Don’t let employees go, let them grow: Creating brand advocates

Toni Vicars

By Toni Vicars

March 10, 2021

By empowering your organisation and talent at all stages of the employee lifecycle including when they depart, you create more powerful and loyal teams that can grow with the business, stronger communities and local economic strength as well as drive industry innovation. Creating brand advocates i.e. your biggest cheerleaders.

Creating brand detractors?

Employees, the lifeblood of the knowledge economy, distinguish one organisation from another. In today’s continuously changing business world, the success or failure of a company is largely dependent on the calibre of the talent they employ and attract. A bad employee brand costs.

  • According to a study by Randstad USA, 57% of job candidates avoid companies with negative online reviews. 
  • A bad reputation costs a minimum 10% pay increase to convince a candidate to take a job.
  • Nearly 50% would entirely rule out taking the job regardless of any pay increase.
  • Even a 10% raise would only tempt 28% of them to join such a company.
According to a study conducted by Randstad USA : 57% of job candidates avoid companies with negative online reviews.

Many companies globally have been hit by the pandemic and forced to make unexpected changes. Departure driven by employee desire or a business requirement for redundancy can see organisations losing a tremendous amount of brain trust and insight as well as seriously detrimentally affecting their employee brand.

Existing outplacement programmes can become much more strategic through the use of startup outskilling. The mantra being “don’t let staff go, let them grow.”

By creating startup innovation programmes, you can provide the opportunity to divert talent from your organisation into startups but keep the opportunity within your sphere of influence and more importantly support. A holistic approach to offboarding is a much smarter and successful approach.

“Despite the high rate of churn in the labor market today, many companies pay scant attention to offboarding employees. That’s a mistake, say the authors, who argue that offboarding is an increasingly vital part of talent management—and an opportunity” according to Alison M. Dachner and Erin E. Makarius in their article in Harvard Business Review, Turn Departing Employees into Loyal Alumni.

Or brand advocates!

Effective talent management is a business-critical issue for passionate C-suite teams and Senior HR professionals. Evolving Leadership with Purpose approaches need to include Leadership with Care. 

Startup outskilling can create lifelong ambassadors for your business while ensuring your own business continuity. How an organisation treats its departing employees has a direct impact on the consumer relationship and brand.

This approach can create a positive a win/win environment for everyone. We know that innovation from within, especially around industry problems can be incredibly difficult or confining to solve from within but by giving departing talent innovation pathways through startup creation, you can see a significant return for a relatively low investment. Nokia ended up investing in 20% of the startups generated during their Bridge redundancy programme enabling new business opportunities.

This opportunity allows your talent to explore solutions and build companies around issues and opportunities that they feel passionate about. Supporting their development and growth ensures a strong positive engagement even during a redundancy scenario. It turns a potential moment of risk into a powerful transition of positive opportunity.

Discover how Nokia used this strategy. Their Bridge Programme is now considered best practice. By adding a startup pathway they allowed over 600 startups to be created and also built fantastic brand advocates even during redundancy.

Purpose-driven outskilling is a strategic mandate in today’s work. Discover our whitepaper here.

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