TUESDAY 26 APR 2022 3:38 PM


David Garfinkel, director of employee engagement at MSL, looks at how businesses can build and maintain belief with its employees, and what lessons can be taken from consumer marketing in a world of increased choice.

The world is changing and how we connect with talent needs to change as well, we are being bombarded with more & more messages from brands every day, employees are struggling to navigate the noise - let alone know what is expected of them. 

The answer to solving this lies in building belief with our audiences. Shifting to a values-first world, where communications are more than just words, and belief is rooted in, and inspires, authentic actions at every level of an organisation.

Why? Because people that believe in their employers go on to transform the performance of that business.

Today we explore what we can learn from consumer marketing principles in order to build belief with employees.

The Great Resignation - a term that has fuelled countless action plans, sleepless nights and counter-offers all over the country. A trend and mindset shift not bound by industry sector, experience level or job title but by one thing that has appeared in the last 6 months; choice. Broadly speaking, employees now have more choice than ever before. And at a time when employees’ priorities are shifting and the world of work is changing, choice is a powerful asset.

The latest ONS report shows that there were 1,247,000 vacancies between October & December 2021. To put it into context that is 462,000 more than there were pre pandemic. With these numbers, it is little wonder that nearly 60% of workers are considering a job change. Choice is powerful, especially when we feel like our priorities are not being met. With organisations struggling to navigate this choice filled world, ones that build Belief with their employees will accelerate their growth. 

When thinking about choice and audience belief, it prompted me to think about how brands engage with their consumers. As consumers we have had huge choice for decades and this continues to grow. With this level of choice being a comparatively new phenomenon in the career space, what can we learn about how brands engage with their consumers and how can we apply it to how businesses can build belief with their employees?

  • Ask don’t assume - Brands are great at asking consumers what they want and actioning it. On the other hand, businesses often wait for something to be wrong to take action. As a manager and a business, ask people what they want from work. This will allow you to be more successful in providing them with engaging experiences, ultimately drive productivity and build belief
  • Make it easy to provide feedback - Brands are constantly creating two way conversations with customers, everything that we buy comes with a feedback survey or review option. It has never been easier for brands to know our thoughts. However, employers often don’t create easy avenues for employees to give feedback, and importantly ones where they feel comfortable doing so. Too often it’s left to an annual engagement survey where actions are not followed up. Successful companies are looking at tools such as chat features and online hubs that help create a culture of immediate feedback. Two way dialogue increases engagement and employees believe that you are invested in them.
  • Continuously invest - Brands ask for feedback so that they can invest in new ways to engage with their customers. The cynics among us will say that this is to generate more income. By creating avenues for employees to provide feedback on a regular basis, it allows employers to spot trends and invest in the employee experience. This doesn’t have to be financial investment but may be looking at new ways to increase collaboration or empowering people to work on passion projects. 
  • Reward loyalty - Whether it be our local coffee shop giving us a free coffee for every 5 we buy or racking up airline points in days gone by, brands are always thinking of new ways to retain customers and promote loyalty. While it is great to attract new, exciting talent; employers should look at ways to reward loyalty and drive retention. Whether this be additional holiday days for years of service, the option of a sabbatical or retraining opportunities to keep things fresh, employees should be rewarded for sticking with an organisation through thick and thin.
  • Create an alumni network - “We haven’t seen you for a while” is the first line of an email from any brand when we haven’t bought anything for a period of time. Brands are always trying to create a connection with lapsed customers. No matter how good an experience that employees get, the likelihood is at some point they will look for another opportunity. If employers have taken some of the learnings from the previous points, then the employee will have been engaged and delivered great work. As part of the leaving process, they should be invited to join an alumni network where they can stay connected to former colleagues and keep updated with news from the company. This is great from an employer brand perspective and who knows, you may even want them back at some point.


So in this world of increased choice, we have to accept that employees are going to leave for new challenges. This will happen to every business. The businesses that actively make steps to listen, learn and act on what they hear from their people, just like brands do with their customers, are likely to build employee belief and see their reputation rise.