Employees talking positively about their place of work is good for business. It’s something every company should pursue. But figuring out that part is easy. How do you get your employees to become advocates for your organization?
Creating employee advocates is a delicate process. Your organization can’t force your staff to become advocates. So, your company has to promote advocacy without forcing the issue. One of the best means to encourage advocacy is through your employee benefits.
Employee benefits promote a healthy and engaged workforce. And the better your staff feels, the more likely they are to be happy with your organization and their role. Consequently, the more likely these employees are to become advocates for their employer.
Before we detail how to use employee benefits to boost employee advocacy, we first have to answer a couple of essential questions. What exactly is employee advocacy? And, how can it help your business?
What is Employee Advocacy?
Employee advocacy is the publicity employees can create for their employer, by sharing content with their networks. For many C-Suite employees, this advocacy may seem unimportant or tangential towards improving the bottom line. In fact, there is a multitude of benefits employee advocacy can offer your company.
How Can Advocacy Help?
Employee advocacy can have a positive impact on multiple facets of your organization’s operations. Here are seven facts that demonstrate the power that employee advocacy can hold:
1. 6 percent of sales personnel using social media to boost their sales performance, outperform their peers.
2. Highly engaged workforces deliver 147 percent higher earnings per share.
3. Employee advocates are connected to 10x as many people like their brand.
4. Because of they are more connected, advocates can increase the reach of brand content by 561 percent.
5. Posts shared by advocates get 8x more engagement than those shared by their brands.
6. Leads collected as a result of employee advocacy convert 7x more often.
7. A leading information and communications technology in Japan, Fujitsu, experienced a 360 percent ROI through employee advocacy.
What Benefits Can Boost Advocacy?
Your firm can use its employee benefits program to advance worker advocacy. These benefits are important because advocacy is something your company can’t simply buy or force. You have to build advocacy over time, and your firm’s benefits are the perfect starting point.
Social Media Training
In 2017, social media is nearly ubiquitous. Over 80 percent of Americans had a social media account in 2017. So, while more and more people may be familiar with social media, they may not know how to maximize their usage. Your employees will have different levels of social media expertise, and training could be a valuable resource for some of your staff.
Similarly, thanks to mobile technology, it is now easier and easier to post anything at any time. This ease-of-access can get workers, and their employer in big trouble. So, train your employees on the ins and outs of social media.
Create a comprehensive social media policy, and ensure your employees understand it. Having a concrete social media policy can alleviate employee fear when online. When it comes to sharing content your workers should know what is and isn’t appropriate. This will make it easier for them to become online advocates.
Rewards and Recognition
The next, and most obvious, benefits that can improve employee advocacy are rewards and recognition. If you want to highlight the importance of advocacy to your staff, reward them for it. Show your employees what social sharing means to you, through rewards. For example, a small bonus, company swag, free meals, or gift cards are all possibilities.
Substitute recognition for rewards if your company is strapped for cash. Marketo recommends demonstrating how sharing relevant content will build their credibility. You can also recognize employees through an award program.
As previously stated, you cannot force employees to become advocates. One of the best employee benefits, especially for promoting advocacy, is to give your staff meaning in their work. The more connected your workers are to their job, the more likely they are to be true advocates.
And meaningful work benefits your business too. Employees who find their work meaningful are:
- 3x more likely to stay with their organization
- 4x more engaged at work
- 7x more likely to experience higher job satisfaction
Each of these statistics is meaningful in regards to employee advocacy. As previously stated, satisfied employees are more likely to become advocates.
Learn more about the powerful effect of meaningful work.
One of the best ways to create advocates is to give them trust and freedom within both their respective role and the organization as a whole. This independence provides your employees a greater sense of freedom in their job. Consequently, this freedom has positive effects on employees’ well-being and job satisfaction.
There is an assortment of employee benefits that boost employee autonomy. One benefit is flexible work. Flexible work arrangements, which include flexible location, hours, and schedule, are vital to advancing employee autonomy. These arrangements allow your employees to choose where and when they get their work done during the week.
Another employee benefit that’s essential for a more autonomous workforce is PTO or paid time off. Eliminate traditional time off systems, and replace it with PTO to increase workers’ flexibility. PTO gives your employees one bank of paid time off from which they withdraw time, throughout the year.
This system of time off, like flexible work, gives your employees maximum flexibility. Your staff no longer has to select between vacation and sick leave. PTO allows your employees to pick when and why they take time off.
Employee advocacy can be an enormous advantage for any organization. When your employees are your biggest fans, your business wins. Use these employee benefits to build advocacy. Because the more advocacy you see, the better your business will be.