People don’t want to work for firms that can’t live up to their own brand values

Being yourself has its downsidesBusinesses that lack clear brand values and a defined company purpose are at risk of losing their employees, according to a new poll from Berkeley Communications [registration]. In an international study looking at workers’ attitudes around company loyalty, the report suggests that three quarters (75 percent) of respondents believe a company’s purpose is an important aspect of their current or prospective employer and 73 percent said the same about their current or prospective employer’s brand values.

A failure to effectively communicate brand values these and messages, however, could lead to companies losing or missing out on top talent. One-in-five (20 percent) of employed respondents raised concerns over the use of meaningless or misleading terms in company communications and jobs descriptions. The authors say that employers must take these concerns seriously, especially in light of the finding that half (50 percent) of employed responders shared that they are planning to change their jobs with nearly a fifth (17 percent) planning to do so in the next six months or sooner. This presents both opportunity and risk for businesses looking to retain and attract talent.

The new study, entitled Beyond Branding: Storytelling’s Role in Global Talent Retention, conducted amongst workers across the UK, USA, Germany and Australia, claims that half (52 percent) of people looking for work say they would never join a company whose values do not agree with theirs. The research also revealed that clear communication of brand values and purpose is becoming essential in modern business. In fact, more than two thirds (69 percent) of those looking for work agreed that an employer’s values need to be well communicated to employees.

The research revealed there is a difference in attitudes to company loyalty and brand values across different generations which businesses need to consider. Three quarters (75 percent) of surveyed baby boomers say they are loyal to their current employer. This decreases with age, with only 55 percent of Generation Z responding positively when questioned about their loyalty.  This goes hand in hand with Generation Z feeling less likely to have a strong alignment between their personal values and their employer’s values (60 percent),as well as feeling proud of who they work for because of their company’s purpose (58 percent).

The authors of the report claim that the study’s findings emphasise the need for a compelling company brand purpose, as it can be a powerful tool for attracting and retaining top talent. A purpose-driven company, coupled with effective internal communication and storytelling, can lead to reduced costs, increased revenue, improved productivity and a positive work environment.