Product, Thought LeadershipLeave a Comment on Setting a product vision for growth

Setting a product vision for growth

A solid product vision is existential for any company

When I first joined Papirfly in the summer of 2022 I joined an exceptional group of people. Through various mergers and acquisitions we had strategically assembled a dream team with a fantastic group of products. 

With the new larger company only being a few months old – yet with a heritage stretching back more than 20 years – it was the perfect time to create a long term product vision; one which would underpin our growth planning.

There are many traits and attributes that differ between successful companies but one thing that unites those who grow the fastest, offer the best customer experience, and continuously innovate is a strong product vision.

What I looked at when creating a product vision for Papirfly

With industry leading products we had a great starting point. For brand control we had Brand Portal and Brand Hub, both of which will become Point in 2023. Our enterprise-grade asset management products include award-winning DAM tools we’re combining to create Place in the next 12 months. And our best-in-class template creation products – that will come together as Produce in the year ahead – help our customers activate their brand.

Add to that the collaboration, planning, workflow, and approval functionality within the product group (all of which will be relaunched as Plan in the coming months) and the Papirfly product offering has everything marketers need to build, launch, scale, defend, and control their brands.

But we didn’t quite yet have it all within one product suite. Which is why we launched Unification; our major program to unite and unify the best of everything we’ve ever built into one cohesive product suite.

Unification, which started at the end of 2022 and will be launched to the market in May 2023 (be the first to get access), will see us bring all of our products’ strengths together for the first time. Where customers might have only used – and loved – one or two products in the past they’ll be able to access all of them in one enterprise-grade tool. One access, one look and feel, one ecosystem. Further, we’ll be able to add our latest product – deep analytics and reporting capability – to the heart of the joined-up product, launching what will be known as Prove simultaneously.

Completing the vision of having one interoperable product suite – designed to put the greatest brand management tools at our customers’ fingertips – is our integrations bench strength, Plus. A marketplace of connectors, plug-ins, and integrations, designed to extend the power, flexibility, and scalability of Papirfly.

Power. Flexibility. Scalability. These became the pillars of our new product vision. The newly unified Papirfly product suite offers customers the ability to do everything they need to in one place, move simply and swiftly between different functionalities, and access a product offering that is absolutely greater than the sum of its parts.

Deciding on, and believing in, Unification

It was relatively obvious from day one that Unification was the right strategy. Why? Because we had a market-leading product in each of our service areas. We didn’t have glaring gaps, we didn’t have to focus on ‘fixing’ broken products, and we didn’t have significant innovation gaps in the market either. Which meant we knew, very quickly, that our primary task was to bring everything together in one family.

The best automotive brands do this – with the commonalities of platform sharing used to build competitive advantage. The best retail groups do this – with shared services, logistics, and scale all used for leverage and to build the best customer experience. We’re doing something similar and Unification is how we’re doing it.

Creating a product vision that works

One thing worse than having no formalised product vision is – of course – having one that doesn’t work. When I, and the product team, set out to create a vision that worked for all of our products, all of our people, and – most importantly – all of our customers, we did our research thoroughly.

The resulting product vision reflects what our customers need, what our people can build (better than anyone else), and where we sit in the market. We have ensured product-market fit by collaborating with customers (including via our new Customer Council), working hand-in-hand with partners (including via our new Product & Partners group), and partnering with industry tone-setters like Forrester.

The result of this multi-pronged approach is that we have a product vision that anyone at Papirfly can communicate to anyone we work with. Indeed our internal studies show that 99% of Papirfly employees, when surveyed, know exactly where the product team is taking our product.

Aligning external with internal

We have worked hard on communications – which is one of the not-so-secret secrets of successful product development. Rather than doing it in isolation we have communicated, collaborated, and engaged with all of our stakeholders. What product builds affects what sales sells, how customer success delivers customer experience, and how marketing talks to the world. So we’ve made sure everyone has been involved in the process.

One of our key outputs has been the opening up of our product development process. Our product roadmap is public and allows all of our customers to feed in ideas, thoughts, and feedback. Our RoadmapTV channel on brings together all of our product assets transparently and simply – from release notes to webinars, from whitepapers to ‘how to’ videos, and from ‘meet the maker’ content to the latest news on our product suite’s evolutions. And our internal program of product knowledge, education, information, and engagement means that everyone at Papirfly knows everything about our product at Papirfly.

The result is a product vision that directly translates to product innovation and one which builds a customer experience we can be proud of – reflected in statistics like 99% of Papirfly customers saying they would happily recommend us to a friend or colleague.

We’ve only just started but our product vision is guiding us for customer-led growth. Find out more about the future of brand management by booking a demo today.

Product, Thought LeadershipLeave a Comment on AI, Beyond the Hype (Part 1)

AI, Beyond the Hype (Part 1)

Papirfly has worked with AI for some time and has successfully implemented it in the production of illustrations for one of its customers. The company used the customer’s brand guidelines to train the AI to create new illustrations that are inline with the brand’s look and feel. This allows the customer to quickly generate new illustrations at a low cost and with a faster turnaround time compared to the traditional workflow of requesting and waiting for an illustrator. The AI-generated illustrations are still subject to manual approval.

The above intro text was written by ChatGPT. Our Product team took this text and asked ChatGPT’s AI for an executive summary on how to use AI to write marketing content as an experiment. We’ve all spent the last couple of weeks getting mind blown by the text and copy that a chat AI can write. But what now? The sharing hype is over, can this be used for anything useful?

AI: Looking deeper

At Papirfly we’ve been looking into AI use cases and the theory behind it for some time and similarly to others, we’ve been fascinated and impressed. AI has been, theoretically at least, hailed as the solution to many problems currently being dissected and analysed within “big tech”. It may seem obvious, but trying to implement the technology to fix those problems comes with its own challenges. It’s theorised that “AI can solve anything,” but we have some questions!

  • Where are the use cases that are suitable for it?
  • Why should AI solve those things?
  • Does the problem really need AI to solve it, or are we throwing technology at something because it’s “new and cool”?

Addressing the Technology Adoption Curve

At Papirfly, we believe we’ve found a killer use case for AI (you could say we’re the “Innovators” on the Technology Adoption Curve), but we need to help the technology find its rightful place where it can stand on its own in the product ecosystem, and support other companies in how to use the technology properly and responsibly.

Whats next on AI from Papirfly?

This short blog is Papirfly’s introduction to our longer series on AI, “AI: Beyond the Hype” where we’ll dig into more wide ranging topics on AI and how it might affect our customers and their customers. We want to ensure that we’re researching, analysing, and using AI in a responsible and sustainable way, and have some exciting use cases and thought leadership coming in the new year. Stay tuned!

Contributions by Natalie Wilding, Martin Pospisil, and Yngve Myklebust

ROILeave a Comment on The Total Economic Impact™ of Papirfly

The Total Economic Impact™ of Papirfly

A positive return on investment (ROI) is one of the only metrics that matters – simply put, do your gains outweigh the cost of your investment?

Concerning brand management tools, searching for online solutions that provide great value can lead to trying many ‘shiny new objects’ that address key business challenges – brand consistency, reliance on expensive agencies for assets, a bird’s-eye view of campaign activity, gatekeeping brand guidelines, to name a few.

In reality, few solutions generate a positive ROI whilst creating long-term business benefits that support advancing your brand strategy – allowing you to maintain gatekeeping control of your brand. In short, having the right information before you invest in brand management tools is pivotal.

That’s why Papirfly commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study to determine the financial and business benefits our customers experienced from our brand management platform.

And the results are in.

212% ROI over three years

Combining the results of four customer representative interviews and the financial analysis of their business, a composite organisation was formed.

The study found the composite customer experienced benefits of $1.72 million over three years versus costs of $553,000 – adding up to a net present value (NPV) of $1.17 million and an ROI of 212%.

Improved asset creation efficiency

Whilst external agencies can be important collaborators, Papirfly have empowered brands to reduce the requirement, and therefore cost, of regularly using external agencies when a high quantity of fast, high-quality marketing materials are needed across any location that brand operates in. Prior to adopting Papirfly, the study reports that customers’ global and regional teams primarily worked with agencies to create branded collateral – and the composite Papirfly customer saw a three year-benefit of $455,400 in reduced agency spend.

three year benefits

In addition to less reliance on external agencies, the interviews from the Forrester TEI study showed that, prior to adopting Papirfly, our customers experienced limited brand governance, a single source of truth for the brand was lacking, and brand guidelines and assets were stored in disparate systems or folders across the organisation.

