We’ve all been there. As business executives and communicators, we are committed to writing mission statements, statements of purpose, vision statements and so forth. As employer brand strategists, we also develop employer brand promises, attributes and architecture. And, since we’re intensely involved in human capital communications we’ll delve into narratives about employee value propositions, employment deals, total rewards and healthcare benefits.

It’s no wonder that what comes out of all of this is confusing. From an organizational viewpoint, we’re colliding many perspectives—and objectives—into what we hope will be a compelling and understandable message. You’ve seen the result:

“Our company is a place where individuals thrive independently while placing high value on customer care fostered by a performance culture in an environment driven by innovation and family focus. Our 25 core values represent …”

A little hyperbolic, yes? Here’s the point: while it’s important to develop mission, culture and employer brand messages in a structured way, it’s equally important to stop and translate the findings into employer brand messages that connect.

Employer brand messages that connect are authentic and simple. They are messages that your audience will easily and quickly understand. They are messages constructed from the outset with the goal of “getting it” as the communication’s mission. When all is said and done, will our intended audience get it?

Now is a good time to say we’re not talking about a slogan or a logo. Masking overly complicated or untrue messages with a slogan will do more harm than good. We’re talking about clear, direct and simple employer brand messaging that is rooted in authenticity.

(This is the second of three employer brand imperatives for 2014. Can’t wait? Download the full report here.)

About the Author

Bob Johnson is the practice leader for The David Group's Workforce Communications Practice. Please feel free to reach Bob at nrjohnson@davidgroup.com or by calling 216.685.4486.

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