Employee AdvocacyJune 25, 2020
Categorised in: News
As technological advances and usage continue to rise across the globe, the significance of the link between social media and employee advocacy is ever-growing. A company’s employees are its most valuable asset, and an engaged, happy and productive workforce is arguably its greatest advocate.
An engaged and happy workforce can transform a business. The positive link between engaged employees and improved productivity is proven and well documented, with figures putting increased productivity at between 20 and 25 per cent when a workforce engages with the business. Engaged employees boost business productivity by 18 per cent and profitability by 12 per cent.
What is employee advocacy?
Employee advocacy is as simple as the promotion of your company by the people who work for it. Many companies have started to use this initiative and ask employees to actively promote the organisation through social media as an element of their daily roles. Not only is advocacy a powerful tool for businesses to build a reputation, but it also allows them to attract and retain real talent. In short, it’s all about transforming engaged employees into influential brand ambassadors.
According to a survey conducted by LinkedIn, companies that have implemented successful employee advocacy programs are 58% more likely to attract, and 20% are more likely to retain top talent. Collectively, a company’s workforce has a social network ten times larger than a corporate brand, double the click-through-rate of corporate shares and 8x more engagement than content shared through branded channels.
Employee advocacy can help to create positive and significant exposure for your brand in a more authentic and organic way. Employees will act as a credible spokesperson for the brand, recommending products and services to their social and broader networks, therefore attracting new business and prospects to the company.
Technology plays a pivotal part in employee engagement. We recently commissioned an in-depth study into the drivers of employee engagement from the perspective of employees which found that over two-thirds (65%) of UK senior decision-makers say poor workplace technology negatively impacts their work:life balance, their mental health and financial wellbeing. Therefore, it is essential to ensure workplace technology is easy to use and provides staff information needed on the platforms and devices they use every day to ensure a successful advocacy programme.
Investing in an app with plenty of functionality yet still easy to navigate can transform your employee engagement rates, talent retention and overall responses to employee advocacy. Our survey shows that workers use their mobile devices for an array of daily tasks; one-third of men (33%) and women (36%) manage their finances through their phones, as well as other tasks such as online shopping. By making use of an app, many business owners have also embedded HR activities into the portals, presenting an opportunity to build multiple tools to capture live employee feedback, which builds on employee engagement and allows workers to feel supported and valued by their employer. Capturing such responses also becomes a useful tool to capture and identify strong advocates that can become ambassadors and create engaging content to share.
It is important to remember that your workers’ day jobs aren’t employee advocacy. Encourage them to work alongside the marketing team to schedule and plan content well in advance, so that employees aren’t worrying about what to post while managing their role.
The marketing team should carefully craft and pair social media posts to ensure the best responses. By involving your workforce in this process, it helps to keep the messaging authentic while measurable, as you will need to monitor your output to see what works and what doesn’t. It also gives employees a sense of inclusion, thus boosting engagement levels. Remember to set strong brand guidelines to keep messaging consistent and relevant, and it also gives employees another nod in the right direction.
While a large number of the UK population own some kind of technology, not everyone is social media or tech-savvy. To ensure you get the most out of your advocacy program, play dumb and assume your workers know nothing. Offer them all the same levels of training from content sharing to using your company app. Offer workers one-to-one sessions with your marketing team to allow them to improve their skills, not only for the sake of the advocacy program but to further their overall knowledge, which in turn will boost engagement.
Don’t force it
The most compelling and powerful employee advocacy is the freely offered communication from employees that delivers authentic, impartial sentiment and opinion. Most employees’ social channels will be a mix of work and personal content, so it is important not to force them to share too much for work. If you start to enforce a tight employee advocacy policy, this may demotivate staff from taking part. It needs to remain light-hearted and fun to keep an organic and authentic brand message going. If employees run out of content to share, make use of a back-up of pre-written social messages, or simply ask them to share content being pushed out onto the main business channels.
Remind employees that they’re making a positive impact on the overall business and show your appreciation for those participating in your advocacy program to keep them motivated.