Having a strong employer brand can make a big difference when it comes to attracting and retaining the best talent in the marketplace. Companies with strong employer brands have no trouble when it comes to recruitment or indeed, customer retention – think Apple, Google or Lululemon Athletica. Employee profiles that shine a spotlight on your team members are one easy way to promote your employer brand. In this post, we take you through all you need to know about developing effective employee profiles.
Why Employee Profiles Are Important
As well as making a difference to your overall employer brand, here are some other benefits that are on offer:
1. Connect With Employees Working Remotely
According to the latest research, 4.7 million employees in the US work from home at least half the time. What’s more, the rise of the gig economy means that businesses are increasingly working with freelancers and contractors. The Harvard Business Review estimates that 150 million workers in North America and Western Europe are now involved in the gig economy.
Keeping remote workers and freelancers connected to each other and head office is a challenge. It’s next level internal communications. The simple fact of putting a face to a name makes for a better worker experience. What’s more, a full employee profile gives a sense of the individual’s personality as well as their work-based knowledge and expertise. The best employee profiles tell the story of each individual employee in a way that emails never will.
So, as well as providing the remote worker with a sense of where they fit in the bigger picture, employee directories help to connect workers on a social level despite geographical distance.
2. Improved Working Relationships
It’s a similar story for office-based staff. Certainly, for those businesses with upwards of 50 workers, employee directories can help to foster better working relationships. The old paper employee directory merely listed the names of employees and their job titles. It was impossible to get any feel for that person as an individual or the breadth and depth of their knowledge and expertise.
Fast forward to online employee directories and it’s an entirely different story. Very visual as well as engaging, employee profiles can bring a workforce to life, making for a more humanized and personable working environment.
3. More Opportunities For Collaboration
Comprehensive employee directories that detail areas of expertise, as well as current projects, present more opportunities for knowledge-sharing and collaboration within the organization. Much like the social media platforms that we are now so accustomed to, activity walls and streams make it possible to follow colleagues whose work impacts on your or who are simply doing things that you are interested in. Sharing insights, data and good practice ideas throughout your network is a whole lot easier with online employee profiles. What’s more, staff members can search the profiles using name, department, subject tags or trends in a self-service approach.
4. Increased Employee Engagement
This self-service approach and being able to source information directly is very motivating and empowering for workers. It means they can use their initiative, source information, identify internal experts and achieve more for themselves. This will help to increase your overall rates of employee engagement. In addition, shining a spotlight on staff with an employee profile serves to reinforce just how important they are to the organization. The public recognition will also impact positively on employee engagement overall.
5. Tool For Organizational Talent Scouting
We all know that it’s much more cost-effective to nurture and develop the talent you already have rather than recruiting new staff members. Employee profiles give managers and executives more oversight of the workforce. Perhaps you are looking to identify participants for a company-wide working group on, say, an integrated marketing strategy. Or maybe you want to identify possible future leaders for succession planning. Whatever the case may be, employee profiles mean that managers can quickly and easily identify a long list of internal talent.
Employee Profile Format
OK, I get that employee profiles are a good idea, but what information should be included? It’s a good question and the truth is there is no standard format. Each business is different and the main point here is that the employee profile software you deploy should be customizable so that it’s relevant to your business. Having said that there will be a number of basic elements that all profiles should have. These include the following:
- Job role
- Team or department
- Office phone number
- Cell phone number
- Email address
- Synopsis of main job tasks and responsibilities.
Every employee profile should have the above as a minimum. And depending on your business, you may also want to include other elements. For example, if you have multiple offices, then location would be another field to add. Some companies have included complete biographies detailing the team member’s qualifications and career to date. Others have opted to make the profile more knowledge-based with skills, expertise and current work projects being highlighted.
It’s also worth considering including a personal element where employees can give a sense of their personality. How about hobbies or pastimes outside work, or even fun facts. Introducing a fun aspect to the profile makes it more engaging for staff and allows them to showcase their individuality.
Employee Profile Example
To get you started, we have come up with the following basic template for an employee profile that you can adapt to your own requirements.
(brief summary of career to date & key accomplishments)
|KNOWLEDGE & EXPERTISE
(list up to five areas of expertise & knowledge e.g. workplace safety & health, procurement, social media marketing)
|CURRENT WORK PROJECTS & ACTIVITY STREAMS
(list main job tasks & responsibilities, identify any special projects or collaborative initiatives)
(short statement of your hobbies, interests & pastimes outside work)
It’s essential that employee profiles include a photo as a minimum. Some companies have gone further and have included video testimonials from staff in which they chat about their role, knowledge and expertise. Just like any social media platform, image-based content in the shape of photos and videos is far more popular than just the written word. It really helps to bring the employee’s profile to life and makes for a more engaging and rewarding experience for users. These don’t need to be professional images either. Nowadays, everyone has ready access to high-quality videos and cameras using their smartphones, which they can then easily upload to their profile.
