To boost your employer brand, spotlight the heroes in your ranks

They’re right there on staff, doing the 9-to-5 or maybe covering the graveyard shift. Grab your smartphone and take photos, shoot videos and record their first-person stories.

Who wouldn’t want to join a company that treats its employees like heroes?

Some of the best employer brands make celebrities of those doing the work, whether that’s manufacturing or IT or health care.

That begins with the culture of the company, and a tone set at the top of the organization for valuing employee contributions, from the front line on up.

You also can promote this perspective through your employer brand and your internal communications.

Here are a few ways to do that:

1. Use photos of actual employees. Hire (or find in-house) a talented photographer who can deliver dramatic shots of employees on the job in factories, on construction sites, in airports, retail stores, offices or wherever your employees work. For an excellent example of this approach, look at the special section The New York Times published recently with photos of the people working in their printing plant.

2. Interview employees for articles. You can feature employees in internal publications and on the intranet. Interview them about their roles and how they contribute to the company vision. Let them talk about how they apply those values to their work. Ask how they solved a particular business problem or came up with a recent innovation.

3. Feature them in videos. Employee interviews can make powerful videos, but make sure you shoot plenty of b-roll so you’re not cutting from talking head to talking head. Get footage of employees on the job, working with others, walking down the hall or the manufacturing line, laughing in the break room. Show the staff camaraderie as well as making superstars of the employees you interview on camera.

4. Use employee profiles on your job site. If you want potential job candidates to understand the opportunities in your company, feature employees on your careers page discussing their own careers. Having someone describe how their career has grown with the company is much more powerful than anything the company itself could say.

Elizabeth Baskin is CEO of Tribe, an internal communications agency based in Atlanta. A version of this post first appeared on the Tribe blog.

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