Interviewees confirmed that after investing and using Papirfly, they had advanced asset production processes – to the benefit of $1.2m across three years for the composite organization – and reduced costs by enabling teams to create assets in-house. By centralising brand assets and guidelines in a single portal, content distribution was improved thanks to the centralised brand hub – to the benefit of $27,800 in three years.

Long-term on-brand benefits

Whilst an all-important ROI figure is key, it’s important to highlight some overall improvement that showed in Forrester Consulting’s findings as a result of the customer interviews:

  • Increased brand adoption granting all employees access to view assets in the centralised brand hub 
  • Improved brand consistency – interactive experience with the brand hub to more fully embrace guidelines
  • Maintained gatekeeping control – the ability to quickly and easily validate and approve any material created from our on-brand template technology
  • Enhanced content quality and improved business outcomes users across brand, marketing, talent acquisitions, and communications could increase focus on crafting relevant messaging and engaging content

Discover how Papirfly delivered significant ROI

Determining the value of your brand management platform is made easier with a study such as the Forrester Consulting TEI study. Whilst the results are from a composite organisation, the specific impact Papirfly can have on your business will be unique to you.

Download the study, and talk through the findings with one of our brand management experts.

MarketingLeave a Comment on 5 marketing focus areas when facing an economic downturn

5 marketing focus areas when facing an economic downturn

Cutting marketing budgets can feel like an obvious decision when facing a new economic downturn. Yet companies that do go down this road often perform worse than their competitors – the brands who understand that working smarter is more beneficial than working harder with less resources.

Recently I’ve been thinking of a friend in my youth. He would only spend a fixed amount when refuelling his car. He said it was his way of navigating high prices. When prices suddenly rose enough, I remember asking him if was going to cut down on driving. “Stop driving? Never!” he said. Then, with a knowing smile, he told me he would in fact be doubling his fuel budget. After all, he was a busy young man.

I wouldn’t have said my friend was wise at the time, but he came to mind after reading many recent articles on preparing for the economic downturn. The common message from the most successful brands seems to be “Don’t stop marketing!”. Perhaps my friend with the car came to mind as one writer’s article questioned Henry Ford’s insistence that “Stopping advertising to save money is like stopping the clock to save time”. My guess is he had the same knowing smile as my friend had when he said it.

Looking up and ahead when facing a downturn

Luckily, academic research can support businesses when the immediate impulse is to stop. The data reveals that there is a real cost in doing nothing – in fact opportunities are lost when the focus is in the wrong place.

For example, in German professor Peter Steidl’s 2009 book, Neurobranding, he points out that companies that increase their advertising budgets as part of their corporate strategy in times of recession, can really pay off. In fact, some have actually increased profits by 4.3 percent – while those that cut back only increased by 0.8 percent.

A more extensive study, carried out by two professors from Harvard among others, followed 4,700 listed companies in the USA through the 2008-2009 recession. They found that 80% of the companies took a minimum of three years to return to approximately the same level as before the recession – while 9% flourished and delivered at least 10% better results than their competitors quickly after the downturn was over.

The secret, according to a Harvard Business Review article summarising the study in 2010, consisted of what the professors called “pragmatic behaviour” – strengthening the organisation’s internal efficiency, and investing significantly more than competitors in marketing and R&D. However, this is not simply about maintaining the advertising budget. Reassessing the multichannel strategy, taking a closer look at what works, and in short, adjusting to get the most bang for your buck, is what works.

Prepare for the future, today

Positive results for businesses that not only aim to survive the downturn, but also make the effort to prepare their brands for the future was evident in both studies. To save you from sifting through a pile of academic papers, I’ve narrowed down 5 key action-focused pragmatic points to consider to help your business to more than survive, but also thrive when facing the downturn:

Don’t cut advertising

Marketing and advertising are not “nice to haves” – they are a vital prerequisite to maintaining operations. Remind management that this attitude cannot change during economic downturns. If the strength of your brand cannot be maintained at every touchpoint – and even made stronger in the minds of your customers – both sales and profitability will fall.

Look closely at the technology stack

Recessions provide the opportunity for a holistic, scrutinising look at your company’s portfolio of ICT tools and software solutions. Do any have overlapping functionality? Are some expensive in relation to the value they provide. Or have competing solutions with better features emerged? As the number of advertising channels has exploded in recent years, is the company still equipped to operate effectively in the ones relevant to you business? “Work smarter, not harder” can be an important mantra to adopt, as there are modern brand management tools that can significantly improve efficiency and provide the value, available to even small marketing departments on reduced budgets. Getting these in place before austerity measures take hold in earnest is vital to survive and thrive through the challenging times ahead.

Focus on ROI analysis

Is the marketing department (and the company) equipped to make useful, traceable analyses of channel use, tactics, partners and campaigns, so that you know what promotes the brand and turnover? Two developments make this necessary. Firstly, marketing now encompasses so many parameters that few companies get far with gut feeling alone – experience must be linked with data so that you can do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. And secondly, most CEOs and CFOs have now gained great respect for the importance of data analysis in most decision-making processes. So much so, every CMO must now be able to show solid data analysis to justify their actions and decisions – that is if they want to be taken seriously by the rest of the board of directors.

Experiment, learn and try again

In many contexts, brands can go a long way by trying out a few simple moves, seeing what works and then doing more of it. Here, it is not necessarily a question of gambling with large sums. Start small. Measure the effect. Increase the effort on what is working. Following what your customers are doing, and looking for trends in target groups’ behaviour, keeps the customer at the front and centre – and your brand’s responsive attitude has a great chance of being rewarded with loyalty.

Adapt. Adapt. Adapt.

In economic downturns, it is extremely important to be able to adapt quickly – it has been proven time and time again. Have you invested in a direction that suddenly turns out not to work? Make sure you can quickly turn around and drive in a different direction. Does an unexpected opportunity align with your brand in a way no one had anticipated? Make sure you can grab the opportunity – fast.

I was catching up with my old ‘fuel-smart’ friend this past summer. It was in the middle of pump prices reaching record highs across the country. He told me that long ago he had switched to an electric car. One that automatically smart-charged when the electricity price was at its lowest. Yet toll rings, parking and other considerations meant that he tended to cycle to work on a daily basis. Still working hard to think smarter.

He gave me the same knowing grin as he gave me all those years ago. If I’ve learned anything from him, it’s that even when facing hard times, with the right attitude there can still be plenty to smile about.

This article was originally published on 25 October 2022 on

Corporate communicationsLeave a Comment on The 5 challenges brands face when reducing marketing costs

The 5 challenges brands face when reducing marketing costs

With marketing being such an integral part of growing business and revenue, it’s always heartbreaking to ask your marketing team to find ways to reduce costs. When faced with harsh cuts, how can you maintain the right balance between all your focus areas, and still maintain optimal operational efficiency? The uncomfortable truth is that companies will from time to time be forced to reduce their marketing spend – yet there are ways to do more for less, allowing you to deliver equally impressive marketing whilst keeping your finance team happy.

Cost efficiency is the name of the game, but even in hard times one shouldn’t forget the old adage ‘you have to spend money to make money.’ When you’re focusing on getting the most out of the money you do spend, the challenge is naturally to map out where and how it’s best put to use. A good place to start is understanding the direct challenges marketers face when they have to operate on a lower budget than expected.

1.Maintaining content production volume

A busy marketing department always has a lot of plates spinning at once. Brands have more channels available than ever before to engage with their audiences, build visibility, and grow their business. While some of them will be more relevant to your business than others, your strategy will undoubtedly include multiple channels, and taking full advantage of them traditionally requires a great deal of time and resources.

When budgets shrink, it becomes a real challenge for marketing teams to uphold the same level of production through conventional processes. Sacrifices have to be made somewhere, whether that is limiting the number of utilised channels or how frequently content is created for them.

