For any business, big or small, it is the peak level of satisfaction, if its employees can speak on a company's behalf that is, project themselves as its brand advocates!
This is possible if the employees are out of the fear, and are clear and conscious about what they are allowed to speak. How about a marketing strategy that can engage the employees of an Organization to get involved actively, and advertise their respective companies and its policies, with a sense of pride and satisfaction towards the work?
The employees need opportunities, but before that, it is up to the companies to decide whether their employees are to be censored, or they should be clearly guided about the confidentiality, so as to make wise decisions themselves. If the company decides to go with the latter, there must be an undefined level of confidence over the employees that need not be repeated every now and them. The employees, to a great extent, will realize their duty shouldering the company's repute. There can be an online management strategy in place that can track any proprietary information being shared off limits. The directions like "Do Not Talk About ........" are likely to hit the employee emotionally, and it is worst if he does not understand why. So, let them understand the policies clearly, help them decide what is good to be discussed and what not, and leave them to the rest of the world, to share the employee friendly reputation of the company.
Strategy To Engage Employees:
Treat it as a fun, where more and more ideas can lead to various ways that will make an employee feel 'involved' with the company's initiatives. Form a clear and documented strategy, and make sure that it reaches every nuke and corner of the company. Everyone is important, everyone will contribute making the business important.
Consider the following few factors when formulating such an employee driven strategy:
What is it that the company wishes to share with its employees? What part of information is relevant to them, and what is it that need not be out of the boardroom?
If the company is on a hiring spree, a current employee is the best way to have a quick turnaround, with the qualified candidates.
When discussing the policies with the employees, it must be taken care that they understand what is expected of them to share socially, and what is supposed to be confidential. Taking the worst case scenario to consideration, the confidential part if shared, should not be affecting the company's reputation at the least.
Encourage For Social Media Sharing:
Have a few enthusiasts in place, who can promote the company's growth and reputation on social media, while actively sharing the business news and employee oriented programmes planned in the Organization. They can help the business move forward, when the unaware crowd gets aware of the happy and satisfied employees working in a friendly company. These can be stories, events, new launches or business discussions, if the employee has been a part of that, leave it to him to spread the word to the others.
Reward Employees In Return:
This is important. There should be some sort of recognition on behalf of the company, for which the employee has been working as a brand advocate. Reward them with incentives, certificates, or the public declaration of their names in the newsletters, leader boards etc. Anything that can motivate them to continue what they have been doing is appreciated.
It is seldom seen that the employees are directed most by their manager's commands. A socially active manager can lead a socially active team following behind him. Have the management meet the employees at the same level, while communicating on social media. This can settle many issues, in or out of the project, thereby increasing the mutual understanding and involvement from both the ends.
Michael Evans is an online marketer and social media strategist. He is currently promoting brand presence of Webarts that offers Website design services in Cyprus.