Employee Engagement is creating the right conditions for all member of the organisation to make them give the best to the company, motivate them towards organisational goals, values, and success.
During an Interview with Inc.com, Eric Schurenberg, CEO of Mansueto Ventures, asked Richard Branson, “Why Employees come First for Virgin Group and how it results in better customer service?”
Richard simply answered “If the person who works at your company is 100% proud of the job they’re doing, if you give them the tools to do a good job, they’re proud of the brand, if they were looked after, if they’re treated well, then they’re gonna be smiling, they’re gonna be happy and therefore the customer will have a nice experience.”
As per Richard, employee engagement should be the first priority for every employer.
Employees engagement and customer experience are internally linked with each other. The link is almost invisible but a simple logic always applies that a happy employee is more willing to offer satisfactory customer service which leads to better user experience.
As per the study of Loyalty 360, average companies saw an 18% increase in customer retention rates with high-profit margins where employees were highly engaged.
Another study from Edelman Trust Barometer 2016 says that consumers trust on what an employee has to say instead of trusting on marketing material.
That’s not it.
Employee engagement has far more benefits directly affecting the marketing efforts of the company.
Dangers of disengaged employees
Most companies want to build a culture that leads to an increase in profit margins, but only a few manage to reach that level.
A benchmark study from Gallup reported only 34% of U.S. employees are engaged and committed to their work.
Generally, companies focus on external marketing which brings them clients while neglecting internal marketing which includes spending time with employees, understanding their needs, and training them to participate actively in marketing efforts.
One without the other is less effective. Let’s say with external marketing, you manage to generate leads but to keep the flow going, you have to take care of the internal culture of your organisation.
An imbalance between external and internal marketing make employees quit the job. The organisation fails to maintain long-term relationships with employees which in turn affects the relationships with customers.
It’s up to you whether you want to flourish with employees’ engagement or compromise customers’ experience due to disengaged employees.
Are you ready to set the culture that brings positive change to your marketing efforts?
Let’s set the ball rolling.
How to spread marketing magic through employee engagement
Max Piet, the founder of TooJay’s Deli-restaurant, shared a moment when a newly hired employee suggested creating a rolled, ingredient-incorporating sandwich, from his previous experience.
This little suggestion from an employee turned into a Deli’s most popular signature sandwiches. From that light-bulb moment, Max Pie swore to engage employees at every level of marketing as they know customers better than anyone else.
Easier said than done.
It was next to impossible to make employees participate in marketing activities considering they are too busy with their own work. How would they find time to engage with customers online and participate in marketing activities?
“Happy Employees equal to Happy Customers”
Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group
5 principles to encourage employees for marketing purposes
Connect passion with brand
Before you ask them to put efforts in marketing, ask them first: are they happy with their job? Many employees work for the sake of the job. Passionate or not. They just concern about salary. First of all, you have to remove this barrier.
Ask each employee, whether they are passionate about the job. If yes, you are good to go. If not, ask them will they like to do another job in your company. Maybe, they are interested in doing something else. Grant their wish. Once they are set for their dream job, it’s your turn to ask for a favour in exchange, without pushing it.
Add value and fun to marketing
Announce a competition relevant to your brand with undeniable rewards. The competition must be as easy as a piece of cake so that employees won’t hesitate to give it a try. Max Piet announced a recipe contest on social media where employees have to share their favourite recipe – brand relevant and as easy as having a sip of tea.
As a result, the contest went viral on social media capturing eyes of many towards the brand, its employees, and their recipes. The brand not only extracted various recipe ideas from employees, but it also gathered tons of likes and comments from social media users. Employees’ engagement with a flavour of fun was added benefit.
Celebrate little victories on social media
You must be rewarding employees for their achievements. What about adding more audience to increase their praises?
Go social. Share your employees’ achievement on social media. Praise them with detail on how they achieved it and how dedicated they are towards the work. Looking at your social efforts, employees will join in. They will share your posts with their friends and family on social.
See no need to push at all. But that’s professional sharing.
What about personal life?
Employees do have a personal life but they love to share chunks of it online. Their birthdays, anniversaries, trips, etc., all are hanging on social media. To let them know you care for them, share their memories and wish them luck.
You will get a double benefit from this tip: one from employees as they see their value and another from customers in the form of empathy. Your brand will get attention from sources you didn’t even expect in the first place.
Encourage employees to share curated content
On average, users spend 136 minutes per day on social media. Your employees are one of them.
That doesn’t mean you should block smartphone usage. On the contrary, see the obstacle as an opportunity. During those 136 minutes, your employees are fascinated by loads of ideas shared online.
All you have to do is request them to share relevant, third-party, content on your social page and other sites where your brand needs fresh, updated content. Make sure not to share competitors’ content.
You can even put rewards on the table for those who contribute to sharing curated content. It keeps your brand pages fresh and welcoming for new ideas.
Cultivate internal communication
Communication between employees is a centre of growth for both employees as well as employers. When employees get together, they bombard each other with tons of thoughts. It may include gossip as well. But hey, ideas are invented from their onwards.
In fact, you must set a tea time break to give get-together opportunity to employees. Evening time is a time to get refreshed. Nothing is more refreshing than communication. It empties their mind from the whole day’s chaos, making a new place for new ideas.
Next, you have to set an online portal made for employee communication only. Free them to share whatever they like to be implemented in the firm. It can be a new strategy, their opinion, complaints, consumers’ request for product or service upgrade, a new article they liked, any brand’s culture they admire, etc.
You can use Trello to keep online communication centred. This is the place where you get more and more strategies to implement from employees. Just make sure not to scold employees for sharing stupid ideas as they are growing from there. Sometimes, you surely find those light-bulb moments that may result in a big change to your company.
By engaging employees at each step of marketing, you are making them see a bigger picture of your brand. They feel more valued and connected to the brand’s purpose. They feel responsible at each step, for each customer.
If you get success in taking care of employees, your customers will be taken care of well. Plus, new ideas and new leads will keep flowing to the tunnel.
About the Author
Maulik Patel is Founder & Director of Click Matix. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing flows through in the expert industry coverage he provides. He is an expert in web marketing, search engine optimisation, social media, affiliate marketing, B2B marketing, online advertising on Google, Yahoo and MSN.