Did you know that a 2013 Gallup poll revealed that only 30% of workers in the United States are engaged in their work? That means that 70% of U.S. workers are not reaching their maximum potential and aren’t fully contributing to their company’s success. According to a Gallup estimate, this level of active disengagement costs the U.S. $450-$550 billion each year. Billion!
And how are employees spending their days if they’re not actively engaged with their work? According to a survey by NICE Systems, employees spend 20 hours online per week, with 25% of those hours spent browsing non-work related websites. Facebook is the biggest time-suck, with 41% of survey respondents visiting it most often, with LinkedIn coming in at 37%. While it may seem disheartening that your employees are disengaged and spending works hours checking out their social networks, don’t fret. You can actually still allow your employees to access social media during the workday and increase their overall productivity and happiness in the workplace.
For example, if the average employee spends an hour per day on Facebook, that hour could be spent sharing something relevant to your company. This has myriad positive associations: the employee gets a “break” from the task they were hard at work on, they can reset and refresh their brain, which can thus boost productivity. They are also better informed about what’s going on within the company, the industry at large, and with customers. So you see, the employee is happier and the company benefits as well.
If that sounds too good to be true, it’s not. There is a way to harness new social technology to benefit both your employees and the organization. Since your employees are already spending hours on social media, why not leverage their online activity to increase brand awareness through an employee advocacy program?
Employee advocacy is all about empowering and engaging your employees. It’s about building your employees up so they can help build your brand. Partnering with your workforce means your employees can advocate on your brand’s behalf by sharing relevant content with their social networks. Implementing an employee advocacy program will make it easier for your employees to share company news, customer success stories, and upcoming promotions.
Encourage your employees to get on social media and share by implementing an employee advocacy program. It’s relatively simple, but there are a few key factors that will contribute to its success:
1) Provide Guidelines
Even your best and smartest employees can have temporary lapses in judgment. Don’t let these little slip-ups affect your company’s reputation. Define guidelines and rules for how your employees should act on social media. You can download our social media policy to get started with keeping the entire organization on the same page.
2) Offer Incentives
When you offer incentives, people will be much more inclined to participate – everyone loves free stuff! Whether it’s company swag like pens and t-shirts or awesome prizes like free lunches and extra PTO, your employees will appreciate being rewarded for their efforts.
3) Make Participation Optional
This point may feel counter-intuitive, but forcing employees to participate may backfire. Having 20 enthusiastic and passionate employees participating in your program will yield far better results than 200 reluctant and uninterested employees who are only participating because they have to.
4) Curate Content
Make sharing easy by curating content for your employees to share. You can monitor who’s talking about your company and keywords related to your industry by using tools like Google Alerts or Mention. When you find interesting content, share it with your employees so they can share it with their social networks.
5) Have Management Set The Bar
You know the phrase, “Do as I say, not as I do?” You probably hate this because it’s totally hypocritical. Get management involved in the employee advocacy program to motivate everyone else. When they set the bar for social sharing, they also set a great example for the workforce.
See? Having your employees on social media at work isn’t all that scary. In fact, it can be a win-win situation for employees and the organization when done right. Putting an employee advocacy program in place that empowers employees while also amplifying a brand’s message is totally possible when following the key steps outlined above. Then, your organization will truly be able to save time and money by boosting your employees’ productivity and happiness.
Visit our Resource center to learn more about Employee Advocacy