Are You Encouraging Your Employees to Help You to Build Your Brand?

     

It's no secret that people really want to know what is going on around them, and nowhere is that more true than when it comes to where they work.

Fotolia_90557769_S.jpgThe typical employee — and this is especially true for Millennials — works better and stays around longer when they feel that they are an intregal part of the organization. And, frequent and regular updates and information on what is happening in the workplace is a critical part of that.

Bambu by Sprout Social is "a company that says it helps entire organizations­ — whether it is a small business, international agency or enterprise corporation —e xtract real business value out of social media through effective engagement, publishing and analytics." So, it's not surprising that they published a research report recently titled The Deep Disconnect: Companies Missing an Opportunity to Boots Recruitment Through Engagement.  

Here's the headline finding from the research: "Nearly 3 in 4 employees want their company to keep them updated about what’s happening with the brand." This isn't surprising given the importance companies place on their brand — particularly their employment brand. 

Good things happen when companies communicate

And, the report goes on to point out that when employees feel the company regularly communicates company news and updates:

  • 42 percent say they are more successful at their job;
  • 36 percent feel they are more committed to the company as a whole; and,
  • 18 percent believe they are more apt to tell their friends about all that is going on in their company.

Frankly, communicating to your workers isn't all that difficult and should be a fairly low bar for most companies to reach, however the bigger issue is one that a lot of organizations struggle with: How much do you want your people telling the outside world?

The research makes it clear that this is something a great many companies have to deal with:

Unfortunately, many companies struggle to bridge the gap between internal communications and broader, more external outreach. In fact, 77.3 percent of people say they don’t feel encouraged to share company news on social media.

Even worse, 32.6 percent of people don’t use social media in a business setting at all because they don’t want to mix their professional and personal lives even though such efforts are important for personal branding.

To address this, companies need to get better at educating their employees on the benefits of a well-rounded and diversified social presence. Employers are also missing out on an important opportunity to increase their brand’s reach in order to attract more qualified candidates. By providing employees with basic social media training and guidelines, your company will be better positioned to build relationships in a more authentic way."

Are your workers sharing news on social media?

What this all leads to, of course, is a big problem for many organization because if the overwhelming majority of employees don't feel encouraged to share company news on social media, they're also not feeling encouraged to use social media to spread the good news about the organization and help to bring new recruits into the fold. 

As the report notes:

  • Currently, only 9.4 percent of people use social media to recruit for their company, even though employees are the key to driving more qualified referrals.
  • In fact, 44.5 percent of people say they are more likely to apply for a job if they saw their friend post about the position on social rather than through other means.
  • What’s more, when looking for a job, people say that family and friends are their No. 1 most trusted source, followed by employees of the company itself. This underscores the importance of word of mouth marketing in the recruitment process.

 So, what's the bottom line here? As an email from Bambu by Sprout Social touting the survey put it:

The old-school model of treating employees like cogs in the wheel and blocking social sites in the office doesn’t work anymore. To attract and retain top talent, companies will have to evolve their culture out of the Mad Men era. It’s time to close the information gap and encourage employees to share company news with their social networks."

Get on board, or face the consequences

My take: Smart companies already know all of this, but there are a lot of not-so-smart companies out there. Organizations that are still blocking social sites in the office, or making it hard for (and sometimes flat out discouraging) employees from sharing company news on social media, are going to find it harder and harder to compete for talent in a world where the more enlightened understand that your workforce can really help build your company and employment brand. 

This survey was conducted by Bambu by Sprout Social, an employee advocacy platform for businesses, and Survata, an independent research firm in San Francisco. Survata interviewed 1,000 online respondents between March 24-28, 2016. Respondents were reached across the Survata publisher network, where they take a survey to unlock premium content, like articles and ebooks. Respondents received no cash compensation for their participation.
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About The Author

John Hollon is Checkster's Vice President for Content. He is an award-winning journalist and nationally-recognized expert on leadership, talent management and smart workforce practices who previously was Vice President of Editorial and the founding editor of TLNT.com. Before that, John was Editor of Workforce Management magazine, the longest published HR and talent management publication in the U.S.