How to Turn Your Employees into Brand Ambassadors
By Michael Deane — Contributing Writer for Inland Empire Business Journal
If we told you that a happy employee makes for the best brand ambassador, would you buy it? Well, if you’ve been in business for a while and are familiar with all the lefts and rights of prosperous business-ing, you know we’re telling the truth. Actually, you don’t even have to have extensive experience as an entrepreneur; you just need to be someone who gets the bigger picture.
Although unhealthy competitive attitudes are still encouraged at the majority of workplaces around the globe, treating your employees right (read: as human beings rather than nothing but numbers that bring profit) goes a long way. The happier your employees are, the more productive they’ll be, which ultimately means a bigger profit for you and your establishment.
On top of that, the happier the employee, the bigger their enthusiasm is to spread the word on how exultant they are at their workplace. And, out of nowhere, you’ve got yourself an authentic brand ambassador. Voila! But, are things as easily achieved as it seems?
Yes and no.
Say you are in a relationship for a year; your partner treats you right, and you are happy to come home. Like in every relationship, there are ups and downs, but you’ve found a way to solve them. The majority of the time spent together is time spent with ease, support, love, and mutual understanding. When you talk about your partner, you get that warm fuzzy feeling inside, and your face lights up. Is this a relationship you want to continue being in? We should hope so!
Well, the same relationship math goes for a workplace. When your employees work in a climate that encourages group progress over individual KPAs and are given chances for personal growth within a supportive collective, you get employees who are appreciative of the company that invests in their development, health, and business growth.
With the right structure and support, your employees can be your most valuable marketing tool. It’s constant teamwork on both ends, but it’s worth it.
Here are 4 steps you can take to turn your employees into your brand ambassadors:
Communicate the vision
Every teamwork starts with an adequately communicated company vision. To make sure your employees understand your company goals along with the value you provide to your target customers, communicate that message clearly, and regularly.
The same message should be consistently reinforced by both managers and senior leadership, so the employees clearly understand where things are going and what’s expected of them. It’s essential that everyone in the company is coming from the same place when it comes to who you are as a company, what you do, and what your objectives are.
Let employees contribute
Creating an ideas-sharing environment is key to building an atmosphere of joint progress and support. Encourage your employees to contribute to the company’s goals by suggesting new ideas and approaches to project delivery. Also, make sure the employees understand that there’s no such thing as a stupid idea; instead, there are only ideas that work or not within the general company business plan.
You can also encourage your employees to share any relevant company content on social networks. Whether it’s blogs, photos from team buildings, notes from brainstorming sessions, or their thoughts on the general atmosphere at work, let them know that by helping promote the company, they too are building their own brand. Social media sharing is a powerful tool of any personal or company branding, but if you feel there is a specific language that shouldn’t be used, make sure they know that.
Provide clear guidelines
Transparency is the best way to give everyone the feeling of inclusion and bring company goals and ideas closer to the employees’ understanding. When your employees know where the company is going and what their collective targets are, they’ll be more ready to contribute with their ideas, engagement, and overall approach to work.
Furthermore, when asked about the company, they’ll know what to say, and, in doing so, contribute to building a clear and positive image of your company.
Organize team-building activities
While some might argue that team building activities are a capitalist way of making the exploitation of work more bearable by paying for a few beers or outdoor activities, team buildings are actually a wonderful way to get your team in one place and encourage bonding where bonding is due.
People get to enjoy themselves, connect over outside-of-work interests, and even build friendships… and then link all those joyous memories to the company they work in. Hence – positive company branding!
Employees who enjoy what they do are always eager to spread that excitement to others. By investing in your employees’ happiness, you are investing in your company’s branding without any additional cost to your marketing budget.
Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael’s work at Qeedle or follow him on twitter https://twitter.com/qeedle_