In the world of business, success depends on more than just your product or service. Companies need to find new and innovative ways to attract and retain top talent. One way to do this is by building a strong employer brand. An employer brand is the image of your company as an employer, and it's what potential employees think about when they consider working for you.
One of the best ways to build a strong employer brand is through employee advocacy. 30% of brand engagement comes from employees. Employees are 14 times more likely to share brand content than other types of content (Source: LinkedIn).
In this blog, we explore Jay Joshi's seasoned expertise in the world of HR and employee advocacy. With nearly seven years of diverse experience, including roles in consulting, health tech startups, and prominent companies like CoinDCX and Cred, Jay brings a wealth of insights to the table.
Imagine loving a product not because of flashy ads but because it genuinely makes your life better. That's the heart of employee advocacy. It's when your employees become champions of your company, not just for a paycheck, but because they believe in your mission, values, and what you offer.
It's important for a number of reasons:
It can help you reach a wider audience with your employer's branding messages: When your employees share content about your company on their social media channels, they're exposing it to their networks, which could include potential candidates, customers, and partners.
It can help build trust with potential candidates: When they see your employees sharing positive content about your company, they're more likely to believe that your company is a great place to work. This is because people are more likely to believe their friends and peers than traditional marketing messages.
It can help you attract top talent: When potential candidates see that your employees are passionate about their work and proud to represent your company, they're more likely to want to work for you. This is because people want to be part of something bigger than themselves, and they want to work for companies that they believe in.
HR professionals should value employee advocacy highly due to its profound impact on various aspects of an organization:
Fosters a Positive Company Culture: Employee advocacy is the cornerstone of a thriving company culture. When employees genuinely embrace and advocate for their workplace, it creates a positive atmosphere, enhancing overall employee satisfaction and engagement.
Attracts Top Talent: A workplace with passionate advocates naturally attracts top talent. Potential candidates are drawn to organizations where employees wholeheartedly endorse the company's mission, values, and work environment.
Boosts Organizational Reputation: Authentic advocacy from employees goes beyond marketing strategies. It showcases the organization's commitment to its people and its mission. Such advocacy is a testament to the company's integrity and excellence.
Creating a sense of community and social acceptance within your organization is not just a nice-to-have; it's essential. When your team understands and genuinely believes in your company's mission, they become more than just employees – they become enthusiastic advocates. Employee advocacy goes beyond fancy job titles or slogans; it's rooted in a deep connection between employees and your organizational purpose.
Attracting new talent effectively, like companies such as Tesla do, isn't just about offering traditional perks. It begins with your company's leaders, who set the tone, culture, and mission. When your employees deeply resonate with this message, they become ongoing advocates. This goes beyond simple recruitment; it means creating a strong pull that attracts people who share your company's values and vision. A strong employer brand can reduce the cost of hiring by as much as 50%, while a negative employer brand can increase the cost of hiring by as much as 10% per new hire.
In simpler terms, employee advocacy becomes a powerful story that defines your company's reputation and attractiveness."
Let's explore tailored strategies for businesses of all sizes to make the most of employee advocacy.
For Big companies
Leverage Your Legacy and Diversity: Share stories about your diverse workforce and rich history to showcase your brand's value.
Reward Advocacy: Recognize and reward employees who go the extra mile to advocate for your company.
Advocacy Programs: Create advocacy programs and brand ambassador initiatives to empower employees to share positive content on social media.
Employee Voice: Encourage employees to have a voice on platforms like LinkedIn, positioning your company as a thought leader.
For Medium-sized companies
Cultivate Culture: Nurture a strong culture that values feedback and encourages idea sharing among employees.
Middle Managers Matter: Middle managers play a pivotal role in fostering employee advocacy by encouraging participation in programs.
Mission Clarity: Ensure employees understand your mission and values through clear communication channels.
Recognition Matters: Recognize and reward advocacy efforts to show appreciation and support.
Flexibility Advantage: Leverage your startup's flexibility for quick experimentation and adaptability.
Embrace Mission and Values: Communicate your mission and values clearly, motivating employees and aligning them with your purpose.
Educate About What You Do: Ensure all employees understand your products, services, and company mission through training and resources.
Reward and Encourage Advocacy: Recognize and reward advocacy efforts to boost employee engagement and business impact. 72% of startups with a formal employee advocacy program say it has a positive impact on their business (Source: Sprout Social).
The future of company marketing will be a blend of different approaches. Sometimes, founders will be the face of the company, while other times, showcasing various team members will work better. The key is to be authentic and to connect with different audiences.
When to use founders as the face of the company:
Founders can be a powerful force for employee advocacy and brand building. They can share their vision for the company and their passion for the work, which can be inspiring to both employees and customers.
Founders can also be effective spokespeople for the company's products or services. They can share their personal experiences using the products or services, which can be more relatable to potential customers than traditional marketing messages.
When to showcase various team members:
Showcasing various team members can be a good way to highlight the diversity and expertise of the company. It can also be a way to connect with different audiences.
Showcasing team members can also be a good way to build employee morale and engagement. When employees see their colleagues being featured in the company's marketing materials, it shows that they are valued and appreciated.
The focus on employee advocacy is growing. Many companies haven't tapped into its full potential.
1. Building Brand Reputation: Consistently sharing positive stories about your company, especially through the voices of your employees, is akin to building a bank of goodwill. Over time, this builds a robust brand reputation. It's not a quick fix but a long-term investment in how your organization is perceived.
2. Time-Tested Strategy: Just like renowned brands don't become famous overnight, establishing a strong company reputation through employee advocacy is a continuous effort. It involves showcasing what your company stands for and ensuring your employees understand and embody those values. This approach makes your company more appealing to both potential employees and customers.
In conclusion, employee advocacy isn't just a trendy word; it's a strong force for your organization. It's about believing in and supporting your company's mission and values. Remember, it's a team effort – every member helps shape your company's future.
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