Berna Özdemirkan

May-June 2016 – Brandmap: 

For 15 years, I had the chance to be at the backstage of many companies thanks to my line of work. This enabled me to observe a lot. Large companies, small-scale companies, international companies, companies run by families or owners… I would like to talk about some of the large companies today.

These dream companies that look perfect on paper and receives hundreds of resumes every day may create quite disappointment for its employees. Take the newly graduates or the employees with 5 years of experience. From their babyhood they were the center of attention and highly appreciated when they took their first steps. During school years, in addition to the academic studies, they participated in at least two extracurricular activities. The tiniest opportunities were enough to motive them. Since kindergarten they were taught by different class and branch teachers. A generation was born with high self-esteem, low dependence and raised with achievement certificates. They didn’t need to make an effort to be noticed or appreciated as their parents had new perspectives about raising children. These children, raised with this new pedagogical perspective, graduated from the best universities and entered the business life with high expectations. After they started working at their dream companies, they realized that their expectations were not met.

So why is that? It is because these companies have such a high brand value that they manage to be perceived as a successful Employer Brand without any effort. This enables them to attract the desirable employee profile. Then what happens? Then the idiom “Don’t judge a book by its cover” comes to life. This makes an unexpected number of turnovers happen. These employees with high expectations of career and advancement opportunity realize that most of the systems or processes are staggering in the company let alone bright career opportunities.  The survey data shows us that career is the primary improvement area for white collar workers and only 30% of around 15,000 white collar workers are satisfied about career opportunities of their employer. On top of it, this effects employee engagement dramatically. What does it mean? Career and professional development opportunities are regarded as more of a determining factor rather than just a motivation booster and so, the employee can simply walk away if they are not provided with opportunities.

As a result, in no more than a couple of months a person goes from feeling extremely happy to have entered his/her dream company to the point of alienation and disconnection. After this disconnection and eventual resignation, the company may not bother too much as it can easily attract new employees thanks to its strong brand.

This misplaced comfort makes those companies refrain from creating new values; and they continue making use of their old values. Is it sustainable? Of course not! If you don’t renew your company’s values, you will wear out at a certain point. Eventually, the company’s Employer Brand reputation will diminish. If;

The company does not help the current valuable human resource flow with the processes, systems and politics,

Every single director in the company starts managing in their own style rather than the general company style,

The expectations caused by the strong employer brand image are not supported by the directors,

The company ends up wasting its resources to recruit, coach and train new people to be able to cope with the massive turnover. Wasting these resources results in wasting the time needed to establish the systems and processes that could have lead the company into the right direction. In this vicious circle, this company with a very strong recognition starts to regress in terms of market and industry dynamics, loses its financial resource and brand strength ending up at a point of no return. 

This is why if a company aspires to be even more powerful, the internal factors should be prioritized. The company’s employee value will be equivalent to its brand value. It is important to remember that every investment made in the name of employee value will benefit the company more.