Completing repetitive tasks is a constant necessity when producing content for marketing. This time-thief gets even worse in the face of budget cuts and reduced capacity for content production. If the workflow is clunky and assets are being created from scratch far too often, the time it takes for everyone to contribute, review the work and carry out the revisions can lead to substantial delays in sign-off times. Deadlines are missed, and so are timely marketing opportunities. Solving such bottlenecks can make a big difference for your marketing team’s agility and ability to respond to important trends in the market.

2.Less time to plan and strategise

You’ve reiterated to your marketing team that now is the time for action and getting material out to the market. Now everyone is immersed in their own tasks and projects to keep the marketing engine running, and less time is spent on coordinating and realigning. Before you know it, the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. From there you can quickly end up with duplication of work, caused by lack of communication and planning.

Not only has precious time and resource been wasted at this point, you might even have frustration and discontent growing with the people whose work had to be cut, and perhaps with the team as a whole. The last thing you need in times like these is a team underperforming due to unhappiness and dysfunction. What’s more, the cost of replacing someone unhappy enough to leave will only increase the stress on your overall marketing budget.

This may be a slightly exaggerated example, but communication breakdown and lack of oversight and planning are serious obstacles. Left unchecked, they will negatively affect your marketing output. And the longer you leave it, the worse it gets for everyone involved. What you need is an easy way to get a bird’s-eye view of the operation, so you can be sure that every effort goes towards fulfilling the company’s goals – and no resource is wasted.

3. Powerful but expensive content types like video get shelved

There’s no question that video content is proven effective when marketing in almost any setting and platform. It’s eye-catching wherever it’s deployed, and provides a pleasant way for your audience to absorb information. Unfortunately, video content also tends to be expensive and resource-intensive to produce, compared to simpler forms of content. As a result, it’s often the first thing on the chopping block when managers are asked to find ways to reduce marketing costs.

Instead of putting all video projects on ice, it’s worth considering a more measured approach. While it might be best to hold off on the big ‘flagship’ videos with all the bells and whistles, there may be smaller areas where more simplistic video content can be very effective. You’d be surprised how far you can get with a phone camera on a tripod, a friendly face and some simple design and editing.

4. Display ads and social media takes priority

Keeping a good level of focus on social media marketing is always a smart decision, since it’s a relatively inexpensive and cost efficient form of marketing. It’s also the main channel where you can keep a finger on the pulse of your customer base, and follow market trends. Whether you’re a B2B or B2C business, social media platforms are the main avenues for building visibility, interest and traffic for your brand, and so it’s always worth spending time and resource to maintain and execute a good social media strategy.

For many brands, display advertising or banner ads is what gets people through the proverbial door. As one of the primary ways of advertising and driving traffic, they are often considered essential to marketing efforts. There is definitely truth in this, but display ads also tend to have a short shelf life, while being challenging to create. Reducing the time and resource necessary to produce these assets is sure to have an all round positive impact on your marketing team.

What separates social media posting from display ads, is that social media requires greater focus on presenting content that has real value if you want to get results. Creating engaging content is challenging in itself, and when you consider that you need a good frequency of posting on top, the issue is immediately apparent in the face of budget cuts. You may have a lot of existing content you can lean on and highlight, and making use of content that’s still relevant is a smart move. However, allowing your output of new content to stagnate is a huge risk to your growth.

5. Maintaining brand consistency under time pressure

Making sure that brand consistency is maintained in every asset and piece of content going out is a full-time job. If you don’t have a dedicated brand manager, odds are the job falls to the marketing leadership. When time is already limited, and your marketing heads are busier than usual, they will be hard pressed to make sure every detail is following brand guidelines in addition to handling their other spinning plates.

Research shows that you can increase your revenue with 23% if your brand is consistent. The economic impact of lost revenue is something you definitely don’t need on top of the external factors that are already having an effect on your bottom line.

This leaves marketing teams with a dilemma. Either you spend the time and money to maintain better brand consistency, at the expense of your output. Or you take the hit and spend it on other marketing efforts until you have the capacity to focus on it again. This is a tough decision to make. On the one hand you have to try to maintain as much growth as possible in spite of the market cooling down. On the other hand, putting your brand consistency at risk could have far-reaching repercussions that haunt your brand long after economic downtimes.

You can overcome the challenges – there is a better way

As evidenced by the challenges we’ve highlighted, Speed, finesse, volume and oversight is tremendously valuable to a marketing team’s day-to-day workflow. Optimisation of your processes is necessary to remain competitive, in both the good times and the hard times. If you choose to stick to the traditional ways of producing content and designs, getting approval and publication, there’s only so much you can do to plan around and alleviate the problems of working with less resources at your disposal.

Fortunately there is a better way to help your marketing team win back what they lose in capacity when brands have no other choice but to tighten their belts.

It’s time to make a change – read more in our free short guide.

Employer brandLeave a Comment on 13 steps to developing your employer branding strategy

13 steps to developing your employer branding strategy

As a company, you’re always looking to uncover, recruit and retain the best talent out there. People who will work to achieve your goals. Fit into your culture. Have that drive for success.

But there’s a problem – your competitors have the exact same aspiration. And with the reputation of a company more visible than ever before, be it through a jobseeker’s Google search or reviews on comparator sites like Glassdoor and Indeed, presenting a powerful, compelling employer proposition is more crucial and more challenging than ever before.

With a finite pool of truly exceptional individuals that can make a difference to your organisation, it is essential that you can stand out from the crowd in attracting the talent that’s out there, as well as keeping hold of the people you already have.

That is where your employer branding strategy comes in. It sets you on the journey to locating prospects that fit with your organisation’s ambitions and clearly demonstrating why they would feel right at home in your teams.

Here, we’re going to delve into greater detail on what your employer branding strategy is and outline thirteen critical steps to developing one that connects you with the best talent available.

What is an employer branding strategy?

At its core, the definition of an employer brand strategy is a documented, universal approach to translating your organisation’s values, approaches and personality to your audience. It’s a comprehensive offering of everything you have to offer as a workplace to benefit your most important asset – your employees.

It’s how you project your employer brand – how you are viewed by your current workforce and people you hope to one day recruit. Your employer branding strategy needs to transparently and consistently promote these aspects to both your existing team and those you intend to recruit in order to achieve three salient goals:

  • Positively distinguish your offering from your competitors’
  • Demonstrate why someone would want to work in your organisation
  • Illustrate how your brand is developing and strengthening over time

Not all employer branding strategies are created equal, and creating one that ticks all the right boxes requires clear thinking, total buy-in from your team members and refinements over time. By utilising the following best practices, you’ll find yourself in an ideal position to attract the talent that can drive your brand forward.

How important is an employer branding strategy?

employer branding strategy stats

As mentioned earlier, Glassdoor and Indeed are just two examples of platforms that highlight your company’s culture and processes. There’s your website and other marketing channels to consider, and word of mouth from employees spreading on forums.

If your negatives outweigh your positives, or you are not dedicating the same attention to your employer branding strategy as your competitors, you stand to miss out on top talent, and even losing current team members in the process.

Developing a brand that appeals and connects with today’s increasingly web-savvy job candidate is vital, and can result in numerous benefits, including:

  • Improved employer attractiveness to talented individuals interested in working in your industry
  • Greater motivation among your existing employees by feeling more connected and in-sync with your brand values
  • Tangible drops in the costs associated with hiring new talent and retaining them long-term
  • A workforce that actively advocates and promotes your brand, extending your reach to other candidates and customers
  • A clear, unified vision for your organisation to move towards, with all people associated with your company pushing it in that direction

13 steps to best practice with your employer branding strategy

Effective employer branding strategies can be the difference-maker in an ideal candidate’s decision to join your organisation over the other options available. Following these best practices gives you greater control over the messages you project, and the ability to influence how these individuals see your brand.

1. Audit the perception of your brand

Before developing your employer branding strategy, it is important you have a clear understanding of how people view your company initially. Otherwise, how will you know what adjustments are required?

A thorough audit of your current brand perception, both through the eyes of your employees and your external audiences, lets you understand if your current messaging and reputation is projecting the values and attractiveness you are aiming for. Especially in organisations with teams spread across the globe, it is easy for your values to be mistranslated, or be in needing refinement to connect with local audiences.

