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How employee advocacy can help create a better company culture

How employee advocacy can help create a better company culture

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If there’s one glaring challenge today that’s common to most organisations across industries and businesses, it has to be maintaining employees’ well-being. 

A hashtag search on LinkedIn shows us the popularity of discussions around this topic; #WorkplaceWellbeing and #WorkplaceHealth have almost 16,000 and 19,000 followers on LinkedIn. There is no shortage of content around company culture and team building; the hashtag #Team currently has almost 192,000 followers on LinkedIn! You will see countless posts about the pride and the joy employees receive from being a part of a supportive and genuine community at work.

With the rise of hybrid and remote working, the challenge to create and sustain a cohesive and happy company culture is becoming tougher and more complicated. There is no ‘one fix’, this problem has to be tackled from many different angles within one organisation. 

According to Culture Partners: Culture is no longer a “nice-to-have” item on your employees’ job checklist, it’s item number one.

Is there an ROI on company culture? 

When Culture Partners compared those companies at the bottom quartile of engagement, companies in the top quartile of engagement boast:

10% higher customer metrics

17% higher productivity rates

20% higher sales

21% higher profitability

What has this got to do with employee advocacy? 

First of all, what is employee advocacy? 

Employee advocacy is the system whereby a company empowers its employees to share the company message via their own personal channels. 

In my experience, this works best on LinkedIn, where company pages and personal profiles can work together to promote each other. 

1. RECOGNITION OF GOOD WORK

Workplace cultures that help people thrive and grow begin with employee recognition. 

Employees who are recognised for their hard work are likely to be more motivated, engaged, and loyal to the company. This in turn will encourage them to stay longer. 

Congratulating an employee in a LinkedIn post is a perfect way of showcasing someone’s work and making them feel good about their efforts. Encouraging other team members to comment on and share such a post, i.e. involving the whole workforce in the praise, will help bring the workforce together as well as potentially inspiring some of the other staff to want to achieve in the same way. This will promote an atmosphere of community, and working towards the common goal, while increasing productivity and potentially reducing staff turnover. 

2. CELEBRATION OF MILESTONES

As well as hard work and results, it’s important to recognise other milestones. Congratulating someone for length of service, a promotion or wishing someone a happy birthday in a post on LinkedIn is likely to foster a feeling of well-being and harmony in the community. It portrays to the world a company who cares about its employees but, more importantly, it demonstrates to the employee that their bosses care. 

Research shows birthdays are one of the three main days when an unhappy employee is likely to hand in their notice. Birthdays can be a time when people traditionally take stock of their life: they realise another year has passed and if they’re dissatisfied, they are more likely to take action than they would on a normal day.

Every business wants to avoid a high employee turnover, so a celebratory post on the company page showing employees milestones, can make a difference to how they feel about their employer. It’s a chance for the company to engage and show a valued employee just how much they are appreciated.

It may sound like a small act, but let’s look at some stats: 

A survey published in Harvard Business Review reveals that people’s job searching activities increase by 12% just before their birthday, as they start taking stock of their life. 

Any form of recognition helps employees see that their company values them and their contributions to the success of their team and the company overall. 

Any form of celebration in the workplace is bound to have a positive impact on the whole company, not just the person who is being celebrated. 

3. PROMOTION OF COMMUNICATION, TRANSPARENCY AND A SENSE OF BELONGING

Having knowledge about the workings of the organisation which employs us as well as the people within the organisation, is an instrumental part of workplace culture and provides a number of benefits for the employees and the company. Teams that know each other have better relationships, understand each other and when working together play to one another’s strengths building stronger and more powerful teams. 

If a company is looking to improve the working relationships within it, they are aware that getting to know their team is a strong foundation to build from.

Employees can be kept informed about the successes of the company by following a company page which is regularly updated with company news. This knowledge could help employees feel more involved and invested in the company.

Leaders who share personal information about themselves on their personal profiles will help break down any potential barriers with their teams while still maintaining a level of authority. Encouraging employees to share personal information on LinkedIn, and further encouraging each employee to engage with each other’s content can help build relationships and confidence within and across teams.

According to Artemis Marketing:

70% of workers say having friends at work is crucial to a happy working life. 

66% of people said they would refuse a higher paying job if it meant they wouldn’t get along with their colleagues. 

⅓ of adults say they have met one of their closest friends at work. 

