Employee advocacy is one of the most powerful marketing tools to get your brand on the map. Perhaps you know that already and have started off on an advocacy program. A few months in and maybe you’re struggling with making it a success, then you need to stop and think about what changes are required to make it work.
As we mentioned in a previous blog, your employees are human beings, not just resources to make the money come in! Therefore, quite often, before you implement a program, you need to implement a company culture. This may sound long and drawn out, but don’t fear because team SOCXO have put together 4 key steps that will help you get on your way!
- Connect with your employees
As we’ve considered before, you need your employees to be engaged for them to be true advocates. However, for them to be engaged, you need them to feel a connection and be understood. How so? Well, one of the most popular employee engagement surveys, Gallup Q12, focuses on questions about the connection between employees and the company they work for. This includes determining how connected an employee feels to their supervisor; if they feel cared about at work; if they feel their personal development is of interest to others; and if their opinions matter to others. So as an employer, look out for opportunities to connect with your employees. This could involve basic steps such as sitting down and having a personal, one-to-one conversation with them; asking them for their opinion on business decisions; and giving them clear opportunities for personal development that is in their line of interest, not just the company’s.
- Define, Create and Implement a Company Culture
For all employees – old and new – to feel connected, the key is to make engagement part of your company culture. This involves the feelings reflected in the attitudes, behaviour and language of your workforce. Remember this needs to start from the management for it to take a real hold on the rest of the company. Quite often, you’ll already have an underlying company culture – simply from the way the company and its employees currently operate. Align your existing culture with your employee advocacy goals to find areas of improvement. Once these have been defined, create and structure workplace principles to improve the lives of your workforce. If you keep that goal in mind, employees will love it and be quick on the uptake of working with these accordingly. Once they’ve been implemented, it will quickly become the company norm and will result in a much more highly connected and engaged workforce.
- Ask for Feedback
Business magnate, Elon Musk, famously said: “I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better. I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.” Yes, one of the best ways to improve is by asking for feedback, and then acting on it. You are responsible for improving the culture you are leading; however, you need to know where to get better. Therefore, ask your employees for objective points on where as an organisation you need to improve, and then work towards doing this. This will not only help you learn and grow, but also help your employees to feel valued and respected.
- Make it Part of your Identity
Once you’ve got procedures in place to create and improve your company culture, you need to help your employees relate and connect to it. Therefore, make it part of your organisations identity by giving each program a separate name and making it an independent entity. Assign program directors and have regular program workshops and reviews. This will make your employees aware of the growing culture within your company and how they are a real part of it – soon it will be a well-known part of your company DNA.
Another great way to increase employee advocacy in your firm is to use SOCXO. It transforms your employees, customers and partners into trusted brand advocates. Get in touch with us now to see what we can do for you!