There are a host of places you should be examining, including:

  • Employment review sites – most candidates will be researching these in detail before making a decision on their next employer. What are people saying about your company’s processes and culture? Do you get rated five stars? Do you come across as an attractive brand? Are there negative reviews? If so, have you addressed them effectively?
  • Social media – investing in social listening tools can help you track mentions of your organisation over social media, so you gain a deeper insight into how people view your brand.
  • Employee feedback – conducting internal surveys or having open meetings with your teams helps you identify problems that might be affecting your ability to attract and retain talent, so they can be rectified as part of your unified employer brand strategy.
  • Google alerts – like on social media, it is important to closely monitor the reputation your brand is presenting on Google and other search engines, and determine if this is in line with your objectives.

2. Build your employee persona

Who is your ideal candidate? Without a clear answer to this question, you are in no position to effectively develop an employer branding strategy that targets a person with the personality, aspirations and skills to seamlessly join your teams.

Dedicate time to breaking down the qualities your target audience possesses:

  • What are their main personality traits?
  • What causes do they care about?
  • What motivates them day-to-day?
  • Where do they research for information?
  • What roles and responsibilities do they want?
  • Who influences their decisions?

This is just a sample of the line of questioning you should be asking about what constitutes the right employee for your brand. Of course, these qualities will differ according to the specific staff role and location you are marketing to, but at a fundamental level there must be a template that helps you craft branding that appeals to the right candidate.

Furthermore, by clarifying your ideal candidate, it is more likely that their transition into joining your team and growing within your organisation will be more satisfying and fulfilling.

3. Establish your company’s differentiators

Knowing what makes your company unique goes a long way to crafting your brand story.

It’s your organisation’s mission statement. Its values. Its social responsibilities. Its culture.

This feeds into your employer branding strategy by determining why someone would choose to join or stay with your company over X competitor. To effectively establish your differentiators or USPs therefore, it is important to reassess your own values and compare these with potential alternatives for recruits.

What issues do you stand for that others don’t? What aspects of your work culture can you promote that others aren’t? Where does your brand excel and stand out against what your competitors can produce? The answers to these questions will define the unique characteristics your company has to boost your attractiveness to recruits.

86% of HR professionals believe recruitment is now on an equal footing with ‘marketing’. In the same way your marketing efforts are geared to set your products and services apart from the crowd, your employer brand strategy needs to working just as hard to keep you in the minds of candidates and improve your current teams’ sense of belonging.

4. Determine and utilise your primary marketing channels

How are you going to reach your prospective recruits, or best engage with your existing employees worldwide?

As part of establishing your audience persona, you should have a clearer understanding of what channels are going to connect with the candidates you’re seeking. But it is vital to have these defined as part of your employer branding initiatives, and that consistency is maintained across all platforms you choose to utilise.

By choosing the most effective channels, be it through a careers page on your website, paid media campaigns, or taking your employer branding to social media, you are in a position to tailor and target your audiences far more successfully. Ask employees how they first encountered your brand. Research the most popular platforms and forums for people working in your industry.

Once you’ve identified where you will engage with, use these platforms to frequently translate the inclusivity, vision and development of your brand and your employees. These images, blogs, testimonials and more across the most popular channels for your audience will drive a clear connection with what your brand stands for.

However, it is essential that your collateral feels in no way forced or fabricated. Authenticity is essential in truly appealing to your target audience. Without this genuine aspect, people will see through your attempts and will likely distrust you going forward.

5. Create your Employer Value Proposition

Your Employer Value Proposition (EVP) is your promise to current and future employees. It’s what you offer that will make them passionate about being part of your team, and as such is a lynchpin of your employer branding strategy.

At the centre of your EVP should be your employee – their motivations, their interests, their goals. Ideally your proposition will cover everything they are looking for to connect them to your company in a positive, fulfilling way. To this end, you should consider what matters to staff:

  • Professional development?
  • Holiday allowance?
  • A thriving workplace culture?
  • Healthcare benefits?
  • Flexible working opportunities?
  • A strong work-life balance?
  • Bonuses?
  • A comfortable environment?
  • Unique perks like gym memberships and social outings?
  • Charity work and corporate responsibility initiatives?

Most employer branding strategies should contain an assortment of these. But on top of these perks, you also need to consider the core values of your business. How highly your employees are valued. How committed you are to being the best in your industry. How much you care about supporting your customers.

Your Employee Value Proposition is central to how attractive your brand is to recruits, and how effectively you can retain the staff you already have on board. It should be kept transparent and in easy reach of any member of your organisation at all times to reinforce these messages, which is why our BAM by Papirfly™ solution’s capacity to ‘educate’ employees allows our clients to house core brand documents that can be accessed at any opportunity.

Develop your brand guidelines and assets or review your existing ones 

Your company already likely has overarching brand guidelines, assets and logos – but what about your employer brand? Has this been properly defined?

In order to effectively implement your employer brand strategy, you need to have assets in place that sets your employer brand apart and the resources available to create and complement your campaigns.

This includes anything from country-specific guidelines, culturally appropriate imagery, colour palettes, logo variations, audience breakdowns by country, dos and don’ts for different territories and anything in between.

7. Invest in your current team’s development

One of the core reasons behind bad employee retention is a lack of career development and learning opportunities. Without a feeling of progression or investment in their growth, it is likely a member of your team will seek greener pastures to achieve their aims.

Remember, employees who feel they’re progressing are 20% more likely to still be at their companies in a year’s time. By presenting these training and development opportunities to your team, you’re demonstrating you’re committed to helping them realise their ambitions as part of your brand. This not only provides you with a more highly-skilled and motivated workforce, but a workforce that is engaged and appreciative to your organisation.

On top of this reduction in workplace boredom and increase in motivation, staff that feel more in-tune and connected to a brand are much more likely to become brand advocates. They will share your marketing materials on social media. Tell friends and family about how positive your environment is. Actively encourage people to join when vacancies become available.

With that, you are in a position to harness powerful employee branding that increases your trustworthiness and attractiveness to both potential recruits and customers.

8. Internal review and alignment

Anything you plan to implement in terms of strategy, particularly initially, should have buy-in from all appropriate stakeholders. This may include HR professionals in the business, internal recruiters, management and more. You may also want to get opinions from existing or new employees to make sure what you have developed fits in with internal perceptions.

Likewise, you may pick up on an insight internally that you may not have had access to without holding these conversations. Once everyone is happy on the direction you are taking for the employer brand strategy, you can begin developing the tools and resources to educate the wider teams and make sure everyone is on the same page moving forward.

9. Assess your strategy’s success

Finally, once you have your employer branding strategy in place, it is important that you are regularly assessing, fine-tuning and adapting it as your business and your industry landscape evolves. It is rare anything this important is nailed first time around, so it is critical that you over time analyse the results of your efforts and see where improvements can be made.

Examine the success of your employer branding initiatives against your pre-defined KPIs, which may include:

  • Time-to-hire
  • Cost-per-hire
  • Number of applicants to each vacancy
  • Improved brand reputation
  • Frequency of employer brand marketing

If any of these are falling short of your aspirations, it is time to reassess, correct the course and tweak your approach until you see the results you’re looking for. Your employer branding strategy should never feel set in stone – as your overall business strategy changes to reflect new trends, patterns or requirements, your employer brand strategy should follow suit.

10. Talk to employees regularly

An employer brand strategy is never completely finished. This is because not only does the internal workforce demands evolve so rapidly, but as a brand grows so does what it’s trying to portray.

By having regular meetings or focus groups with a select few people you can ensure you don’t become subjective and stay rooted in what really matters to employees. Particularly if you are responsible for campaigns overseas, don’t rely on conversations with employees in your own location.

Ideally, teams would be looking after their own materials in their own country, but this isn’t always possible, so ensuring you get relevant, on-the-ground insight will be critical to your success.

11. Invest in video

Whether it’s for organic or paid for advertising, video is a powerful medium to get across your company’s true values. Potential candidates can read handbooks and website pages until their hearts are content but the truth is only video or a face-to-face visit can truly convey the experience of working somewhere.

This is particularly important for larger businesses, whose success has seen them become so vast that potential candidates may perceive them as a faceless corporation. Hearing from real people with real stories helps to humanise your brand in ways that written content can’t always achieve.

