By Lea Pachta

Integrating your employer branding and reward strategy can help to position your company positively for the upturn. This is one of the conclusions from a new CIPD report, Employer Branding and Total Reward, produced in association with Mercer.

The report draws insight from a survey of 44 organisations, a panel discussion and nine organisation case studies, including Abbey, Bacardi, Malmaison and Hotel du Vin, McDonalds, Midland Heart and tw telecom.

Some of the implications for HR from the research are:

· As reward can influence employee behaviours it should be linked to behaviours that ultimately support organisation strategy

· Communication is a crucial way of reinforcing the employer brand as it raises awareness of the rewards offered by an organisation

· While financial rewards are important, non-financial rewards can also be key in reinforcing the brand

· It is important to check whether the reward approach is adding value to the employer brand. This can be done using HR metrics such as employee surveys or performance management data, as well as business metrics such as customer service or budget reductions.

The report identifies emerging themes and examples of good practice and highlights those areas where approaches to interlink the employer brand with the reward offering have worked particularly well. It also addresses the challenges that companies have faced during their employer branding journey and how these can be overcome.

Charles Cotton, reward adviser, CIPD, says: “There are many benefits that can be derived from having a compelling employer brand that is supported by employee rewards, which is demonstrated in our interviews. Engagement can be enhanced by a brand that is demonstrably aligned to rewards as it provides an opportunity for companies to put their money where their mouth is in promoting desired corporate behaviours and image. Engaged employees who believe in the brand then promote the image more effectively to customers.”

Chris Johnson, head of Mercer’s human capital business comments: “All participants in this research agree that aligning rewards with the employer brand helps in attracting, retaining and motivating staff. It demonstrates the employer’s financial commitment to the employer proposition, which in turn fosters a positive employee experience. In the long-term, branding and reward should become mutually supportive, ensuring authenticity within the organisation.”

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