How To Write Your Employee Profile
Now we come to the hard part! How do you write a good employee profile? Not everyone feels comfortable talking about themselves, and it can be hard to get started. If you want employees to buy into the process, then you need to make it as easy as possible for them.
Consider publishing guidelines on how to write an employee profile. You could pose the following questions to staff members to get them thinking about what kind of information they should include:
- What does your job involve?
- What’s a typical day for you?
- What do you like most about your work?
- Are there any frequently asked questions from colleagues or customers?
- How do you spend your time away from the office?
- Do you have any interesting hobbies or pastimes?
- Is there a fun fact about you that you can share with colleagues?
And when it comes to sitting down and actually writing a profile, here are some useful tips you may want to include in your guidelines. What’s more, it’s important to lead by example so make sure you use these tips when completing your own profile:
- Keep it short and sweet: The best employee profiles are those that are succinct and to the point. You are not applying for the job or justifying your corporate existence so there’s no need to write pages and pages of content in minute detail. Instead, keep it at the headline level.
- Put yourself in the shoes of a colleague: Imagine that you are a colleague in another team or a new member of staff. If they were to ask you what your job is all about, how would you answer? It’s this kind of information that you need to get across in your employee profile. So for each category in the profile, consider whether the information you are sharing adds value to your co-workers.
- Use a conversational tone: Try and use everyday language and terms that most people will understand. An acronym that is readily understood in your department may not be so for colleagues in other parts of the organization. In addition, a conversational tone makes you come across as being more approachable and personable than using stuffy, corporate language.
- Be specific: Saying things like ‘good at MS Word’ isn’t really all that helpful to Martha in Marketing who is looking for some internal expertise on an advanced mail merge. Be specific about your knowledge and expertise and include real-life work examples to illustrate your skills.
- Make it easy for the reader: Break down the copy into easily digestible, bite-sized chunks of information. That way you won’t be overloading the reader with too much detail. A couple of sentences for each key point should be more than enough. Also, just like we have done here, use bullet points and bold headings to help signpost what’s coming and guide the reader to the information they need.
- Regularly review and update your profile: A stagnant, unchanging employee profile is boring and counterproductive. Every time you embark on a new initiative or complete a project make sure you update your profile so that it is fresh and current.
How To Get Employees To Complete Their Profiles
Let’s face it, even with a template and a set of helpful guidelines, there will be some employees that are reluctant to complete an employee profile. They may be lacking in confidence, feel uncomfortable in blowing their own trumpets, or they may be under pressure and don’t have the time or see the point of employee profiles. What can you do to get these employees on board? It can be a challenge, but here are some ways that you can encourage staff to complete their profiles:
- Lead by example: In this context, senior managers and leaders need to stand up and be counted. It’s very hard to reprimand an employee for not completing an employee profile if the company’s senior executives haven’t set the right example by doing theirs.
- Make sure people understand the importance of employee profiles: Often, the root cause of an employee’s failure to get on board isn’t apathy, it’s a lack of understanding as to why it’s important. Use the benefits we identified at the beginning of this post to communicate to staff what it is you are trying to achieve. Make it clear how it will be of benefit to them in their daily work.
- Offer help and advice: To be effective, all employees need to be on board. However, if that’s difficult for some team members due to genuine operational pressures, then perhaps your HR manager or a contractor could be used to help support the team member to get it done.
- Make it a requirement: If all else fails, then making it a requirement usually galvanizes any employees who might have been deliberately dragging their feet to just get on with it.
Intranet Employee Profiles
So, you’re sold on the usefulness of employee profiles and are keen to get up and running but don’t know what software you should be using? Well, the MyHub intranet could well be the perfect solution. Not only are employee profiles included as a standard feature, they are also fully customizable. Using an intuitive setup wizard, you can add or delete fields as appropriate to your business. You can even take things a set further by including other social intranet features such as individual or site activity walls and follow-me functionality.
However, a cloud intranet doesn’t just start and finish with employee profiles. This is just one tool in a comprehensive solution that will also tick a number of other operational boxes. Take your pick from the following great features for a cost-effective total solution:
- Secure hosting environment
- Content and document management system
- Company and team news pages and blogs
- Real-time collaboration and joint working using intranet embedded G Suite or MS Office 365 apps
- Quizzes and surveys
- Corporate calendars
- Online forms and workflows.
All these great features are available in a single integrated platform requiring just one sign-on. With backups, updates, online security as well as ongoing help and support included in a modest monthly fee, an intranet solution is hard to beat.