12. Create advocacy internally

If your existing employees don’t believe in your employer brand strategy, how can you expect prospective candidates to feel anything? Having members of the workforce on board is one thing, but having them actively promote your brand and company as a positive place to work can be more powerful than many other methods.

There’s an element of authenticity that candidates connect with. As long as your content isn’t forced or dishonest, the genuine passion should shine through. And if it does, you could be on to a winner.

13. Work out the logistics of your localisation

Working across multiple territories can be a nightmare to navigate. Having processes in place to ensure that any culturally sensitive content or translations are up to scratch is important for maintaining consistency and retaining a decent reputation, both internally and externally.

Anything deemed insensitive would not only ruin your chances of a successful recruitment campaign but also demoralise employees working in that region. It’s important that no matter in the world where they are, they feel connected and represented as part of the brand.

6 companies that have nailed their employer branding strategy

We’ve discussed the key steps to building an employer branding strategy, but what do these mean in practice? Below we discuss several companies across the globe that are maximising their potential to attract, recruit and retain the best talent available through their messaging, and what lessons you can pick up from them.


Vodafone is a prime example of a brand that felt it was doing everything right, but after careful analysis determined they were lacking in some areas. They quickly rectified this by conducting a thorough survey across 40,000 people to find out how people felt about the Vodafone brand.

This feedback became the heart of a new employer value proposition, which has proven far more effective in appealing to new and existing talent. At the core of this is something called the “two-way deal”, which promises team members that they will get as much out of their career at Vodafone as they’re willing to put in.

We’re proud of the role that our BAM solutions have played in supporting Vodafone’s employer branding strategy, helping them deliver greater campaign materials on a global scale.


Another of our clients, Unilever, has built the strength and success of their employer brand through their status as a leader in their industry. By focusing on materials that emphasise their notable reputation in their employment brand strategy, they present an aspirational image to potential recruits, as well as improve the motivation of their existing employees.

Plus, Unilever in recent years adopted an approach of responding to every testimonial left for their company on Glassdoor, positive or negative. This willingness to respond to employee concerns and use their reviews to improve conditions has consistently kept the company among the “Best Place to Work in the UK” rankings.


L’Oréal back in 2013 demonstrated the value of placing your employees at the centre of your employer branding strategy. After passing 300,000 followers on LinkedIn, they used this as an opportunity to highlight the stories and skills of their team members across the globe, emphasising the opportunities available at their business to potential jobseekers.

As it’s well-established that people trust other people over brands, L’Oréal’s approach was an effective way to build confidence in their brand through the voices of their own employees.


While many fashion brands utilise their social media accounts for their products, Zappos pairs this with content demonstrating the benefits of joining their team. On Instagram in particular they share a substantial amount of CSR work, employee stories and company-wide events to help their brand feel more appealing to both jobseekers and the wider public.

Furthermore, their Insider Program has been a great innovation for their employer branding strategy. This allows anyone interested in joining their team one day access to information relevant to the company, allowing Zappos to source from the best available talent.


When Hubspot came under increased scrutiny after being named one of the Best Places to Work in 2018, this investigation simply shone a bigger spotlight on their commitment to listen to their employees and take their feedback and suggestions on board.

This extends to Hubspot’s social media presence, where they have regularly encouraged followers to leave comments that can act as jumping points for future content. It also champions its dedication to a fun company culture, with flexible work hours and tuition reimbursement.


Pushing a strong visual element to their employer branding strategies, Heineken in early 2019 launched their “Going Places” campaign, focusing on celebrating the stories and development of 33 of their employees across the globe.

After conducting research into the values their brand represent, the company honed in on three pillars: authenticity, transcendence and longer-term brand management. These were combined into the campaign, inspiring their existing workforce and encouraging prospective employees about the potential they can unlock at Heineken.

The future of your employer branding strategy

We hope that this insight into the best practices of employer branding strategies will help guide your way to presenting a more attractive, comprehensive proposition to prospective candidates, as well as keep your current team members engaged with your brand.

The importance of employer branding can never go understated in how it drives the future of your organisation, and establishes a workforce that is motivated, committed and inspired to be part of your company. Achieving this on a global scale is far from straightforward, but through our market-leading BAM software, your team is able to efficiently execute your employer brand strategy.

Start empowering your team with BAM today.

Corporate communicationsLeave a Comment on 12 corporate communication metrics you should be tracking

12 corporate communication metrics you should be tracking

There is a significant amount of value in your communications – but how do you determine how much?

Identifying the key corporate communication metrics that an organisation should be judged against has been an ongoing challenge across the marketing industry. During a PRWeek Breakfast Briefing in late 2018, Allison Spray, Head of Data and Insight at Hill & Knowlton Strategies, explained the situation quite clearly:

“I’ve worked across a lot of different (marketing) disciplines, particularly on the media-buying side, and when I look at how drastically they’ve moved in the past ten years compared to us, that’s when the gulf really becomes apparent”

While she was specifically referring to PR, this is arguably a constant across all forms of corporate communications. This is how your organisation communicates with its various audiences both internally and externally, from your employees and stakeholders to customers and the general public.

The days of evaluating the effectiveness of different communication systems on column inches and Advertising Value Equivalent (AVE) no longer apply. But, it is still highly important that you are using meaningful corporate communications metrics to track its usefulness to your brand.

Why is knowing your communication metrics important?

But what is less emphasised is the importance of tracking how effectively it is fulfilling those goals, or how substantial the cost of poor communications can truly be. A survey of 400 multinational corporations in the US and the UK revealed that communication barriers cost an average of $64.2m in lost productivity.

Unquestionably, that is money that can be put to better use, as well as an illustration of the hours wasted by employees as a result of ineffective communications. In fact, according to research by Mitel, ineffective communication amounts to 1 DAY of working time lost per week. Their report also revealed that:

In addition, a survey by Hollinger Scott revealed that 41% of teams don’t have any means to track their corporate communications in relation to user activity and how much content is being seen and interacted with.

Just having a corporate communications strategy in place is not enough – measuring the effectiveness of communications is essential to ensure that this monumental part of your day-to-day life is functioning as efficiently as possible.

Why is measuring communications such a challenge?

While the ability to measure effective communication is crucial, that doesn’t mean that a settled way to track these metrics has been fixed in place. The Barcelona Principles have attempted to offer a benchmark for measuring communications, but it is not comprehensive.

That is largely because the aims of communications aren’t exactly definitive – it is all about brand perception. And while communications metrics like email opens, event sign-ups and the columns you receive in an industry magazine can indicate your strategy is delivering results, it is difficult to be certain.

This has led some to argue the necessity of tracking internal communication metrics in particular, as this is above all a role designed to drive behaviors to fulfill business outcomes. That can be difficult to quantify through typical marketing KPIs.

Other potential barriers facing teams struggling to track their corporate communications metrics include:

  • Not having access to the right tools to measure relevant data
  • Fear that bad metrics will put communicators’ job security at risk, even if these numbers aren’t directly caused by their actions
  • Lack of time/resources – communicators cover so much ground that tracking results can feel like another burden on an already stressful job

But what corporate communications metrics and KPIs will signify if you’re reaching your targets or falling below expectations? As noted earlier, this is still a question which is yet to have a fixed answer.

Fundamentally, how you choose to measure effective communication within your organisation will depend on your specific business objectives. An effective approach to judging the quality of your communications is to place them in the context of what your business and its partners are looking for and judge against those, using these to identify any issues and barriers to these aims.

This places the measuring of communications at the doorstep of your senior leadership team – when both key executives and your communications team are in-sync in terms of what they intend to accomplish, it makes the job of tracking metrics far more straightforward. 

It could be that your company wants to foster a stronger sense of brand identity within your workforce? Or that there’s less dependence on email with a stronger emphasis on your intranet or social networking tools? It will depend on what you are seeking from your communications efforts.

However, we can safely say that in order to effectively assess these, there is a mix of quantitative and qualitative corporate communication metrics you should incorporate into your analyses.

