Employer Value Proposition: A Recipe for Success

April 19

Have you ever heard of Nugget Market? I haven't and unless you live in Northern California and shop at one of their supermarkets, you probably haven't either. But check out Yelp and you'll see rave reviews for their superior customer service and quality food products.

Customers seem to love Nugget Market. But that isn't enough to get on Fortune Magazine's 2011 list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For. And Nugget Market is not just on the list, but ranked #8. That's right, Nugget Market is keeping company with the big brands like SAS (#1), Boston Consulting Group (#2), Wegmans Food Markets (#3) and Google (#4).

According to Fortune, Nugget Market has none of the perks you'll find at some of the other companies who made the list: No onsite fitness center or child care service; no telecommuting or job sharing programs.

So what does Nugget Market offer that makes their Employer Value Proposition so enticing?

Excellent health benefits for one. Spot bonuses. Product discounts. But beyond the "tangible" aspects, what are those "intangibles" that really engage their workforce?

It appears that Nugget Market's "secret sauce" is equal amounts of credible leadership plus personal growth and advancement, blended with a high degree of camaraderie and a fun work environment. Not to mention a large dose of corporate responsibility on both a local and international level. In effect, Nugget Market appears to deliver on their promise to employees and customers alike with behaviors that embody quality, respect and integrity.

The management team at Nugget Market has built their reputation on three pillars: constant improvement, a world-class work environment and guest satisfaction. They haven't strayed from their commitment to their employees or their customers.

And that is exactly where your employer brand begins and ends - with your people. When an organization is clear about its expectations - what they expect from their employees as well as what their employees can expect from them - it's a win/win. That type of leadership commitment and follow-through leads directly to increased employee engagement and business success.

According to a 2010 Corporate Leadership Council Study, engaged employees put 57% more effort into their job performance and are 87% less likely to leave for greener pastures. Compare that with Towers Watson's 2010 Global Workforce Study where only 47% of employees think their leaders are trustworthy and just 42% feel that their leaders inspire and engage them. That's a recipe for disaster.

Your employer brand is much more than a platform for attracting new talent. Behaviors at all levels of the organization need to align with the brand for it to be believable. Behaviors that are reinforced through channels such as performance reviews, professional development tools and recognition programs are paramount. Behaviors that are promoted through ongoing communication and open dialogue foster success.

Like whipping up a fabulous soufflé only to have it collapse before serving, an employer brand strategy will fail if it's not supported from within.

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