If you’re reading this post, it’s likely that your business is struggling to keep employees, or with declining morale, or that you’re just really looking to implement a positive change in your corporate culture. There are plenty of buzzwords being thrown about lately including employee empowerment. But what does that even mean? And how do I make it happen? Stay tuned, and we’ll get you the answers, and put you on the path to increasing employee engagement, and your media reach.
Motivation and Engagement
Having motivated employees that are energetic and enthused about your company and your brand is central to succeeding in today’s economy. A new generation of employees that is looking for a different kind of reward than just a paycheck. Today’s workers want their jobs to be an integral part of their lives, something that is a part of who they are, not just something that they do. Employees that feel this is missing are pretty quick to jump ship for more fulfilling opportunities elsewhere. Now, more than ever, it’s important to keep morale high and employees feeling invested in the company. One great way to do achieve this is through employee empowerment.
Empowering Your Employees
In a nutshell, this is making your employees feel like they make a significant and lasting impact on the company, and having them dedicated to improving the company, its reputation, and its interests. The basis of employee empowerment is a relationship of trust; trust that you are looking out for them, and trust that they are looking out for the company as well. Creating a symbiotic relationship of mutual support is important, but so is showing your employees that you trust that they have the best interest of the company at heart as well. You can do this by giving them opportunities for leadership, respecting and valuing their insights and suggestions, and by trusting them to represent your company in a positive way when they are in the public eye.
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Using Social Media
This generation of workers is also connected in a way that we’ve never before seen. For the last several years, companies have had a pretty steadfast ban on using social media at work, but now there’s a new reason not to block these websites; they help to promote the brand. As employees are in the habit of posting nearly everything that happens to them online, you can bet that work comes up now and then. When you not only allow, but encourage employees to use social media to help promote the company, you’ve instantly accomplished 2 things; you’ve just told your employees that you trust them implicitly to only speak highly of your brand, and you’ve just increased the number of people that your message reaches exponentially.
Increase Employee Loyalty
By letting your employees know that you not only trust them to be positive about the company, but that you want their help in promoting your brand, you’ve empowered them. You’ve given them a sense that they are important, that they are valued, and that the company is dependent on them to help get the message out. You can bet they’re going to feel good about their place in the organization, and they’ll be more than happy to tell their friends and family how great it is to work for such a fantastic company! Employees are significantly more likely to remain with a company that they have promoted and that they feel invested in, and are more motivated and enthusiastic about coming to work each day.
It Can Also Grow your Business
The simple idea here is that the more people see and hear your message, the more your organization will expand its impact. By empowering employees to share your company’s posts, and even their own positive thoughts about a great day, or about working with a great team, the stronger your employer brand will be. If all of your employees are doing this, your exposure increases even more dramatically. People that had never noticed your company before might see your logo in passing and suddenly associate it with the friend who posted how great a company it is to work for. This is just one example of the kind of positive impact that empowering your employees to use social media can have on your bottom line.
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David, many of your points resonated with me. It is so true, having motivated employees that are energetic and enthused about your company and your brand is central to succeeding in today’s economy. I strongly agree that social media is a strong proponent of company culture. Currently, I am working on a marketing team where we try to heighten the experience of our true company culture directly through social platforms such as Instagram. We have weekly highlights of happenings in the office, MVP awards were given out the trailblazer of the week and a smattering of adorable office dogs. As one of the main photographers for the company I constantly hear back from employees how much they appreciate the authenticity of that specific outlet.
To your point that workers want their jobs to be an integral part of their lives, what better way to accomplish that by getting to know all of your co-workers. We accomplish this in a few ways. One thought social media, as you have touched on here. Another is through weekly company meetings where each department speaks on progress and gives appreciation shot-outs to individuals going above and beyond. We also have company gatherings and department outings. Lastly, we use an online training software called Lessonly to enable our teams in many ways, one fun way is through team lessons. Each employee creates a lesson on themselves to give the team a little insight into where they came from, their interests, and how they came to work here. I have found this to be a great tool to not only enabled but engage much like empowerment found through social media. We have also found social media to be a great tool to draw new talent during the hiring process. In a recent interview, we were asked if what was on our social media was the real culture of the company and it is always gratifying to get to answer “YES!” to that question.