Essential key performance indicators for corporate communications 

  •  Employee awareness and feedback 
  • Open, read and click rates
  • Page visits and logins
  • Peak times of staff intranet use
  • Corporate video views
  • Mobile usage levels
  • Platform adoption rates
  • Employee advocacy 
  • Employee turnover
  • Event and benefit sign-ups
  • Media outreach and digital trends
  • Speed and effectiveness of crisis communications

1. Employee awareness and feedback

Did you know that 74% of employees feel they miss out on company news and information? Establishing how aware your teams are to the communications processes you have in place or how knowledgeable they are of the content you’re putting out there is a critical internal communication metric to track.

Establish a benchmark and then survey and talk to your employees to gain a consensus on whether they’re receiving the communications you are sending out, and if not, why? By measuring awareness and interest, you get an understanding of where your communications might be lacking.

2. Open, read and click rates

Plus, incorporate elements like event sign-ups and other links onto your communications to help determine if employees are actively engaging with them. While they might open an email, this will allow you to track if people are following the actions you’ve suggested and truly engaging with your content.

While on their own these do not paint a complete picture of the effectiveness of your approach to communications, the open, read and click rates of your emails and other messages will illustrate if people are paying attention to what you have to say. With the average read-rate of company-wide emails sitting at around 37%, this will provide an indicator of the success of your internal communications.

3. Page visits and logins

Similar to email opens, reads and clicks, used as standalone corporate communications metrics visits to a company-wide intranet can only tell you so much. But tracking unique page views, how often employees log in to the platform, how long they stay on there, and so on, provides an indication of how valuable your staff view these and if a change of approach is required. Remember – only 13% of employees strongly agree that their company communicates effectively with them

4. Peak times of staff intranet times

Alongside how often your employees are logging into and engaging with your intranet or shared company platform, it can also be valuable to identify the peak times they are using it. Knowing the times of highest traffic will indicate when’s the right time to schedule company announcements or news updates in the hope of getting the greatest engagement.

Across all forms of marketing, timing is essential – to attract the largest possible audience to your internal communications, it benefits you to release them when they’re most active on your platforms.

5. Corporate video views

Another quantitative measure. If you have one or several corporate videos on your site or as part of your communications, following their play-rate and view counts will inform you as to whether they are resonating with and appealing to your audiences. Gathering this and other data at regular intervals (weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.) will allow you to spot any trends and react to these in a timely fashion to protect your ROI.

6. Mobile usage levels

As well as how often employees and customers are engaging with your communications content, it’s important to determine where they’re coming from. With Brits spending in excess of two-and-a-half hours every day on their smartphones, knowing if they’re following this trend when engaging with your materials will highlight whether a mobile-first approach will appeal to your audiences more than focusing on an alternate avenue.

7. Platform adoption rates

If you’ve recently introduced a new social app for your employees, how many have downloaded it? Consider this if you’ve also introduced an employee recognition programme – how many people have actually signed up? Checking the adoption rates of these platforms designed to improve productivity and the effectiveness of communications will give an indication as to whether they’re actually providing a return, and also how well your communications are received overall.

It might mean that an alternative approach is required, or that the processes involved in setting up this platform are too complex or time-consuming for employees to get involved with. Again, it’s about identifying any issues early and reacting to them appropriately.

8. Employee advocacy

The power of transforming your employees into impassioned brand advocates cannot be overstated – it is a natural, sociable way to connect audiences to your company’s identity. Tracking how often your content is being shared, liked, and spread out by your team members is a powerful demonstrator of how connected they feel to your brand, as well as how familiar they are with your various communication platforms.

Identifying any issues with these corporate communication metrics will inform where, when and how you post content going forward, and hopefully lead to you utilising this powerful resource to its fullest.

9. Employee turnover

People who maintain a strong bond with their place of work are unlikely to want to leave it. And, judging how one of the primary reasons employees depart is due to a poor relationship with their manager, it stands to reason that your employee turnover numbers will be a useful communication KPI. The more turnover you endure, the less likely your staff are engaged with your company-wide communications.

 When employees feel informed and understand what is going on in their company, they feel a deeper level of respect and trust towards it. This leads to better productivity, efficiency and achievement. If your communications are not as effective as they could be, you stand to miss out on those benefits.

10. Event and benefit sign-ups

If your company has a benefits programme or regularly holds workplace events, tracking how many of your team has signed up to these, and how quickly they do so, will provide insight into how effective your communications are. If the benefit is useful and doesn’t require a great deal of employee effort to get involved with, if enrolments are still low, this corporate communications metric can illustrate your current approach isn’t reaching people, or engaging them properly.

11. Media outreach and digital trends

Both the number of press releases and other external communications your company is sending out and the response to them can be a strong indicator of how effective they are. If they are getting into well-respected publications and websites with high domain authority, you will gain a clearer sense of how strong your content is on these platforms.

Furthermore, whether it’s the trending hashtags page on Twitter or you’re featured on Google Trends, that is another (if not, aspirational) way to determine if your communications are having the desired impact.

12. Speed of crisis communications

Finally, often the effective measure of your communications team is how quickly they can respond and handle difficult situations. Crisis communications form a central component of your overall communications strategy, and so it’s crucial you are tracking how quickly this content is reaching your audiences, and if their response to this is as you’d hope for.

Staying on top of your corporate communications metrics

This is just an indication of some of the communication KPIs that you should refer to when you are judging how the value of your communications to your organisation. The all-encompassing nature of these messages and their relationships with your various audiences, both within and outside your company, places a high priority on whether these are working as effectively and efficiently as possible.

The bottom line is that the quality of your corporate comms directly affects your bottom line. The question is, can you afford to NOT be tracking the impact your corporate communications strategy is having? Hopefully, these 9 examples will help to point you in the right direction when figuring out how solid your approach is.

Employer brandLeave a Comment on ‘Quiet Quitting’ – The silent workplace rebellion and how employer branding can solve it

‘Quiet Quitting’ – The silent workplace rebellion and how employer branding can solve it

The term ‘quiet quitting’ started as a whisper in the corporate corridors, yet as a trend it has quickly become too loud to ignore. What started out as an idea on TikTok, has sparked a larger discussion about employee wellbeing, burnout and work-life balance. Is this a fad retreading old work frustrations, or is there change in the air?

Employees coasting in office jobs isn’t a new concept. Ever since humans first began working at a desk, there have been those that are dissatisfied with it for one reason or another. Depending on the setting, there can be a number of reasons why an unhappy employee decides to ‘quiet quit’ instead of quitting outright. Is there a difference between coasting and ‘quiet quitting,’ or is this simply a new term for the same dissatisfaction and absence of passion we are already familiar with?

What is ‘quiet quitting’?

Despite its name, ‘quiet quitting’ doesn’t actually involve quitting at all. Instead, it’s an active decision to stick to strictly fulfilling your work duties as described in your job description and contract – while otherwise disengaging from any extra tasks outside of it, and the associated overtime. The idea behind it, in short and simplified terms, is to fly under the radar as much as possible, while still showing up to work to perform your duties in a normal fashion. Beyond this, the quiet quitter has no interest in going above and beyond in pursuit of growth, promotions or bonuses.

To understand ‘quiet quitting’ in our current setting, we first need to go back to the pandemic. With everyone having their lives forcibly slowed down by lockdowns, it naturally gave people a lot more time to think and reflect. With work being such a big part of our lives, and with many people feeling burnt out even before the pandemic hit, it comes as no surprise that people spent time thinking long and hard about work and how it affect’s their lives.

The Great Resignation

All this contemplation resulted in what has since been coined ‘The Great Resignation,’ with unhappy and overworked employees quitting their jobs in droves. Some quit in favour of following their dreams and completely new career paths, while others found similar jobs with companies that offered better conditions, salaries and company culture. Already we have answered one of the burning questions around ‘quiet quitting’; ‘why don’t they simply quit their jobs outright?’ The answer is they did, or at least a large portion of the ones that had the option did. 

The ones who don’t see quitting as an option may stick around due to being bound by contract, their financial situation may be too uncertain to quit at the current time, or they believe that the situation would be the same with a different company. In some cases people may choose to stay because the salary is good, but they are ‘quiet quitting’ in response to a work environment or culture that is otherwise demotivating or toxic.

What drives employees into ‘quiet quitting?’

