People trust other people more than organizations. That’s one fact that can’t be overthrown by marketing gimmicks or the innumerable advertisements thrown at our faces each day. Which is why many organizations are now going above and beyond to motivate their employees towards brand advocacy. To further drive impact for the overall business.
Especially considering today’s highly dynamic environment, what once worked can no longer be effective. Think about the ‘welcome kits’ that are usually provided to new hires. A kit with possibly a coffee mug, a t-shirt, a pen, a notebook, maybe a fridge magnet, etc. Yes, these company-branded merchandises were very efficient in broadcasting the employer brand at business conferences and sometimes even informal events. But in an increasingly social-distanced and virtual world, these efforts can’t continue to drive any real value.
And this is where employee advocacy comes into play. With growing distrust of brands, coupled with algorithms promoting people’s voices more than those of organizations, a successful advocacy program can be key to making you the ‘employer of choice’!
Of course, employee advocacy needs to be more than putting out a mandate for your employees to follow. Instead, leaders need to inform and engage their employees, educate them, and provide the right motivation to convert them into willing and ready advocates! It’s as simple as – if the organization does a great job in providing its talent with relevant Employee Experience, the employee in turn also provides great value to them!
Not convinced? Here are some statistics to explain why we believe Employee Advocacy should be an integral part of your organization’s people strategy. And how the HR function has a major influence on fostering advocacy among its people.
- Some industries see more than 50% of their revenue come through Social Selling
- 84% of buyers admit that user-generated content influences their buying decisions
- According to the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer, 62% percent of buyers trust their peers. And prospective customers want to hear about the experiences of real people.
- Almost two-thirds of referred employees refer at least one person to their current company
So, when people start saying great things about their employers, people know they are listening to real emotions and experiences. And it’s the strongest kind of endorsement any employer can receive.
The benefits of employee advocacy extend way beyond these figures. It has many tangible and intangible benefits to offer to any organization. But most brands fail to realize that it is not about making their employees put up a few well-worded posts on their social media handles. Instead, it needs to be an organic process. It needs to be a result of purposeful initiatives that the employees can see in action and happily advocate for.
This is where Human Resource steps in. Along with team leaders, the HR function makes up the set of people who are closest to the employees. And who also cultivate much of their workplace experience. As we discussed, ensuring a great employee experience naturally fosters the right environment for employee advocacy!
Yes, there is a clear link between advocacy and other aspects of your organizational culture, ranging from something as small as your onboarding presentation to something as big as the communicated employer brand. But it all comes down to translating your organization’s mission and purpose into real experiences that can be lived on a regular by your employees. And building a healthy organization where employees think, believe, and openly talk about how great they feel to work at one of the best employer brands.
This of course is easier said than done. But we have seen several organizations undertake this challenge very successfully. And when done right, the results go beyond brand promotion to generate lasting impacts, improve employer branding, and build customer trust.
So, don’t miss out on the opportunity to leverage your greatest resource! And feel free to reach out to us if you wish to know how you can get started on this journey, or even push the scope of employee advocacy in your organization! Write to email@example.com.
Because, if you haven’t already started building an effective advocacy program, then the time to start would be now!