Employees that have a best friend at work are 1.4% more likely to have received praise in the last 7 days

3. IDENTIFYING IMPORTANT CHANGES IN REMOTE WORKERS

As an employee in the workplace, it can be difficult to hide when there may be problems at work or at home. Remote workers also may be struggling with all kinds of issues related to their job or their bosses or colleagues, coupled with the extra issues which remote working can bring.  They may be able to paint on that smile every time the Teams camera is on, masking their real feelings. 

Colleagues who know each other, are more likely to see changes in behaviour and communication. A colleague who is posting and engaging less on LinkedIn may be showing signs of stress and overwork.  A colleague who starts engaging on posts or posting content with negative messaging may be (knowingly or unknowingly) reaching out for help. 

The more we get to know the people we work with, the more we can spot these signs. 

4. GIVING NEW EMPLOYEES A SENSE OF BELONGING 

Onboarding a new employee is not a cheap process. According to 

Bamboo HR the hard costs of hiring a new team member can be from $7500-28,000!  Any tactics to reduce this cost should be explored by any size organisation. 

Onboarding a new employee is not an easy task – particularly if the position is remote. The long-term impact of a poor onboarding process can be expensive and time-consuming. It’s important for companies to get this right. With it being a relatively new process, mistakes are being made in all sizes of company. 

The quicker a new employee can get to know their employees, the sooner they can feel comfortable in their new role. Encouraging new employees to read and engage with the company page on LinkedIn and the personal posts of their new colleagues, will help facilitate this process. 

By seeing recent developments within the company, and any recent activity of their colleagues will give the new hire the knowledge they need to feel confident and secure in their new environment. 

By publishing a post introducing them to the team and encouraging a culture where employees comment on company page posts will promote a sense of belonging in the new employee, and help them feel part of the team. Breaking the barrier of that initial contact point will open up the channels of conversation to begin developing relationships beyond just talking about work. 

Encourage teams to use LinkedIn DM’s too for ease of communication. Your LinkedIn DM’s are a great way to communicate with people without clogging up your email inbox! 

5. PROVIDING OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH AND LEARNING

Organisations can use their L&D programmes to demonstrate to their employees how invested they are in their growth and development. When employees feel invested, there’s a higher chance that they will be more engaged and motivated to grow in their roles. 

It’s no surprise that employees who get regular opportunities to learn, develop, and advance are more likely to stay with a company. Dr Bob Nelson, author of 1,001 Ways to Engage Employees, reports that learning and development are among the top factors in employee engagement.

By making the investment to bring in experts to teach the employees new skills to help them further their careers and help them grow as humans, a company is showing that it cares about its staff – it helps each staff member feel valued and that they’re being treated as an individual.  

If a company invests in training programmes for their employees, it could lead to a higher level of confidence and autonomy among the team. This in turn could lead to a higher level of motivation and creativity. 

Providing workshops for teams whether remotely or in person, creates opportunities for the employees to get together, see each other’s faces and communicate. For some remote workers, this may be the only communication they have with someone all week. 

In summary

There are so many things that happen when a system of employee advocacy is introduced and run properly. Improving the company culture is one small part. The long term benefits of having a happy company culture are immeasurable, but we know how important it is for every organisation, from 2 – 200,000 employees to treat the issue of company culture as a priority for the sake of every single one of its employees and also for the success of the organisation as a whole. 

If you’ve enjoyed this newsletter, please hit ‘subscribe’ at the top.

If you’re thinking that your teams could spend 20 minutes a day on LinkedIn and make huge shifts in your company culture, please get in touch. 

Thank you!

Sarah

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Ditch the dull keynote speeches in favour of fun-filled, laughter-inducing groups and seminars that get the audience involved from the get-go.

I’m bubbly and vivacious by nature, which you’ll find out in my presentations. 

I strive to appeal to those across sectors and disciplines, whether it be to those in more traditional professional roles, such as senior executive management, or those who are solopreneurs, freelancers or working in creative industries.

I ended up leaving my day job behind and achieved a diploma in Social Media Marketing. I set up Sarah Clay Social to help businesses promote themselves on social media. While using various platforms to promote my business, one stood out – LinkedIn. I seemed to attract new clients without really trying. All without a cheesy sales pitch and just by being myself. 

I was astonished by the success I had with LinkedIn and couldn’t get over how handy my childhood techniques had been. I realised that all the tools I’d learnt as a child were immensely useful! Soon after, I realised that other business owners weren’t using LinkedIn to its fullest potential. 

That’s why I’ve made it my mission to help business owners, just like you, harness the power of LinkedIn and be more successful in business.

Are you ready to leverage LinkedIn’s potential?