While many business leaders and HR professionals use “employee advocacy” as a trendy buzzword, few organizations have truly unlocked its potential to inspire their employees to be assets to their sales, marketing, and recruiting efforts.
To achieve this, one must understand the true meaning of employee advocacy. Essentially, employee advocacy is what happens when employees promote the organization for which they work. This may include taking actions such as:
- Generating positive brand awareness through social media and other channels
- Recommending a company’s products or services through word-of-mouth
- Consistently having a company’s best interests in mind both internally and externally
- Being a champion of organizational pride to their colleagues or potential employees
- Can be a subject matter expert in your organization’s sector and can be a spokesperson for your company
Turn Your Employees Into a Recruiting Powerhouse
The voice of your staff may be your greatest untapped resource for promotion and recruitment. What better way to recruit the best talent than through your employees’ social networks? However, this method can only be effective if your employees are publishing the most quality content that reflects positively on your organization.
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When your employees love where they work and can share their sentiments candidly and publicly, the feeling is contagious. This level of transparency can make a tremendous recruiting difference, making candidates feel confident that they are entering a workplace that is supportive, enjoyable, and enriching.
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you want to encourage existing employees to engage with job candidates either directly or through social media storytelling:
- Anything that is said by a recruiting person may be suspect to an interviewee; experiences shared by current employees will be seen as being less biased.
- For employees to become employee advocates, they must love more about their jobs than their paychecks. Make sure that you are actively striving to prioritize a healthy office culture as part of your talent management strategy.
- Share social media guidelines with your staff. You should not strive to have total control your employees’ social media behavior off-hours, but rather set acceptable parameters.
- Provide a script outlining how employees should refer to your products and services online, and give them resources to help them respond to queries and complaints.
A Few Caveats
Despite its many benefits, there are a few precautions one should take when enacting an employee advocacy program. While you will want to provide your employees with adequate guidance, too many restrictions can risk running afoul of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Be sure never to tell your employees that they are not allowed to speak about negative things or adverse work conditions, which is expressly protected by the NLRA.
Another thing to bear in mind is that you will want to keep participation in any such program voluntary. Making it obligatory could damage the authenticity and enthusiasm around your endeavors. You want to be sure that the employees representing your company to prospective talent are happy to do so and will be the best possible promoters of your brand.
The Bottom Line
While employees can be a valuable resource for promoting your goods and services, they can also be quite helpful for showcasing your organization as a great place to work. By informing, educating, and empowering your workforce, your company can unlock their hidden potential to be your best advocates.
Want to find additional ways to enhance your talent management strategies? Contact us today to schedule a demo of ThriveTRM!