After the events of 2020, people began redefining their lives—what they wanted daily life to look like, including work. We began to demand more transparency, not only from the brands we shop, but from the companies we work for. The whole way we do business was flipped.
As a result, more companies are looking to create a company culture that offers transparency at every level. And the quest for transparency within a business doesn’t just inspire communications to the outside world, but it creates a culture that attracts and retains top talents too. Enter employee ambassadors!
Employee ambassadors feel connected to the company and talk positively about it. Before we explore what these employee ambassadors and advocates can do for you, and how to foster that kind of employee, let’s look at statistics that explain how valuable an employee ambassador can be:
- 98% of employees use at least one social media site for personal use, and 50% of these employees already post about their company.
- 76% of people say that they’re more likely to trust content shared by “normal” people than by brands.
- 87.2% of employees surveyed recognized employee advocacy contributed to expanding their professional network, and 76% believed that it helped them keep up with industry trends.
Trust and authenticity are becoming the two most important ingredients that consumers shop for when they decide on what companies to support. That’s why you need employee ambassadors for your business. Employee ambassadors hand-deliver that sense of trust to consumers, because these company advocates humanize your brand—people prefer to buy from and support other people, rather than faceless companies.
But first, you need to create a culture of caring, kindness, and empathy that employees genuinely want to talk about.
Creating a culture that employees brag about
Employees can be your greatest asset when it comes to how people see your company. Sure, we hear a lot about how companies fail when it comes to how they treat employees, but there are a great many companies that are redefining what it means to work for a company.
Wegmans has been synonymous with caring for a while, which is why it’s a company people love to work for. And that care extends to their employees. “Learning and growing at Wegmans means that you’re given the opportunity to improve every day,” said Wegman’s president Colleen Wegman. “No matter what part of the company you work in, it is important to us that everyone is engaged in our business, supports what we do, and continues to learn and grow.” Additionally, a whopping 97% of employees are proud to work there.
Then there’s Salesforce, the nation’s #1 customer resource management solution. Their accolades are many and growing:
- Forbes listed it among Most Innovative Companies (8 years consecutively)
- Fortune placed it among Best Companies to Work (8 years consecutively)
- LinkedIn gives them high marks in Where the World Wants to Work Now
- Glassdoor named Salesforce among their Best Places to Work.
Sophie Hamersley, Manager of Internal Communications at HubSpot, says that communication is critical.
“Company culture is incredibly important on the internal com side of things,” she said. “How you communicate to your employees is one piece of that. The other piece is how employees are communicating and collaborating with each other.”
Central to company culture is exceptional IC function, which these winning companies above have in common. Communication has the ability to make or break any system, and this includes businesses.
But how does all of this happen? How are communication and employee ambassadors linked? It’s not by chance. It’s built that way.
A purpose-built intranet creates cohesion
A good amount of an employee’s happiness on the job comes from access to a modern intranet.
With a clear focus on employee experience, today’s intranets are built for employees. They have to be. As it stands, intranets have historically been employees’ least-liked software, and this significantly impacts employee happiness, which, in turn, bleeds into every corner of your organization.
It’s also important to note that there’s a huge difference between purpose-built and custom-built.
Custom-built intranets rely on traditional models as a framework. This means they have personalized branding, but still rely on traditional metadata, manual hardcoding, and pre-defined filters to find things. And as they can take a year or longer to build, they’re typically behind technologically, particularly as advances come at an ever-faster pace.
Purpose-built, however, offers flexibility. Not only that, but its platforms also evolve and adapt, offering the latest in intranet technologies. They also provide prescriptive analytics, which drives engagement and prevents the failure that customized intranet experiences 90% of the time.
These analytics reveal what’s working and what’s not, so you can make timely adjustments and keep employees engaged.
Another challenge with traditional intranets is the proliferation of irrelevant information. It’s next to impossible to keep it up to date, and as a result, old data and outdated information can quickly clutter up the intranet and make it virtually useless. Newer, modern intranets are AI-driven, which means that you never have to worry about seeing out-of-date information—it auto-expires content when newer information appears, archives data after its outlived its usefulness, and reduces confusion and clutter automatically..
Modern, purpose-built custom intranets personalize the employee experience to the point where it can send employees customized recommended reading, files, or alerts.. It all combines to foster a personal connection created by a company that clearly values their personal and professional growth.
And once you have satisfied employees, it’s time to transform these eager and appreciative beings into employee ambassadors.
Why your approach to intranets is more important than the features themselves
Spreading the word
A happy employee can be the best advertisement for new talent. But it’s not just new talent. Customers are watching your company too––both current and prospective ones. And this is true across every vertical.
When employees share approved company messages on social media, those messages get shared 24X more than when the business shares it. That’s powerful.
But how do you find employee ambassadors? Start by recognizing employee contributions to the success of the business. This inspires them to exceed expectations daily.
Inspire them to talk about your company on social media and in their real lives because they’re genuinely happy. Happy employees gush about your company at dinners out with their friends and colleagues, and on social media with their followers and the wider online world.
Encouraging your workers to become employee ambassadors requires focused attention, including:
- Know your company’s vision and engage your employees in it. For example, if your company’s vision is compassion, kindness, and inclusiveness—then create that environment. On the Simpplr Cohesion podcast Tyler Muse, CEO & Founder of Lingo Live said “Live the culture, live the mission, live the values.”
- Foster an environment of collaboration. Let your employees’ voices be heard, and not just heard but actively considered and implemented in various ways. Listen to employee feedback.
- Encourage your employees to grow their own brand—themselves. They are the product of your company, and they can easily brand themselves in a way that attracts possible talent. And you can help them do this by curating content that’s easy for them to share!
Of course, every company is different, so you’ll have to fine tune as you go. 85% of respondents surveyed agree that an improved employee experience and higher employee engagement translate to a better customer experience, higher customer satisfaction, and higher revenues for their organization. Those employee ambassadors can amplify your efforts or draw attention to your challenges. The choice is yours.
A happy workplace equals happy employees. And happy employees equal even happier employee ambassadors. And all of this creates more opportunities, better talent, and wider reach for your company. If you’re ready for this, reach out for a demo!