A few months ago, we wrote a blog about developing an employer brand that caters to different employee segments; holds one image in the market; and aligns your customer brand to deliver 5-year cumulative growth of 36% . So what if you went one step further and ensured that employee wellbeing was at the heart of your employer brand?
Research from the UK indicates that FTSE 100 businesses that used the words ‘mental health’ or ‘wellbeing’ more than twice in their annual reports last year – such as Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Mail – achieved up to three times more profit than those that didn’t. Many of the US’s highest revenue companies in the latest Fortune 500 list – such as Google, Salesforce and Edward Jones – are leaders in employee well-being. If the approach works for major corporates, then it should also help mid-sized companies looking to recruit and retain the most productive employees and find an edge in competitive markets.
Healthy employees are happier, more productive, take fewer days off work, are more engaged with the company and brand and therefore more likely to consistently deliver great ‘on brand’ experiences. All this is more than window dressing, it leads to greater business performance and a healthier bottom line.
The Healthy Brand Company recently worked with Lawrence Mitchell, Chief Customer Officer of Sumo Salad, to revitalise its operations, align its corporate, customer and employer brands and reinstate wellness at the heart of the business. Lawrence puts employee wellbeing first, as he knows from experience that the wellbeing of the individual as a whole – physical, mental, emotional, financial and relationships – is what gives them the positive energy to be happy, healthy and productive at work.
”At Reed Business Information, I led both the Global marketing team and our corporate wellness program for the company’s 3000 employees around the world. By focussing on employee wellbeing, we created authentic brand advocates, and grew engagement by 41%, increased energy by 36% and resilience by 26%, delivering consistently great customer experiences and increasing performance of the business overall.”
In his corporate wellness and coaching business, Raw Energy, Lawrence works with individuals, teams and organisations to help identify energy blocks and imbalances across five dimensions of wellbeing and empowering them with tools and techniques, programs and services to balance and release positive energy.
“Conscious leaders recognise that the financial wellbeing of their organisation depends upon the holistic wellbeing of the individual. But they don’t know how to go about it. That’s our purpose – to positively energise people in the workplace.”
Working with Lawrence in his new role as Chief Customer Officer of SUMO Salad, we wanted to apply these principles to revitalise SUMO as the wellness brand it had set out to be: healthy and happy employees consistently delivering healthy and enjoyable food and experiences delivering healthy business results.
To get clear on the brand truths, we looked at the brand owners’ original intent and what made the brand ‘SUMO’. We researched perceptions and attitudes to health and wellbeing with customers, franchisees and employees to identify the key segments SUMO should be targeting and what was important to them.
We spoke to franchisees and employees about their experience to understand what makes working for SUMO special and what needs to change to move forward to reinstate its market leading wellness position – for both the employee and customer experience.
This enabled us to build the brand platform, articulate the purpose and brand idea, ‘fuelling greatness’, pinpoint the values and develop the manifesto. ‘Fuelling greatness’ is the promise SUMO makes as a business to customers – our big bowls of nutritious, delicious food and fun wellness experiences are designed to make you look great, feel great and think great thoughts.
‘Fuelling greatness’ is also the promise SUMO makes to its franchisees and employees – applying Lawrence’s Raw Energy principles, SUMO is helping franchisees and employees recalibrate their wellbeing and providing the tools, training and support they need to deliver against the promise to customers. ‘Fuelling greatness’ is also relevant as the promise SUMO makes to its partners, suppliers and investors.
The brand idea is a powerful platform for driving employee and franchisee engagement, a renewed focus on delivering consistently great customer experiences, more coherent, emotive and engaging communications, and stakeholder engagement.
Wellness works at the heart of the SUMO business because it is a wellness business. But it is by putting wellness at the heart of the employer brand, and ensuring our franchisees and employees are healthy, that individuals, teams and the organization have the positive energy to really drive the business forward.
So whether you’re in publishing or finance, engineering or technology, putting wellness at the heart of your employer brand will improve employee engagement and advocacy, delivery of customer experiences, and business results.