The Role of HR in Protecting The Employer Brand

The first step towards establishing and maintaining a positive and healthy workplace culture is creating positive experiences at every stage of an employee’s interaction with the organization.This article is authored by Joel Paul - Director of Operations -India, RiseSmart.


The role of Human Resources has evolved drastically in the last decade. It is no longer restricted to processing the paperwork associated with hiring, onboarding, evaluating, and letting-go of employees. The emphasis on creating a positive employee experience for each person in the organization has generated a shift. These days, organizations are taking a special interest in understanding and meeting employees where they are, and understanding their growth needs, skill development requirements, and career path goals. Employee engagement and goodwill of the employer brand tops the priority list of HR departments and the companies they serve. Now, organizations are making efforts towards engaging with their employees every day, the purpose is to help team members find fulfillment, no matter the job title, to thereby create a positive and healthy work culture.

The first step towards establishing and maintaining a positive and healthy workplace culture is creating positive experiences at every stage of an employee’s interaction with the organization. Positive impressions of your organization begin with recruitment and are further built through hiring policies and practices, onboarding systems, career growth opportunities, and continue even as employees transition to roles outside of the organization.

While we talk about employee experience, we are often talking about the level of fulfillment each employee feels as a result of the work they do and the feedback they receive. When employees are satisfied with the work they are doing, and feel they are making an impact and growth in their careers, they report higher satisfaction ratings in internal and external surveys.

Although many organizations want their employees to be fulfilled by their work and to be a brand evangelist, few have instituted the initiatives that drive these results for employees. While there are lots of HR initiatives to improve hiring, onboarding, and retention, many organisations have neglected to ensure that they are supporting employees after a layoff or downsizing event with outplacement services.

Outplacement is the service provided by those organisations that are focused on supporting their employees through every stage of their employment, even upon exiting the business involuntarily. Outplacement helps employees in the process of transitioning to the new job by giving them the advice and support they need to prepare and successfully land a new job quickly. It is a rapidly growing component of a severance agreements offered by top organisations with the best reputations. Contemporary outplacement services providers match each transitioning employee with a personal career coach, a resume writer, technology to help manage their job search efforts, and an individual committed to hand picking the most relevant jobs for them.

Last year was really tough for Indian IT and Telecom sector, with large numbers of layoffs in these industries. The negative news of these large layoffs has been making headlines. Reports and videos of protests and interviews with displaced employees have turned public opinions against employers who need to streamline their workplaces. As a consequence of this, employer and customer brands have been damaged. Also, employees have started to seek legal remedies to what they feel are unlawful and unfair lay-off practices. Here, the new concept of outplacement services is aiming to help both the employers and employees in dealing with this peculiar situation. When employers choose to offer outplacement services, they are not only doing the right thing for their impacted employees, they are investing in their own brand protection and future business success.

In scenarios like this, if HR goes beyond their functions, involves and engages with affected employees, then, they can play a major role in protecting the employer brand as well as the consumer brand while avoiding the legal costs and losses associated with employee lawsuits. In the future, when these companies are looking to once again hire talent to fill open positions, they will be able to pick from the best in the business because employees will be anxious to join a company that takes care of employees, even during times of restructuring.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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