You can’t have employee advocacy without engagement and collaboration
Many of us have heard about employee advocacy and its value. If you haven’t, here’s one line on why it’s so important: companies with formal employee advocacy programmes experience faster growth than those without one, with increased visibility, brand recognition and inbound web traffic listed as the top three benefits.
Employees who rave about their employers speak louder than any marketing message, and the reason why is simple: we trust people far more than we trust brands. According to research by Gartner, 84% of people trust recommendations from people they know, but only 15% trust recommendations from businesses. Customers are inundated with brands telling them to buy, so an employee delivering a real recommendation is bound to go further, hence why generating brand advocacy is so important.
Employee benefits and incentives can go far, but with top companies offering largely similar perks, this is not what makes employees sing their praises. This comes through guaranteeing that every employee understands your company message.
How to create employee brand advocates
Any company can create employee brand advocates by stopping one major issue: a lack of clarity about the company message. Employees will not communicate a company message that they don’t truly understand, or that doesn’t fit their personal mindset. Creating a company-wide message shouldn’t happen in a room with 10 senior team members, it should happen company-wide.
Today’s smart employers need to realise the above issue, and introduce a company-wide strategy that allows all employees to play a part in generating the company message. The solution for this comes through collaboration.
Collaboration is at the core of advocacy
Generating a company-wide message, that crosses different teams and all employees is no simple task, but with the right collaborative tactics, it can be done.
The first step is to organise a meeting, and bring team leaders from your whole company together to brainstorm.
Before the meeting
Ask each team leader to gather the thoughts from their individual team members. Every team, and every employee, should be given the opportunity to have their say and their thoughts heard. Gather these ideas together in one place, and analyse the themes that shine through.
During the meeting
Present the main ideas that came through from the above research and get the team leaders to debate on / rank each idea as a team. Not only is your company beginning to collaborate on a wider scale, but you’ll get the smartest ideas and your employees will feel more connected to your company’s decision making process, giving them a sense of further responsibility. Who doesn’t love a good win-win?
After the meeting
Analyse the discussion and filter the most important ideas down even further to pinpoint the most relevant, actionable points that come through. You now have smart, focussed information generated by your team as a whole, that can be used to improve / build your company-wide values / message. Alongside this, employees will feel more connected to the final message, more responsible of it and more understanding of it, and that will naturally boost employee advocacy, as every employee was involved from step 1 of the decision making process.
Keeping track of the ideas, the data and all the opinions of a large team is never easy on your own. But our software allows you to do all of the above (and more… because we’re generous like that).
You can’t expect employees to be advocates of a brand message that they don’t understand. Let them play a part in this vital decision from day 1, and brand advocacy will be instilled naturally.
Remember, regular meetings of this calibre allow you to make smarter decisions, can begin to instill a collaborative attitude to your workplace, and employee advocacy is a natural consequence.
If you want to learn more about employee engagement, we’ve got plenty more info on how to create a collaborative company culture in our free ebook. Take a read!