In sales, marketing, and human resources, one of the trendiest buzzwords that all of us might have heard by now is employee advocacy. Regardless of its surging popularity, many brands have still not been able to activate their employees as sales, marketing, or recruiting assets. Though employee advocacy, as a concept, has been around for many decades in several different forms, social media and
the internet has completely revolutionized it and added newer possibilities to it. Given these changes, a brand needs to rethink how they approach employee advocacy and take necessary steps to fit it within the company.
What is Employee Advocacy?
In totality, employee advocacy refers to the promotion of an organization by the workforce. So, for a business, an employee advocate is a person who:
Raises awareness and generates positive exposure for a brand via offline channels or digital media
Recommends the services or products of a company to their family member or friends
Puts forth the company's best interests internally as well as externally
Knows about the service or the product offered by the company and can be a credible spokesperson, if needed
Can help you with employee ownership within the organization
Now that we have understood what employee advocacy is, why do you think it is important?
Importance of Employee Advocacy
When someone directly associated with your organization says good things about the brand, it carries an impressive advertorial weight. A few bad reviews on the internet can tarnish the business's reputation, and the potential clients will want to keep away from you.
There is also a significant difference between an employee who puts forth positive things about your company on social media and one that says absolutely nothing. Anytime your employee promotes the brand, it gives people the impression that the workplace culture is good, increasing their trust in you and your brand. This impacts your reach on social media, too, as it can help you significantly boost your
social media presence.
Following a leading survey, it was found that forty-five percent of people say that they are more inclined to apply for a job in a company for which they see a friend's social media post, as opposed to any other company on the job board.
How to Ensure that Employee Advocacy Improves Workplace Culture?
In all honesty, starting an employee advocacy program is not a piece of cake. It requires ongoing hard work and commitment. Here, we have some practical tips that can help you ensure that employee advocacy effectively improves your overall workplace culture.
Ensure that the Employees have an Understanding of the Brand
In a business, efficient employee advocacy depends a lot on the staff. Thus, they should know the company's values and vision, understand the offerings, and know enough to talk about it confidently in the public domain. Employees have a latent ability to influence the customer experience, and the behavior of the employee towards the customers is indeed the steppingstone to the business's success. Thus, management needs to walk the extra mile through building a healthy organizational culture and giving your employees a thorough understanding of the brand.
Have Precise Guidelines for Sharing on Social Media
Management must continually offer adequate support and training to the employees (both longstanding and new employees). It is needed to give them an understanding of the company vision and the brand. For this, the organization must have an effective communication plan to ensure that the employees know what is happening in the business. Further, you must also provide them with guidelines for social media advocacy.
Though it is vital to have sharing guidelines, you do not have to be too strict. That can have a deteriorating impact and curtail your employees from naturally sharing what they love about the company. Do not overlook the fact that the content they share on their social media channel has to come with their personal branding.
If it is merely a corporate-speak, it will look unnatural, and the audience will be able to see through it. This will go very well in helping you promote your brand. At all times, the aim should be to ensure that the employees' content is honest and supports your brand. Only organic and natural social media posts
are influential and do not look spammy.
Build an Open and Trusting Culture
Lastly, for the employee advocacy program's success, the organization must have an enabling workspace culture. Honesty and trust are the two critical elements of strong workplace culture.
The Bottom Line
A robust organizational culture is intended to support the employees in the best manner possible. When you support the employees and work towards their personal growth and skill development, they will be the organic brand ambassadors and the company's voice that you need.