consistency is critical for employer branding. What are other important considerations as employers build their program’s policy?

Q3. What types of training do you offer employees to help them understand employer branding and be better brand ambassadors?

Q4. What common mistakes do employers make when launching employer branding/employee advocacy programs?

Q5. What type of content should employees be sharing as part of an employer branding/employee advocacy campaign?

Q6. What specific data or analytics should an employer collect to help prove the ROI of its employer branding program?

Q7. How do you garner feedback on your organization’s employer branding program?

Q8. What guidelines should an organization provide to its employees when launching an employer branding program?


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