Employee activation may be the secret ingredient that’s missing from your organization. To run a successful business you need more from your employees than the bare minimum. And yet the majority of people working in the US don’t fully commit their time, energy, and talent to the organization they’re working for. Gallup research shows that only around a third of US employees are engaged at work.
Disengaged employees are bad news all around. They’re unhappy and unproductive at work, and are likely to take more days off, work fewer hours, and have little to no loyalty to the company they work for. An actively disengaged employee may be qualified on paper but can cost a business thousands in lost productivity. They can even be a toxic influence in the workplace, negatively affecting other employees.
Employee activation can take those disengaged individuals and others who are not fully engaged and help them to reach their full potential. This adds value to your team and business and helps them to advance their careers and feel more fulfilled at work at the same time.
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michael brenner and liz bedor
- Activated employees can immediately start advocating your brand overnight.
- Allow employees to create and share content that interests them on behalf of the brand.
- When employees trust the top management, they will be fully committed to the organization.
- A content-focused employee activation program can be an effective marketing channel.
What Is Employee Activation?
You probably already understand the importance of employee engagement for a more productive and positive workplace, but what about employee activation?
It helps to think of employee activation as the next step up from employee engagement. Engaged employees are happy and productive at work. But activated employees are so passionate about their work, and believe so much in what your business is trying to achieve, that they become natural brand ambassadors.
When you activate an employee it’s like flicking an invisible switch. They go from simply carrying out the tasks on their job description to actively promoting the mission and principles of your organization because they closely align with the personal core values they are most passionate about.
Activated employees are dedicated brand advocates. They represent your company from a unique angle, with true insider knowledge and understanding of how your organization operates.
In a world where influencer marketing is losing its sparkle, employee activation is the key to generating authentic positive content that will promote your business and your brand in an organic way.
How Employee Activation Can Unlock Passion and Potential
Activating your employees helps them to see their work as more than just a job, but rather something they can be truly passionate about. True passion results in employees that actively seek out challenges, connect with others to find solutions, and want to make a positive impact both at work and in the world.
When you introduce a formal employee activation program to the workplace, you encourage your employees to create and share content around their own passions and interests. This demonstrates the skills and talents of your team, as well as helping to raise brand awareness and boost the authenticity of your content as a whole.
Giving your employees free rein to create content allows them to explore the topics that interest them and shows that you trust them and respect their opinions and knowledge. 55% of CEOs believe that a lack of trust in the workplace is a threat to their organization.
How to Activate Your Employees at Work
So how do you create these passionate and loyal employees? It’s not just a case of throwing more money at them. In fact, salary is rarely linked with employee engagement – 60% of respondents to a survey of small to medium-sized businesses said they’d take a job with lower salary in exchange for better benefits.
Create a culture of communication and transparency
You can’t expect your employees to be fully committed to your organization if they’re unable to communicate effectively, or they don’t fully trust in higher management.
For these reasons, it’s essential to create an environment of full transparency at work so everyone can work toward common goals. Define your company mission statement in a way that all your employees can understand and make sure it’s at the core of everything you do.
Nurture internal talent
An organization is only as strong as the talent of its workforce. And yet many businesses overlook the fact they have a pool of talent potential right in front of them.
While it’s not always possible or preferable to recruit internally, make employee advancement a focus of your company culture. Investing in training and development programs for your existing workforce can help to uncover hidden skills in your current employees and develop those who have natural leadership qualities into experienced and dedicated managers and C-suite executives.
Reward high performers
It’s essential to conduct regular employee assessments so that managers can review the performance of each member of their team.
This not only means that any problems can be nipped in the bud and areas for improvement can be identified, but also that high performers can be recognized and rewarded for their efforts.
Make sure there’s a clear progression path for those who are willing to put in the work and effort so no employee feels stuck at their current level. Nurturing the talent and motivation of your employees and rewarding progression means they’ll be more satisfied at work and less likely to leave to work for one of your competitors.
Prune the dead wood
If individuals remain actively disengaged despite your employee activation efforts, you may need to accept that they’re not a good fit for your organization.
Marketer Gary Vaynerchuck is open about his policy of firing so-called “toxic” employees despite their skills and experience, pointing out that negativity spreads and can quickly bring down other employees.
Of course, this should always be a last resort, and regular feedback is essential to give employees a chance to improve their performance and behavior.
Build an Employee Activation Program
As well as creating a supportive environment and company culture to foster employee engagement, introducing a formal employee activation program focused on content brings all the above-mentioned benefits as well as acting as an effective marketing channel.
Encourage your employees to write about their work projects, passions, and achievements and share this content on your company media channels. Interview your employees and publish as a written interview or podcast to give a more human face to your brand.
Setting up an official program for this kind of content production not only shows that employees are allowed and encouraged to express their opinions and ideas on behalf of your brand, but it also means you start building a repository of high-quality and valuable content that will serve your business for years to come.
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