Employee Activation
The Direct No-Nonsense Relationship Between Employee Activation and ROI

The Direct No-Nonsense Relationship Between Employee Activation and ROI

March 17, 2020
4 min read

Employers are all too aware that they need to do all they can to keep their employees. That’s only the tip of the iceberg. No matter what the economy does, there’s a statistical relationship between employee activation and ROI.

Quick Takeaways:

  • Employee engagement programs build employee satisfaction.
  • Employee satisfaction keeps employees on the job longer.
  • Going beyond engagement and unleashing your employees to share content is a game-changer when it comes to ROI.

When it comes to the employment side of a business, ROI depends on two key factors:

  • Recruiting, onboarding, and training costs for new employees
  • The impact employees have on sales

Losing an Employee Drives Costs Up, ROI Down

The first factor, of course, does depend on the economy. All other factors being equal, costs likely will go up during an economic boom.

With other jobs readily available, employees are more likely to leave for greener pastures. Hence, during such periods – like today – most employers will do all they can to prioritize employee experience (EX), as Forbes’ Greg Kihlstrom points out.

Kind of makes you take a second look at the Scrooge story, doesn’t it?

Perhaps it wasn’t so much the ghosts of the past that drove the miserly curmudgeon’s conversion, but rather a future vision of a better economy that would drive Bob Cratchit to a more welcoming workplace.

Of course, during a hot economy, there is a heightened risk of this situation. But on the other hand, in a slow economy, sales won’t be at peak levels.

Even though there might be more available employees, hiring costs relative to sales will drive ROI down. On average, says Kihlstrom, those costs can range from 30 percent of an entry-level worker’s salary to 400 percent of a C-suite executive’s pay.

The Secret to Success in Any Economy

There’s another side to EX that impacts a company’s ROI: employee activation. No matter how happy an employee is on the job, it’s what they do above and beyond their job description that produces a significant change in a company’s ROI.

Employee activation takes engagement up to a whole new level. Employee engagement itself, according to a Gallup study, produces higher levels of customer engagement, productivity, and retention.

And a 21 percent higher level of profitability. It’s no wonder. With more productivity and engagement and less churn, profit is bound to rise.

Just think about what will happen when you open the floodgates by empowering your employees to become advocates for your company. That transformation only happens when you trust them enough to make critical decisions for your business.

In fact, over two-thirds of employees who enjoy such power put in extra effort, boosting productivity in the process. When you empower them to forge their own destiny with their innate creativity and work ethic, they take ownership of their work – in your business itself.

That’s huge. You expect the C-suite to be enthusiastic about spreading the word about your company. And, of course, your marketing team.

But when your non-marketing employees take ownership of your company, they become your brand’s best ambassadors. Empower them to share content, and you’ll soon see the difference.

But don’t just take my word for it. Researchers have documented that there’s a dramatic increase in a business’s key performance indicators when it unleashes its employees to spread the word.

  • Brand messages have 561 percent times the reach of messages shared by official channels.
  • Nearly four-fifths of companies experience more online visibility with an employee activation program.
  • Consumers engage with employee-generated content eight times as much as with your marketing department’s messages.
  • Employee-generated leads convert seven times as often as those that come from your marketing and sales teams.
  • An employee advocacy program in which 1,000 employees participate yields an average of $1.9 million in equivalent advertising value. That’s about $1,900 per employee for a program that costs nearly nothing!

What Should the Marketing Team’s Role Be?

Of course, we’re not saying that your content teams and your other marketing employees shouldn’t carry on with their usual tasks. In fact, the two-prong approach that leverages both official and employee channels ensures that your message will maximize its reach.

But there’s an even more critical role that your marketing team needs to take on: that of a teacher. Those very skills that make them such keen communicators to the general public can help them inspire and educate the company’s other teams to produce customer-winning content.

Build Support for Employee Engagement among Executives

The first step is to create a welcoming, empowering culture that values the contributions of every employee. Build enthusiasm for employee engagement among your C-suite executives by citing the kinds of statistics that provide real-world proof for an engaging workplace culture.

Next, take them beyond getting behind mere engagement to garner their support for employee activation. Again, statistics about the value of employee-shared content can help them see beyond their objections toward the real-world results they’ll likely experience.

Get Buy-In from Other Teams

Start by getting content ideas from employees outside your marketing team. Product designers, for instance, could provide you with the backstory for a video about how your new software came into existence – and how it can help your customers.

For a medical facility, on the other hand, nurses could provide blog post ideas about how better nutrition results in better health. You get the picture. When your non-marketing teams share their expertise, it positions your company as an authority in your field.

Once you finish producing the content, encourage those employees whose ideas you used to share that content on their own social media platforms and elsewhere. Chances are, you won’t even have to ask. They’ll likely feel so proud of seeing their own ideas in print or on the screen that they’ll want to share it.

If there are company guidelines about social sharing, be sure that they have a copy of those guidelines before they post. Teach those employees who want to take the next step and create their own content the basics of social and blog posting so that they’ll have the skills to create compelling content.

Make editing services available to those who want to create content. Knowing that an editor can polish their work and remove grammatical errors will build their confidence and encourage them to post more often.

With all your teams actively spreading the word about what benefits your company can provide to its customers, you’ll be likely to see a substantial increase in your ROI over time. The right content can help build enthusiasm for such an undertaking.

If you are ready to get more traffic to your site with quality content that’s consistently published, check out our Content Builder Service. Set up a quick consultation, and I’ll send you a free PDF version of my books. Get started today and generate more traffic and leads for your business.

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Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner is an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula", and Founder of Marketing Insider Group. Recognized as a Top Content Marketing expert and Digital Marketing Leader, Michael leverages his experience from roles in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as his leadership in leading teams and driving growth for thriving startups. Today, Michael delivers empowering keynotes on marketing and leadership, and facilitates actionable workshops on content marketing strategy. Connect with Michael today.

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