How to bring employees back to work in the strong organizations of ‘once upon a time’?

How to bring employees back to work in the strong organizations of ‘once upon a time’?

In recent years, we have witnessed a growing trend of young job seekers rejecting entire industries such as the public service, manufacturing and industry, law and accounting, transportation and the construction industry, in favor of the dream of a career in high-tech or another trendy ‘shiny’ career. After the high-tech storm has somewhat forgotten and the stardust has settled, this could be the golden hour for the stable, profitable companies that offer job security to return and be in demand.

The way there must pass through real changes (for example, there is no escape from a wage increase) and at the same time requires root treatment of the bad image that has been created over the years for the aforementioned companies and those industries.

Our experience shows that many companies are already deep in the process of the required change: raising salaries, flexible hours, hybrid work and the creation of promotion tracks.

And it still seems that the barriers have not been breached, probably because of the difficulty of freeing oneself from the image of an outdated organization and the difficulty of eliminating stigmas that have formed over the years. At this point, B2E business to employees marketing comes into play. We deliberately avoid using the worn-out term ’employer branding’, a term that in recent years has been stripped of any real content and suffers from shallow interpretations.

To understand what B2E means and how it can help veteran organizations, we will present two examples of an in-depth process of repositioning a workplace as a brand with values ​​adapted to today and a new target audience. Deep Branding.

You have to remember, in the reality of 2023 we live in a world of brands. We dress, eat, connect with the ‘right’ people and take branded vacations. We can like it or not, but this is the reality and in this reality the workplace is also part of the story, it is important for us to work in the ‘right’ place.

The branding process (employer branding), which must always describe reality and not present an illusion, to which we have been exposed in recent years in the high-tech industry, including the investment in parties, vacations and many treats in order to stand out in the competitive market, cynically created during the last few years a very successful branding for high-tech as an industry, but not for companies themselves who had difficulty creating differentiation. Among other things, because most of the companies highlighted the same generic values ​​such as ‘meaning’ (also in gaming companies), ‘modern technology’, ‘entrepreneurship’, Ten Bis parties, a beer tap and dream vacations. Therefore, when you ask a high-tech employee where he works, the chances are high that he will answer “high-tech” and not mention the name of the company where he works.

Everyone wants to fulfill the dream. Everyone wants to participate in the celebration, while working for an established company in other industries is seen as the default and creates a sense of missing out (FOMO).

How can old companies bring back a crown to its former glory?

The new needs and expectations of the new employees are identified, changes are implemented in the field, and now all that remains is to ventilate the outdated brand concept. An image that used to be a source of pride and over the years has become an Achilles heel.

We will give several examples of this. Let’s take the banking industry as an example. If in the ‘Baby Boomers’ generation, working in a bank was an indication that I got along with a job in life, later, when Generation X employees entered the market, the industry lost its luster, young and talented employees removed their feet from the banking industry for fear that they had nowhere to develop. Over the years, tenure has become an advantage and a symbol of organizational mediocrity. Some banks were able to recognize the change and entered the market with a ‘management reserve track’ that attracted the next generation of managers.

Let’s take as another example a public transportation company. Today, technology does not miss transportation companies. On the contrary, more and more companies are switching to smart transportation and incorporating advanced technology. We are no longer talking about companies that only employ drivers, mechanics and garage workers, so we will examine in depth what technologies are used, does the company lead projects in this field? And if so, spread it, talk about it, be in the relevant places where there is discourse, in conferences, in the media. Let the broad target audience understand that the company that until recently was perceived as an old-fashioned company without challenging and interesting employment options is actually a company that implements and invests in innovative technologies and even leads projects around the world.

And if we discover that the company also leads projects in many cities around the world, then this global angle must also be emphasized to the target audience. Not only a local Israeli company, but an Israeli pride that also operates abroad and its employees can integrate into this effort. Relocation can take place not only in high-tech.

We will take as an example companies from the public service, the public defender’s office, authorities that protect nature, antiquities, the Ministry of Environmental Quality. A deeper meaning can be found here. After many companies have tried to sell the value of meaning by force, it is precisely in the public service world and in governmental or semi-statutory companies that real meaningful action is led, one that translates into daily action in the field and results that can be seen and enjoyed in a way that produces meaning and satisfaction for the employee.

There is no doubt that in many “once upon a time” companies it is possible to emphasize the job security that these days is not taken lightly. Most of the young workers are exposed during this period for the first time to a prolonged global economic crisis and undergo a kind of disillusionment.

In the same way, it is possible to emphasize additional values ​​found such as the implementation of flexible/hybrid work, flexible jobs that allow the combination of several jobs. Maybe the geographical location. For a large part of the employees, being outside of Tel Aviv or even Gush Dan can be an advantage.

Bottom line. In order to bring back the employees, changes in the field and salary increases are not enough, it is necessary to reposition, create consciousness from a slightly different angle, identify the unique values ​​in the organization, pour content into them and inform the world until a perception is changed.

Efrat Bell and Dana Granot are the founders of the company best snow – An employer and B2E branding company

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