How did an employer brand solve the problem of attrition for Mencap?
By James Coyle
Mencap fight every day to create an equal world for people with a learning disability. Most people have heard of them and the great work they do. But do people really understand the raw reality of what a career at Mencap is like? With attrition in the first 12 months of employment at record levels, it appeared not. And Mencap believed that their current employer brand was responsible for this disconnect between perception and reality. It was giving a rose-tinted impression of what a caring career at Mencap was all about. We were challenged with changing this.
The best way to get to the heart of a role is to talk to those who do it. So that’s what we did. We went straight to the people on the front line – running focus groups nationwide to ask them what they did and why they did it. We talked about the hardships and challenges, as well as all the good stuff. And the answers we got came straight from the heart.
We discovered a group of dedicated people who cared immensely about the cause, their work, and the people they work with and for. Their role made them feel determined, resolute and inspired. Sometimes elated. Sometimes frustrated. But always incredibly proud of what they do. The sheer range and depth of emotion was palpable. This was the authentic story we needed to tell.
So, we put it at the heart of our ‘Work withFeeling’ EVP. Brought to life with powerful, authentic imagery, and headlines that explored the full range of ‘feeling’ that working at Mencap can give, it was honest, open and engaging. From online banners to video content and internal comms, we created a suite of material that didn’t pull any punches.
Telling the right story was important. Telling it to the right people was vital too. So we carried out audience profiling and data mapping of Mencap’s current support workers, to work out where we’d find more of the kind of people who’d joined and stayed.
Equipped with a compelling ‘what’ and ‘why’, and a reassuringly precise ‘where’, we put the employer brand into action. And, nearly two years on, Mencap’s attrition rates have dropped significantly. It just goes to show that, when it paints an honest picture and speaks to the right people, an employer brand can be a truly powerful thing.