As humans, we have a natural drive to desire and pursue happiness. Finding this happiness is a long journey with a number of factors and measurements, that for most of us involves a certain measure of fulfilment through work. One of the main factors for how fulfilled we feel in our job positions is salary. However, individual differences will influence much weight it carries for us among the other factors of our work life. Simply put, some people value a good salary more, while others think it’s more important to find real meaning in the work itself.

The part where this gets complicated is when we introduce the employer, work environment and expectations. It’s only natural that an employer has expectations for the people who work for them, but it’s just as natural that the employee has some for their employer as well. This is why we have contracts – so that they are clearly set both ways. In theory this should make it all very clear-cut, but the waters are quickly muddied by hustle culture, crunch time and chasing bonuses and promotions.

Work-life balance and clear boundaries

While most countries have labour laws that stipulate the number of hours you’re allowed to work in a week, hustle culture – the idea that if you’re not always giving 110% at work, you are underperforming – is still prevalent in many countries and companies around the world, and it will often run contrary to these laws.

There’s nothing wrong with putting in extra effort here and there if it can make a difference, and your hard work is justly rewarded. A bonus or a promotion has to be earned fairly. It should be said, however, that when working overtime and taking on extra tasks outside your job description becomes a regular occurrence and the new norm, the path to burnout becomes short.

As recently as April 2022, 51% or workers in the US surveyed by The Harris Poll said they continued to feel burned out after the pandemic. In addition, while many Americans who have worked at home during COVID prefer the set-up, it can also make burnout worse by coaxing them to do tasks or answer emails or calls at all hours, and make it harder to switch off outside working hours. On the other side of the Atlantic, the annual 2022 Pulse of talent report by Ceridian found that as many as 79% of UK staff have gone through burnout, with the top three causes cited being increased workloads (49%), mental health challenges (34%) and pressure to meet deadlines (32%).

While there can be more factors that can influence employees into ‘quiet quitting’, there’s a clear indication that burnout and a lack of appreciation and reward for hard work is a major contributor to the dissatisfaction that leads to quiet quitting. This isn’t just about being passed over for a promotion or a bonus, but also having good ideas shot down in favour of sticking to things as they have always been. Being constantly stressed and never getting ahead of the workload due to understaffing or impossible expectations will also have a major impact on an employee’s decision to disengage.

Numbers from a Zenger Folkman analysis – highlighted in this Harvard Business Review article – point a heavy finger at bad managers as being another major cause, dismissing the notion that ‘quiet quitting’ is a matter of insubordination, laziness or revenge for overwork.

Work life will never be without its fair share of stress, frustrations and challenges – you need look no further than the funny pages in your local newspaper to find cases of humans joking about and laughing off common work life frustrations to cope with them. But there is a line somewhere between cracking jokes, heaving a sigh and saying “it is what it is”, and the formation of online communities like the infamous Anti-Work subreddit, and physical movements like the Lie Flat movement in China.

From these scathing numbers highlighting burnout and poor management, it seems that ‘quiet quitting’ may be a justified, silent rebellion to regain control of one’s work-life balance and the rejection of a long-standing, unhealthy and counterproductive hustle culture. Having seen how it causes unhappiness and burnout in the generations before them, younger generations like millennials and Gen Z are sending a message – that they refuse to follow the same road, and expect a more balanced work culture and professional life.

How can employers prevent ‘quiet quitting?’

Knowing that ‘quiet quitting’ is a symptom of a dysfunctional or unbalanced work relationship, and a poor employer brand, there are a number of steps you can take to help your employees stay positively inclined to the work they’re doing, and the company they are working for.

As a manager discovering or suspecting ‘quiet quitting’ in your team, you may be tempted to take a hard stance and crack down on it with disciplinary measures. Keep in mind what we mentioned previously – that in the vast majority of cases, ‘quiet quitting’ is not about laziness or insubordination. Taking the iron fist approach and pulling employees into meetings for stern words is actually likely to make the problem worse and vindicate the ‘quiet quitters’ in their decision to disengage.

Realign and clarify expectations – provide training and reward hard work

With overwork and drifting responsibilities being among the main causes of ‘quiet quitting’, it’s possible you may have to take a step back and reconsider what your expectations are for the individual roles. Make sure that they are clear cut and not vague, so that employees have a clear understanding of where their responsibilities begin and end.

You may not always have the budget to take on new hires to meet expanding needs. If you have to rely on your current employees to handle new responsibilities, make sure you provide them with proper training to set them up for success as much as possible. This includes educating them on your brand identity. You may also want to consider a monetary incentive here in addition, keeping in mind that it’s still less costly than a new hire.

Regardless of the reasons and situation, there’s no way around rewarding hard work if you want to keep your employees engaged and motivated both short term and long term. A bonus scheme may seem like the obvious solution, but you should also consider setting a clear internal mobility strategy. Establishing and maintaining a clear path to climb the ladder internally will go a long way to both keep your employees motivated, and strengthen your employer brand overall.

Empower your people to work smarter, not harder

It’s not unheard of to have a lot of tasks that need doing, and not enough people to do them. It’s the nature of business that keeping up with the market takes hard work, but if your team is constantly trying to catch up and never quite getting there, it’s a clear indication that the current process isn’t working as well as it could.

Hiring new people to handle the extra workload might be the right decision in some cases, but hiring and training new employees is costly, and may be overkill depending on the situation. Before considering the recruitment option, you should look into whether your team could benefit from better technology solutions that help them streamline repetitive tasks and remove bottlenecks that slow everyone down. It even provides better room for your employees to be creative in their roles, and help them feel like an active part of the company.

If you feel that you don’t have the budget to invest in tech right now, keep in mind that reducing your time-to-market and increasing the cost efficiency of your marketing team can make a big difference for your bottom line.

Revisit your Employer Value Proposition

The pandemic has had a significant impact on how we approach and structure our work life, and companies will benefit a lot from showing willingness to adapt and adjust to our new sensibilities. You won’t have to throw out the whole book, as the basic principles of EVP remain mostly the same as before, but it’s well worth the effort to revisit it and see what you can do to adapt it to the new ways.

Flexibility in the workflow

The employees that are the most passionate, productive and motivated, are usually the ones who are given the right amount of freedom, trust and flexibility. They have the room to explore new ideas and apply creativity to solving problems or finding new directions. When employees are given space and trust, they will feel that their expertise and contributions are valued – which helps to give them a sense of ownership of the work they carry out, again leading to a greater sense of fulfilment.

Fulfilment is an important aspect of our mental wellbeing. Not every job can be amazing and fun, as someone has to do the boring stuff – whatever it may be for any given company – but if the work itself is very dry and routine, it’s important to have it contextualised with the value it provides.

Flexibility obviously doesn’t mean an absence of structure. You can and should still have clear deadlines as part of the workflow. Yet adjusting how you measure performance to focus on results instead of hours can make a big difference on the pressure your employees feel.

We must keep in mind however, that trust is a two-way street. Depending on the state of your current company culture, there may be some work involved in building and reinforcing a culture of mutual trust with the right balance of give and take.

Flexibility to accommodate life

Work naturally takes a high priority in our everyday lives, but sometimes life throws us a curveball and other important things have to take priority over it. Whether it’s a family member falling ill or the car breaking down, giving your employees the flexibility they need to tackle untimely problems will make them feel far more safe and at ease both on good days and bad. If your employees feel like they are taken care of and met with empathy when the going gets tough, they are likely to be far more productive in general, and willing to give back.

Support your employees’ mental health

Good mental health is essential for maintaining productivity. While better flexibility will go a long way to help your employees keep a healthy and balanced mind, there are other ways you can support them as well. Rooting out toxic behaviour in the workplace and promoting a positive culture where people help each other instead of stepping on each other makes a world of difference for employee wellbeing. It can also be a great idea to include benefits that directly support the mental health of employees who may be going through rough times.

Provide employee benefits with real value

A ping pong table isn’t a proper employee benefit, or a positive contribution to company culture. Stick to benefits that can actually make a positive difference for your employees. You could consider contributions to bus passes or gym memberships, or other opportunities that your business niche allows for. Maybe your company has a client that deals in sporting goods or electronics and you could negotiate an employee discount?

