Berna Özdemirkan

April-May 2016 – Brandmap: 

We know that “keeping your promises” is an indispensable element to become an Employer Brand preferred by existing and future employees. So you have decided to take this path. However, you don’t know where to start. Let’s remember briefly: Firstly, you improve employee satisfaction, reduce employee turnover by increasing engagement and take necessary actions in accordance with your employees’ expectations to move forward with more “knights”. After you conclude your enhancement actions, you evaluate again and see if you have reached your target or not.  If you have successfully completed this phase, it’s time to determine your strengths and commitments. Let’s hit the road, then!

Who are you accompanied by? Who are your biggest supporters? Or who should they be? Surely, the directors/managers who determined the organization’s strategy and vision are the most important partners. What if they are not happy? What if they are working as senior specialists rather than managers? How many actual managers do you have? Or do you only have department directors responsible for Excel reporting?

Let’s take a look at the data about Turkey. First come the research infographic:

Looking at these data, we can clearly see that managers are no different than team members. Just take a look, personally.

How do you take the employer branding journey when managers and team members have the same indicators in terms of organizational satisfaction, engagement and dedication? Those managers should be the most important advocates of this journey but if they are not sufficiently motivated, then it represents a challenging topic for us. So, understanding the managers’ point of view is a high priority. Let’s take a look at the manager results in terms of survey data.

  • They feel underappreciated by the top executives.
  • They do not have healthy communication/interaction with the upper management.
  • Their wage and the additional benefits are not sufficient when compared to their efforts.
  • Their status symbols are insufficient and their participation in decision making is not considered efficient.

Most probably the upper management also perceives and treats them as senior specialists rather than directors/managers. Why is that? How did you come to that? Well, you were too generous with the manager titles in order to ensure employee retention. You must be saying “but we had to”. Employees had expectations so promoting those titles became crucial. Now you have too many employees with management titles, but so little real managers.  First you need to teach your managers to move away from their computers, look around and manage not only the business but also team members. If a manager is focusing only on getting the job done instead of delegating the workload to the employees and thus cannot pay efficient attention to them, you cannot expect those manager to keep the Employer Branding promises. Therefore, you will fail at the most important aspect of becoming an Employer Brand; keeping promises. Never forget that an underappreciated manager would never appreciate its staff. It is proven by the data showing that almost every 1 out of 2 employees feel underappreciated.

Therefore, if you are to take this journey, first thing to do must be transforming your managers into real managers. This means you need to choose the right people for the job and show everyone that you made the right choice. You also need to classify your current management team according to their traits. Is he/she a process manager? A functional unit director/manager? Or a departmental director? While establishing strategies, managers should take active parts in critical processes like budgeting, performance and targets.  You need to provide the necessary financial resources. Relations with the senior executives should be boosted. Being an Employer Brand has a lot of branches to consider and your managers are one of them. A friendly advice, never take a journey unprepared.