You’re Attractive, Smart, and Your Employees Like You Too!
We’ve previously explained how engaged employees tend to be happier, more productive, and higher producers than their peers. This installment covers how instituting an employee advocacy or ambassador program is a (nearly) zero cost opportunity to improve new employee on-boarding, employee retention, and brand reputation – which leads to easier top-talent recruitment.
An employee advocacy or ambassador program can be a powerful tool that could take on many forms. You’ll need to pick the ones that are right for your organization.
New Employee Mentors or Guides
Change can be equal parts scary, lonely, uncomfortable, and exciting. Wouldn’t the transition go a lot better with someone to guide your new employees and show them the ropes?
Assign new employees to volunteer mentors (employee ambassadors) who give them a VIP glimpse into their new company, including a campus tour, lunch the first day, etc.
Deck their Desk
One of our previous blog posts discussed the infinite sadness employees experience when arriving on their first day to an empty desk, or worse – to cheap pens and a boring coffee mug.
Give your employees a welcome kit they’ll love to show off. This is your first opportunity to engage them with company and it also increases your brand recognition when they use their swag off site.
Pick a Spirit Animal (Guide)
Employees say communication helps them feel more engaged with their companies.
Identify a group of employees to be a part of a Culture Committee. This group of people can be elected or volunteers who would be responsible for activities, events, employee engagement etc. Most importantly, they would help to develop and maintain company culture over time.
Circling back to the thought that change can be hard to navigate, the culture committee could also help to communicate new policies and promote goodwill during any company changes such as re-branding, mergers, office moves, etc. Having trusted, loyal and charismatic employees in the loop, can help to smooth difficult transitions for your organization.
External Employee Ambassador Programs – A.K.A. Free Product Placement by Your Most Powerful Evangelists
If your employees are proud enough to show your company off to their friends, then you’ll know you’ve established a real connection. Establish guidelines and empower your employees to tell the world what they love (If you do this right, they’ll have wonderful things to say about working for your company!) This will lead to improved retention rates and easier recruitment of top talent.
By the way, if you’re trying to improve recruitment practices at your organization, you can pretty much follow the steps in this case study about how (and why) GE created its employee ambassador program. In many cases, all you need to do to get a program off the ground is a little thought and a little time.
What does your organization do well? Can you leverage that like GE did with its Women in Technology campaign?
Utilize employees and external people (clients) to promote your brand externally through word of mouth, swag, referrals, etc.
Let them Get Social
Your employees are part of your brand’s reputation. And employee advocacy is a low-cost form of advertising. Check out this case study on how Deloitte empowered their employees to become thought leaders.
People want to follow people, not brands – especially on social media. And because your employees are 1) people, and 2) have their own group of followers that trust them, they are able to amplify the reach of your marketing efforts by 561%.
This will also lead to warmer leads. Because they have a relationship with the person mentioning you, your employees’ followers already feel like they know you. It’s like dating a best friend vs. going on a blind date. You’re starting out on date ten, not trying to figure out if he eats with his mouth open. (Everyone Social)
Your employees truly are your best brand ambassadors. Help them promote your business, and in turn, everyone succeeds – you get more sales and their jobs remain secure.
Here at INM, we’re what you call employee engagement rock stars. We know what hits a high note – contact us to get some personalized ideas for your organization.