How True Employee Engagement Leads to Genuine Employee Advocacy
Employees who are fully engaged in their organization tend to work harder, deliver strong results, and have a high level of satisfaction and pride in their employer.
- Companies that have highly engaged employees and encourage and support employee engagement outperform their peers by up to 147% in earnings per share. (Source: Everyone Social)
- Employees of socially engaged companies are more likely to stay at their company, feel optimistic about their company’s future and believe their company is more competitive. (Source: Everyone Social)
When it comes to social media, these employees can be some of the most powerful, effective assets in strengthening and expanding a corporate social media strategy.
Especially because they most likely are already talking about your company or sharing related information on social media.
Did you know? 98% of employees use at least one social media site for personal use, of which 50% are already posting about their company. (Weber Shandwick)
Engaged employees are more likely to become brand ambassadors and employee advocates on their personal social media platforms. This, in turn, helps businesses to generate new leads and new customers, as well as enhance how the public perceives and interfaces with the company.
But what does it take to increase employee engagement in a way that can complement and enhance corporate social media strategy?
The keys to success are multi-faceted and require a long-term commitment by the business, but they’re very much worth the investment.
Below are the essential building blocks that your business should implement to enhance employee engagement and foster genuine employee advocacy.
- Always maintain the delicate balance between the company’s corporate goals and employee’s personal goals.
- Make sure there’s a connect between organizational and individual values.
- Show employees that their feedback is being taken seriously by involving them in decision-making.
- Invest in your employees’ growth. Help them become thought leaders and gain influence in your niche on social media.
Align employee performance goals to your corporate goals
Every employee’s professional development goals should be aligned to big-picture goals of the business.
An employee who is evaluated through the lens of how their work contributes to big-picture goals tends to be more motivated and engaged because he or she is more likely to feel that the job is done every day is making a difference.
And employees need to know that they are working for their own goals as much as the organization’s when they come into work each day. When they have this understanding, they also realize how their individual role impacts business profitability overall.
When employees are empowered, trusted, and feel informed of the company goals, they are more likely to discuss their employer in a positive light on social media. And more willing to get involved in company social media initiatives.
Make sure your company instills and reflects its values
Employees are more likely to become effective brand ambassadors for your business on social media when they reflect the values that your company stands for.
Every business must work proactively to instill these values in its employees, and to reflect the values in the way it conducts its business.
Employees will only live by your business’s values if they seem genuine and pervasive within your company culture. If your employees don’t believe in your company mission, employee engagement will easily be lost.
Get employees more involved in higher-level decisions
Employees who are invited to participate in important business decisions and provide input on the direction of a business are more likely to feel engaged and empowered.
And when employees feel engaged and empowered, they are more likely to discuss in a positive light the directions that their employer is taking on social media and beyond.
Executives or company leaders are not the only ones with interesting ideas or thoughts. Employees can and should be involved in feedback, content, and other business strategies that could make a difference.
Yet, this has to be genuine by the company. Not just a facade to appear like they are interested in employees ideas or feedback.
Cultivate thought leadership
When your business takes the time to help its most talented employees become thought leaders on social media, you’re sending a clear message to employees that their skills and experiences are valued – and you’re also effectively creating a sense of pride among all employees.
All employees love to see “one of their own” being asked to write about or express their knowledge as a thought leader. As this content makes its way across social media, it engenders pride and engagement among the rank and file.
After all, what employee wouldn’t want to share and retweet a piece of content from a thought leader who is also a peer or even their own?
Treat employees as a team of people
Leadership and companies overall need to take a serious interest in their employees. This means treating them as humans, not just a number to make your business money.
This also means managers need to get to know their employees like their goals and passions.
Employees will succeed and more likely to be engaged with their work when they are connected and feel appreciated by company leaders.
You, your company, and other leaders should be asking:
- Do I or my team leaders know what drives our team?
- Do I know what employees most value in their lives?
- Am I understanding their career goals and ambitions? Do we encourage their growth?
- What steps are we taking to acknowledge their interest and goals?
Why does this matter?
Besides being the right thing to do and building a great company culture, your company’s employees are more willing to get involved. Meaning any company initiatives, positively talk about their company online, and recommend the brand others. A Nielsen study showed that 84% of people trust recommendations from friends, family, colleagues over other forms of marketing.
Employee engagement may sound like a buzzword, but it is here to stay. The benefits on your business speak for themselves, but you also give your employees opportunities to grow.
When employee engagement is high, your company culture excels and your employees will champion your brand through social, word of the mouth, and beyond.
Looking for more? Check out The Breakthrough of Employee Advocacy and Engagement guide, in which 21 digital media, social, and transformational leaders share their toughest lessons learned, keys to success, and emerging opportunities in employee engagement.