“Only the rich get richer” 

Subvert this demotivational idea with things like LTI programs or stock options that give any employee the option to invest in the company and its success if they want to. Being personally invested is a great source of motivation, and provides lower level employees a reason to smile along with the boss whenever the company experiences success and growth.

Empower your employer branding team with BAM by Papirfly™

Investing in your employer brand may be the smartest decision you can make for keeping your current employees switched on, actively engaged and motivated to stick around. In addition, by becoming a more attractive employer, you’ll see a greater influx of stronger candidates in your long term recruitment.

Some of the world’s most notable employer brand teams make use of BAM to bring their employer brand to life, and keep a firm grasp on their EVP every step of the way. Read about them in our brand stories and hear directly from them how our solutions have made a difference.

Discover how BAM by Papirfly™ makes it easy to digitise and deploy your employer brand and book your demo today.

Employer brandLeave a Comment on Why people leave jobs: and how your employer brand can fix it

Why people leave jobs: and how your employer brand can fix it

In any organisation, the feeling of losing good employees is one you have to get used to very quickly. People quit their jobs for a wide variety of reasons – some of which are completely out of an employer’s control.

Nevertheless, while employers must become accustomed to the feeling of losing employees, they should never become comfortable with it. Because in many cases, their decision to leave is something that could have been prevented.

Now with phrases like “The Great Resignation” gaining traction, and a global Microsoft report revealing that up to 41% of employees contemplated quitting or changing professions in 2021, it seems an appropriate time to examine the standout reasons why people walk away from their employers – and how a strong, protected employer brand can keep them around.

Source: The Work Intitute

Citing ‘poor benefits offering’ as a reason for leaving jobs has increased over 100% since 2010

4 reasons why employees quit

1. Lack of growth and development opportunities

Most people do not aspire to be in the same role for decades. They want to know that there are opportunities to grow and progress in their career. If they cannot see these possibilities in their organisation, they will look elsewhere to find somewhere that will empower them to realise their true potential.

If employees feel unchallenged by the work they do, boredom can quickly set in – and boredom breeds demotivated, uninspired workers. In time, too much monotony will spur them to seek a fresh challenge somewhere else.

Source: The Harris Poll

1/3 of workers quit their former job because they didn’t gain new skills or improve their performance

2. Lack of meaning or purpose

Similarly, if employees feel like what they do lacks purpose, or isn’t contributing to their organisation’s goals, this can quickly dissuade them from sticking around. This is particularly possible when employees don’t feel connected to their company’s mission statement, values or objectives. Without this connection, it is much easier for them to disengage from their employer.

Source: XpertHR

More than 50% of organisations have seen a rise in employee requests to work more flexibly

3. Poor relationships with management or coworkers

Employees’ internal relationships are a major influence on their happiness and motivation. If they do not feel like their work is appreciated by management, or that they are constantly being berated by those above them in the pecking order, that is a sure-fire sign that they will not stay with the company long.

This extends to co-workers as well. If an employee feels isolated at work, or struggles to form good relationships with their colleagues, this again could spur them into leaving. The more passionate someone feels about their co-workers, the less likely they are to leave them.

Source: Career Addict

79% of employees consider bad leadership a factor in their decision to quit… and 40% would return to their old job if the boss was replaced

4. An unappealing corporate culture

In the same vein, if the corporate culture within an organisation is unpleasant or stagnant, it is likely to frustrate the employees trying to work within it. Especially for younger generations, a rigid or overwhelmingly negative atmosphere will actively encourage them to find one that is more suitable. 

Source: Deloitte

72% of employees would leave their existing employer for one with a more inclusive culture

Read the complete collection of insights in our latest white paper 

9 reasons people leave jobs – How your employer brand can fix it . Download our whitepaper here.

Attract and retain the best talent with BAM

In many cases, employee turnover can be addressed and minimised. By placing a firmer focus on the quality and consistency of your employer brand, this can convince your most talented team members to be with you for the long haul – and your company will reap the benefits of a more established, motivated workforce.

To help spread your employer brand across the entirety of your organisation, BAM by Papirfly™ is a powerful ally to have on your side. As well as accelerate the rate in which you create employer brand materials – taking production completely in-house – BAM also enables you to:

  • Contain all brand guidelines, onboarding materials, training videos and more into one brand portal
  • Organise all campaigns through a streamlined, effective campaign planner
  • Store and share all approved assets with your teams globally through a comprehensive Digital Asset Manager (DAM)

Discover how BAM can supercharge your employer brand like never before – get in touch today, or arrange your personal demo.

MarketingLeave a Comment on The 3 crucial skills most marketing teams are missing

The 3 crucial skills most marketing teams are missing

The modern marketing teams are constantly shape-shifting to meet growing demand, to adapt their brand and to keep up with the changing marketing landscape.

When your remit as a team expands and when the pressure is on to deliver more, constantly innovating and keeping up to pace with the rest of the business, the cracks can begin to show if there isn’t an additional layer of support. These cracks often form because of visible skill gaps, and leave teams with 3 scenarios to ponder. Do they

  • Hire generalists that can do a bit of everything?
  • Pay top money for specialists in every area of delivery, despite a limited budget?
  • Plug in or increase the use of an agency, at a further cost? 

The answer could lie in a fourth option… technology. If technology can help to enhance the delivery and productivity of existing teams, without requiring additional skill sets, it provides a very effective way to deliver more, with less. 

We’ve identified three of the most common skill gaps that can be easily plugged with tried-and-test tech. 

#1 Technical design expertise

What we mean by this is the ability to understand the technical requirements behind any campaign asset. This could range from knowing the optimal sizes for different social media channels, understanding how a file needs to be set up before going to print, right through to logo sizes and positioning. 

There are many considerations for teams producing content at pace and at scale. Every time you need to resize or export something, there are many checks that need to take place, depending on whether the asset is for print or digital – file formats, resolutions, file sizes and more. 

If you engage a third party to do these tweaks for you, or if you engage your dedicated design team to do this, that’s a lot of resource or money burning which could be better spent on actual design or creativity. 

By using software with pre-defined rules and templates to prepare all assets at their ideal sizes, it takes a huge burden off internal and external creative teams. Through this tech, literally anyone in your team can take these re-sizes and edits in hand. No specialist skills needed.

#2 Video editing

While we can’t expect everyone to become professional video editors overnight, if you don’t have a solution in place to get video content produced, and fast, your team will fall behind. 

There are many tools out there that offer quick, editable templates to get you going, but often there are heavy limitations on how much you can brand them.

On the other side of the spectrum is getting a professional or agency to edit your creations when you need them. However, this takes time and budget that you potentially don’t have when you need a quick turnaround. 

How do you bridge this gap without getting an in-house editor that may only be utilised a handful of times a month? 

How do you guarantee that any tools you use keep everything that’s produced perfectly on-brand? 

How do you ensure your agency can meet your deadline when something needs to be created urgently? 

There is a solution that falls perfectly between the three. Having a video branding tool that incorporates set brand rules, such as titles, dividers, colours, transitions and more. You can get an external agency or in-house team to develop designs once, which can then be programmed to be edited and used an infinite amount of times.

#3 Brand consistency understanding

Even the most brand-savvy individual can’t memorise a brand guideline book off by heart. While tools like BAM by Papirfly™ have a dedicated educate section, it also goes much further to ensure global brand consistency. Every digital, print and video template has predefined rules that make it almost impossible for brand integrity and styling to be compromised. 

This feature gives Brand Managers and guardians complete peace of mind that campaigns aren’t being distorted or incorrectly managed when distributed around the world.

The answer is to work smarter, not harder

While technology will never replace a strategic or creative mind, it can support and substantially make the lives of marketing teams easier, increase the quality of output and take the pressure off in particularly busy periods. 

An all-encompassing solution such as BAM by Papirfly empowers team members at all levels and abilities to quickly and easily create a whole range of assets for marketing, completely tailored to their markets, with minimal effort or skills required. 

Even though particular skills aren’t needed to execute the designs, this is only because of the work that is put into making sure every template produces pixel-perfect marketing. This is honed and perfected, so that what’s delivered is studio standard materials, on time, every time. 

Find out more about BAM by Papirfly and arrange your demo today.