Your employees are your first line of defense. What do you do with your first line of defense?
Think about the US Army, the country cares for our soldiers, protects and equips them to defend the country. Because of their loyalty to the country, they put their lives in danger just to ensure that the entire nation is safe. They are proud to be soldiers and to be associated with the United States of America.
How then can you get your employees to that level of loyalty? That no matter how tough the situations get (and they do get tough), they will stand united with the company? Without any doubt, employee loyalty will lead to advocacy. Employee advocacy is when employees promote the organization through various channels from social media to word of mouth. By doing so, they become brand ambassadors.
Here are 5 ways that you can boost employee advocacy to fuel your company growth beyond your wildest dreams.
1: Increase Engagement
An engaged employee will want to talk about their company at all times, and the opposite is true. All your employees should be actively engaged, not just engaged for you to see real results.
Tips on how you can increase employee engagement:
- Carry out an internal survey on engagement levels. Why the employees feel they are at that level.
- Address the issues that come up from the survey. Be careful not to confront an individual employee about a situation, find solutions that will rectify what is wrong.
- Implement the recommendations gathered after meeting with the employees.
- Make the surveys a continuous process; you need to gather feedback at all times to ensure that your staff is engaged.
Employee engagement has a direct relationship with performance. Actively engaged employees are the highest performing employees.
2: Give them all information
Provide your employees with all relevant information. Advocacy is about communication; you do not want a scenario where by your employees are passing on wrong information.
Providing your employees with all the information shows that you trust them. You know they will use the information well and to the benefit of the company. This kind of trust empowers them to do the right thing.
3: Create a Content Sharing Plan
Creating your plan starts with a set of clear objectives. What is the goal of employee advocacy? What results do you want to achieve? For example, you may want to create awareness of a new product, service or community event you recently participated in.
With the objective in place, you need to create a plan on how the employees will share the content. If you do not set these, you will send your employees out in the world without a compass. The plan should include the messages to be shared.
An elaborate plan will also help you measure the success of the advocacy program.
4: Be Consistent
Consistency is very important to the company reputation. If your employees are active advocates on social media they should continue doing so, if not people may start to wonder why there are gaps.
Consistency keeps you customers engaged and in touch with your organization. You can assign managers to be in-charge of employee advocacy program. They should be accountable to the organization and the employees they are leading. These managers will coach the employees.
5: Have Brand Champions
Not all employees are motivated and engaged equally. You will have some who are actively engaged, and they should be your brand champions. The brand champions will help the other employees who are not engaged to follow suit.
The success of the brand champions will motivate the other employees to become brand advocates and in no time join the brand champions.
In conclusion, increasing employee engagement, giving employees all the information, creating a plan, being consistent and having brand champions are five ways that when used together will boost employee advocacy. Remember that employee advocacy is a cost effective way of communicating with your customers.