Whether your audience is candidates, employees, customers, or all three, talking to your audience in the midst of the pandemic is challenging.
Here’s a trick: include employee experience stories to show the impact of company decisions while give your underlying messages emotional and substantive heft.
Here’s why you using employee stories in your corporate messaging is important right now.
Your audience wants to know how you’re treating your employees
According to a LinkedIn study on employer brand during COVID-19, coronavirus-related posts are getting more engagement than other posts — especially those focusing on how companies are helping.
A major employer brand recently told us that their COVID-related recruitment marketing content is performing 40 percent higher than other types of content. Their candidate audience really wants to know what it’s like to work through the crisis at their company.
And, candidates aren’t the only audience searching for this content. A recent survey conducted by People Magazine found that more than 89 percent of respondents are monitoring the treatment of employees by the companies they work for during the crisis. They’re paying close attention to if they’re laying off workers, offering paid sick days, giving back to the communities, and more.
But, the most important thing is how leadership is treating their people in the face of these decisions. Everyone understands layoffs will happen, because the virus has devastated businesses. Take Airbnb, for example. People not directly connected to them are supportively talking about them because of how they treated their laid off employees.
This gels with an Edelman report that no single action by a company is more interconnected with its ability to build trust with the public than “treating employees well.”
You’re already telling a story, whether it’s intentional or not
Your company has been forced to make a variety of people decisions regarding their physical safety, emotional health, and financial security. And, most of these decisions have defined who you are right now.
For some companies, the pandemic has just reinforced who you are. For others, it has completely reinvented you.
When you give your employees a voice, it reinforces or corrects public perception. It gives more weight to what your leadership says.
We did this with our messaging. Stories Inc. co-founder Scott Thompson publicly stated that he defines good leadership as doing everything to avoid layoffs.
Then, one of our team mates shared her personal story about working at Stories during the crisis, and how that leadership action impacted her experience.
I have been able to take breaks during the workday to care for my family without worry about being perceived as showing subpar performance. I can let the team know on Slack when I need to take a break in the afternoon to take my kids on a walk, or to help my third grader with her online learning. In my experience with workplace cultures, the Stories Inc. culture is extremely rare…its already-supportive culture has only become more so during this crisis.Jessica, Stories Inc. Team Member
Paired with Jessica’s perspective, Scott’s words and actions are more meaningful.
Employees want to share
Your team members have just been through a lot. And they want to talk about their lives now, and how they’ve been supported at work (or not).
According to Nielsen, “During crisis events — snowstorms, hurricanes or a global pandemic — media users ramp up their media consumption to stay informed, kill time, find solace, and stay in touch with others.”
This bleeds into work life as well.
Also, according to a study conducted by the New York Times about why people share content on social media, 84 percent of respondents said they want to spread the word about something they believe in. Because your company’s actions have impacted their emotional, financial and physical wellbeing, you’ve likely given your employees a reason to share.
Start capturing the stories
As you think through how to best communicate what’s happening at your company to candidates, employees, or customers, remember to add stories that highlight the employee experience.
Don’t let physical distance stop you from uncovering the impact of your leadership actions. We’re working with leading companies right now to capture employee stories remotely and create visually compelling content. Read more about how we can help.