Power to the People: Getting Your Employees to Be Your Biggest Advocates

Power to the People: Getting Your Employees to Be Your Biggest Advocates

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Round-up article. Authors:

Employees are the human filter through which a company’s values and behaviours are shown to the world. Employee stories are the key to creating trust in your brand, and the belief that being a part of it will be a positive and enriching experience. Your talent, whether past, present or future, are the most impactful advocates you have. 

Below, eight EB leaders highlight their approach to empowering their most resonant voices: their people. 

Laura Boyd

I’m a big fan of what we have implemented working with The Martec – writing articles from employees, helping people create videos on their phones, using LinkedIn, encouraging people to go on and engage with the content by sharing it internally. If employees don’t want to write their own articles, they can be encouraged to comment on other people’s. 

Take our recent efforts to share our 'work away from home’ benefit. At Mable, you can work anywhere in the world for a month, so we had a real-life employee who had benefited from this share their story. We encouraged other employees to engage with the post. It’s that genuine engagement that made it work – people could see this was a real story, not just expertly produced collateral by a professional branding team. Simply put, putting authentic employee stories out there works better than anything else. 

Madison Bailey

I always distinguish the authentic versus the inauthentic by using my ‘morning coffee run’ test. This test is simple: does the language in the content feel like it could be said in a real conversation between colleagues when they're grabbing a morning coffee together? 

For example, one of your EVP key pillars may be ‘an environment and team that values flexible working arrangements’. The coffee conversation won’t be a verbatim articulation of that, but rather something like "I have a doctor's appointment today, so I'm just going to duck out over lunch", or "I'm working from home tomorrow as my son is receiving an award at school in the morning.” 

Providing these examples ensures it feels like a real person wrote it. It depicts a genuine, relatable experience, rather than manufactured corporate lingo.

Jared Woods

Choosing a content type that matches the employee's style is critical. Only some people are confident or comfortable on camera, and an awkward video isn't likely to engage your audience. Having introverted contributors co-author articles and interviews works well and for the bigger, more extroverted personalities, podcasts, video and live webinars can be very effective. Ultimately, what it comes down to is that giving the employee a comfortable way to share their story makes it more accessible and natural, and that's the goal.

Matthew Gilbert

I’ve developed a ‘peer-to-peer’ content strategy, which is based on the premise that it’s how an employee would talk to a job seeker outside of work or a colleague in a safe space. Those conversations are golden and can't be anything other than authentic. An example is a video we just made for our bio-pharma client, where we have employees conduct interviews with other employees. We coached them lightly, but otherwise, two colleagues talked about what mattered to them and had a lot of fun doing it, which is part of the video itself.

Olajumoke Fatoki

I really like using the ‘day in the life’ format. We’ve done this as a series and it’s a visual and very compelling approach to sharing your workplace story with the world using employees. It’s simply about creating a short video telling the story of one employee per time and what their typical day looks like. We deliberately infuse elements of our workplace culture, EVP pillars, the work environment etc., but it’s all an authentic representation of what it’s like to be an employee here. 

Sarah Green

You can’t just tell employees to go ahead and share their stories – you have to give them options and PREPARE them. I have spent years trying to corral employees to give video testimonials, quotes, guest write a blog, you name it. Most employees want to help or are eager to help, but don't know how. So, whether it's video content of a blog post, take the extra 15 minutes to brief volunteers on what your goals are, where the content will live and how it will make a positive impact. 

Brie Mason 

People trust other people much more than they trust organisations. Put that fact to use by spotlighting employees in your employer branding efforts. On top of providing a human face to your corporate brand and adding authenticity and credibility to your company messages, you’ll have employees sharing what they love, in their own authentic voices, which they are amplifying to their networks. 

This employee amplification is a key benefit – you’ll get greater reach and breadth compared to your corporate channels. Employee networks tend to be far larger than the amount of followers your company has, and employee social posts generate a lot more engagement than company posts.

Rachel Starkman

I recommend using a mixture of tactics for employee advocacy. I favour video because, when executed correctly, it can be very effective and capture the sentiment that may not translate well in other formats. 

However, there are some people (like myself) who are camera-shy and still have amazing stories to tell. Enter employee blogs/interviews, LinkedIn posts, testimonials, employee surveys and review sites like Glassdoor and Comparably. The thing is, there is no shortage of story-telling channels – it’s just about finding the right tools and methods that work best for you and your employees.

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