Employer branding is essential for securing top talent and generating a strong public image. After all, one of the best ways to advertise your brand is through employees themselves. They’re unique to your company and will set you apart from competition.
In fact, a recent survey by Edelman found that employees outranked all other spokespeople (even the CEO) as trustworthy experts on topics such as work environment, company culture, innovation, and integrity.
It’s certainly arguable that employees have the potential to make or break a company’s reputation. Given the right support and information, they’ll be a priceless promotional tool. That's why we’ve created a guide on how to make sure you successfully convert your employees into the best brand ambassadors for your business.
Be Certain of Your Image
It’s tricky enough to create a holistic brand image, but even more difficult to ensure that all your employees share this vision. Each will have their own personal take on what you’re trying to achieve, but it’s crucial that you create a unified outlook.
While employees will have a comprehensive understanding of how your business runs (which adds to their credibility) customers don’t need to know the ins and outs of the company. What they want to know is who you are and what you do.
In order to help employees correctly share this information with customers, the answers need to be accessible. All internal communications should reiterate the key messages that you’re trying to portray.
As Karen Kennedy, Founder of Insights to Growth, explains: “Most companies underestimate the value of a communications plan and think that they are communicating “enough.” Rarely is this the case; employees want to be included in the company’s journey and being well informed is a large part of that journey.”
Moreover, constant reinforcement through communications will make sure that your vision isn’t lost in translation.
Embrace Social Media
Naturally, many employers are scared to allow employees to write about their company on social media platforms. If you're enforcing strict social media policies, employees may be confused about what they’re allowed to publicly share regarding the company. A survey from Resume-Library revealed that 73.4% of American professionals claimed that they were careful about what they posted online because of what employers might find online.
However, social media is a powerful marketing tool, as well as a great platform for improving employee engagement. According to research by G2Crowd, employees have an average of 1,090 social connections and a collective reach that's five times greater than corporate accounts.
So, share some guidelines with employees about what they can and cannot post online. A transparent social media policy will make them feel more confident when talking about the brand online.
Open communication will also invite feedback and suggestions from employees about your brand. If they’re to become brand ambassadors, it’s only right that they have an input into what they’ll be promoting.
If you want employees to shout about how great their company is, you’ve got to get them invested in their work. The best way to turn employees into ambassadors is through good management. Really listen to what they want in the workplace. By finding out more about the people who work for you, you’ll be in a better position to place them in roles which suit their needs.
Do they want more training opportunities, more options for flexible working or a better work-life balance? The TINYpulse employee engagement platform empowers staff members to engage with their workplace, allowing them to offer up suggestions and feedback. Even if you can’t implement these changes straight away, employees will appreciate being given a platform to activate change.
Moreover, if you decide to act on the changes they requested, employees will feel like they’ve made an impact on the working culture. Employees who feel valued will become brand ambassadors that really make a difference.
Encouraging friendly competition among staff will surely boost their efforts when it comes to promoting the company. If your goal is to get your brand’s name out there, why not give a reward to the employee whose social media post gets the most likes?
Rewarding top employees will improve employee engagement, which is always an essential for generating great brand ambassadors. They’ll be more focused and content in a job which pushes them outside their comfort zone.
You could also offer incentives to employees for candidates they refer to work for the company. Depending on whether the candidate passes their probationary period, the employee that referred them could receive a cash bonus or a special prize, which is also a great morale boost.
Giving away company merch to new recruits may seem like the least of your worries, but don’t underestimate the power of a freebie!
If your merchandise is good quality, employees may end up wearing it most days, either around the office or out and about at home. If they look great, freebies can certainly equate to bragging rights for employees. This could include all sorts of swag, from the everyday item to the quirky. Here are some of our suggestions:
Portable phone charger
Imprinting your company logo on various pieces of merchandise will increase brand awareness within your employees’ personal networks. What better way to reach an extended audience for a minimal cost?
Turn Your Employees into Brand Ambassadors
To convert employees to brand ambassadors, the key is to get them excited. Happy employees will make the best spokespeople. If you don’t get past this first hurdle, you’ll end up pushing a brand on unresponsive employees - who may even end up badmouthing their workplace.
The best result will be that employees enjoy their work so much that their energy is contagious. In this scenario, they become natural brand ambassadors without your intervention. If not, implement this guide for that little nudge that they need!
- The Actual Cost of Employee Attrition
- Top 10 Reasons for High Turnover Rates
- Why You Need a Retention Policy