Wouldn’t it be great if your employees were great brand advocates? If they eagerly shared information about your brand on social media, and helped spread the word about what your company is doing?
It can seem like an impossible task, and plenty of us would be happy to get employees sharing anything about our brand, much less doing it regularly.
So, is there a key to getting employees to become advocates? There is! It’s called employee engagement.
What is employee engagement?
Gallup, the well-known polling and research company, measures employee engagement alongside other important indicators like presidential approval, consumer spending and real unemployment.They define engaged employees as “those who are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace.”
Essentially, engaged employees are those that go above and beyond. They’re the employees who don’t just do the bare minimum as defined by their job description, but actively look for the opportunity to do more.
Not only are these the kind of employees you’d expect to take the time and effort to share info about your brand, they’re the kind of employees you want doing this.
So, how can you get your employees more engaged and turn them into better advocates?
3 Steps Toward Improving Employee Engagement
According to Gallup, only about 35 percent of U.S. employees are considered to be engaged. This means that for most companies, there’s a lot of room for improvement. Good news is that improving engagement shouldn’t necessarily cost time or money.
It’s more of a change of mindset and focus.
1. Meaning Improves Engagement and Gives them Something to Share About
Employees who feel that their work is meaningful and have a sense of purpose are shown to be more engaged.
Companies create meaning and purpose in many ways. Some highlight how employee’s work directly improves the world or helps people. Others focus on volunteerism to create meaning and engagement. They usually give opportunities to volunteer during work hours, or actively donate to causes important to employees and match employee donations.
A lot of what people share on social media has to do with how they want to be perceived, and most people want to be perceived as doing important, meaningful work.
Help them feel this way about their work, and share what makes your company important and it’s work meaningful on social media, and you’ll be on your way to improving both engagement and advocacy.
2. Recognizing Good Work Breeds More Good Work
It makes a lot of sense that 60 percent of employees say that giving recognition is the best way for employers to improve engagement.
If you kept going above and beyond at work, but no one ever seemed to notice it, that would be pretty discouraging.
On the other hand, if you felt like your good deeds would be noticed and appreciated, you’d probably look for more opportunities to do good. Zappos has a cool, simple program for this. Each month employees vote on who did the most to go above and beyond, and then give that employee $50. Obviously, at $50, it’s not about the money. It’s about the recognition from peers and your company on a job well done.
3. When Focusing on the Good Leads to Better
Another way of improving engagement has to do with a simple act of changing your company’s focus when it comes to employee performance. According to Gallup studies, engagement doubles at companies where managers focus on building up employee strengths, rather than correcting weaknesses.
This is great for employers, because it doesn’t cost a thing, and anyone can experiment with managing in a way that focuses on strengths for a month or two, seeing what kind of change it leads to. If it works well at your company, you can keep it, if not, you haven’t lost a thing.
Ready to improve engagement and employee advocacy? Did I mention that companies with high engagement are 22 percent more profitable? Beyond advocacy, there are plenty of reasons to try and improve engagement. I think it’s safe to say we’d all like to work with people who go above and beyond!