How to encourage advocacy amongst your employees
Businesses all too often fall victim to a lack of brand endorsement among their staff due to overworked and unmotivated employees.
What can you do to encourage the advocacy of your people so that they become ambassadors of your brand? These untapped voices are your connection to the outside world and are pivotal for successful word-of-mouth marketing.
Here are five smart (and easy) ways you can bring out the best in your staff.
1. Encourage different ways of thinking to discover new skills
You employ smart people. Your business probably has rigorous employment checks. Most of your staff will have been through multiple job interviews, and you’ll have selected them from a pool of talented individuals. But if your staff members are just doing their conventional nine-to-five jobs, you’re probably not using them to their full potential.
Give those people the responsibility to help support your brand. Bring your staff out of their daily routines and empower them to begin thinking more broadly than just their general day-to-day activities. You can encourage this by organising internal work groups, social committees, and events that aim to drive work culture.
By supporting different ways of thinking, you’ll enable your staff to come up with smart ideas that you would never have thought of before, and that they previously didn’t have the capacity to contribute.
2. Be present and lead by example
The maxim that actions speak louder than words seems obvious, but people rarely follow this well.
If you’re leading without being present, you’re not going to create the enthusiasm and drive that you need from your staff.
Make yourself available to build an environment that fosters communication and beneficial discussion. Keep your staff informed by walking the office floor and talking to them about anything and everything, so that you get to know them, and they feel connected as an equal. Encourage and support them in order to create a snowball effect that instils passion and advocacy.
3. Remind your staff to stop and reflect
In today’s fast-paced digital world, we’re all time-poor. It’s important to remind your staff to stop and take a closer look at what’s going on around them. If your teams are moving at a million miles an hour down one path, they may not notice whether it’s indeed the best path for your business.
Change the story in your weekly team meetings. Break up the monotony by adding something different. You’ll help your staff take stock and look at things from a different angle.
It’s also important to acknowledge that your staff members sometimes need a break. Encourage them to take holidays – they’ll come back refreshed and with a renewed focus and readiness for productivity.
4. Allow your employees to work at their leisure
The days of regular, set work hours are behind us. It’s vital that you allow your staff the freedom and flexibility for creativity and innovation.
Your staff members know what they need to do; if they are worth their salt, they don’t need to be told exactly how and when to do it. Guide them, but let them do their jobs at their own discretion. If your mission, KPIs and goals are clear, your staff will know what they need to do – that’s why you hired them, remember?!.
Flexible work hours go a long way towards allowing your staff to work at their most productive. Let them work from home when necessary. You’ll notice that, all of a sudden, given this freedom, your staff will become more passionate about what they do.
5. Be transparent with your business goals and make your results accessible
It’s vital to make your business goals meaningful – uninspiring and confusing company updates and messaging can ultimately have the opposite effect to what you’re intending. Beyond that, begin sharing and talking to these goals, and involve your staff in how the company is tracking against them.
Share your financial data and communicate your targets with your employees to increase their engagement – you’ll encourage leadership amongst your staff and improve their understanding.
A clear and open dialogue – not just empty words – can help your staff understand your vision. By being inclusive and having a clear purpose and a well-defined plan, your staff are more likely to become advocates of your brand.
Transform employees into thought leaders
Your staff can be powerful brand ambassadors if you encourage and empower them to be so. In the world we live today, it pays to use every avenue at your disposal. You’ll widen your reach, drive growth, and help create new business opportunities.
Treat your employees as people – not just as numbers within your organisation. Give them the flexibility and freedom to become productive thought leaders, so they develop into passionate advocates of your brand.