It’s that time of year again; offices are quiet, employees are taking time off to relax and recharge their batteries – a well-earned and much needed break. But exhaustion and withdrawal can hit at any time, so what can companies do to sustain a sense of freshness, and drive engagement and motivation all year round?
The symptoms associated with burnout are not to be taken lightly. Indeed, it’s an issue companies now take a lot more seriously than they once did. But aside from dedicated welfare and support measures, are new tools and processes having an indirect impact on employees’ individual and collective wellbeing? In this post we will look at employee advocacy as a workplace practice which, beyond immediate business ROI, also delivers a genuine happiness factor.
1 – Boosting Company-Wide Communication and Awareness
One of the reasons employees may be stressed is because they lack the knowledge or awareness to do what is being asked of them. An employee advocacy platform minimizes the possibility of this, by centralizing everything going on at your company – all the latest social media content, blog posts and internal news – so that everyone is up to date with everything that’s going on. In this way, it allows employees to discover things they might otherwise have been unaware of – company information and insights that might otherwise have passed them by, and that can help them in their own work. An employee advocacy platform also puts individuals in a stronger position to do their job by aggregating relevant industry content (see point 3).
2 – Empowering Individuals to Make a Bigger Impact
Employees may also lack motivation because they feel their work isn’t noticed or appreciated. After all, every individual wants to have an impact. Employee advocacy makes it easy for them to do just that – by sharing insightful content (complemented by their own expertise) with their own social media connections, and playing their own part in the diffusion of key company messages. Sharing activity also empowers employees to develop their own thought leadership on social media, and as such to attract the attention of relevant industry contacts. What’s more, they can have a direct impact by submitting their own content for validation on the employee advocacy platform, which is then viewed and shared by others within the company.
3 – Focusing on the Bigger Picture
At work it’s important that employees don’t get stuck in their own bubble – or indeed that of the company. An employee advocacy platform can be used to draw in content from third-party sources that relates to relevant topics, making it easy for employees to follow key news, events and developments, and to expand their industry awareness. In many cases (particularly when it comes to social selling), having access to such a wide range of content also helps individuals to develop an image of expertise, work towards business objectives online, and engage with professional connections on social media.
4 – Saving Employees Time
For those individuals who rely on great content and information to do their job effectively – to engage audiences, interact with clients and attract new prospects or potential job candidates – an employee advocacy platform is a massive time saver. Social selling is the perfect example and in this video Xavier Monty, Head of Social Media at Sage, explains why. He says that with employee advocacy: “you have everything aggregated in one place, and in one click you can find content organized by topic, by areas of expertise. Then you can share it and amplify it for your business.” Another key advantage of employee advocacy in this regard is the fact that employees can share content at the click of a button, safe in the knowledge that it is approved by the company – not only do they save time, they also have peace of mind.
5 – Keeping Things Fun
Who says serious business can’t be good fun? An employee advocacy program is often tied to concrete objectives such as lead generation, increased website traffic and employee referrals. But it also injects a bit of fun and healthy competition into employees’ daily workflows. Individuals win points for their sharing and content creation activity, take part in weekly or monthly challenges, and compete against their colleagues for the top leaderboard spots. So employees engage in and reap the rewards of social business, while at the same time getting involved in a fun, enjoyable initiative.
Don’t get us wrong, burnout is a serious issue and employee advocacy is most certainly not the cure. However, what it does do is foster a collaborative culture in which employees are more informed about everything going on in the business, directly involved in the communication of brand messages, more productive in their own work, and far less susceptible to workplace blues.