Open communication and discussion promoted by social media is pivotal to employee engagement. Employee engagement is often contained within the idea of internal branding using communicated values, mantras, and goals. However, organisations must extend their idea of how to use social media to promote employee engagement to encapsulate the value of external branding.
According to Glassdoor research, 69% of job seekers “are likely to apply for a job if the employer actively manages brand reputation”. Meaningful use of external social media by businesses increase employees’ emotional attachment to the organisation and often results in employees willing to go the extra mile for the values of the company that are reflected publicly.
- 86% of millennials (26-40) said they would take a pay cut to work to continue working at a company whose corporate culture aligns with their own values.
- As a result, consistent internal branding is now critical for HR teams looking to recruit new talent and retain current staff: If external brand value propositions describe a company that’s forward-thinking, environmentally conscious and values the individuality of its workforce, internal branding needs to match.
- Consumers attach more value to products made by companies that create high brand equity; leading to tangible benefits taking the form of increased retention, engagement and productivity.
- Retention— Work from Chulalongkorn University notes that establishing a consistent internal brand has a positive impact on brand identification among employees. This, in turn, helps improve overall staff retention rates. According to the Center for American Progress, retention also drives cost savings: On average, staff turnover costs companies 21 percent of the lost employee’s salary as they onboard, train and acclimate new workers.
- Engagement— Findings from the hospitality industry, meanwhile, suggests that internal branding both improves job satisfaction and staff loyalty, which in turn drives greater productivity: Engaged employees are 17 percent more productive, generate 20 percent higher sales and are absent 41 percent less than non-engaged staff.
- Corporate Identity— In a recent whitepaper, Internal Branding: A University’s Most Valuable Intangible Asset, author Rex Whisman notes that effective internal branding can help overcome resistance to corporate-scale branding efforts, in effect using an “inside-out” identity development strategy to align staff culture with long-term branding goals.
So how can your organisation use internal and external social media to enhance employee engagement?
1. Walk the walk
Employees are privy to the way that your espoused values are truly carried out within your organisation and, with any relationship, hypocrisy is never successful. Your organisation must ensure that the projection of the company on social media reflects the essence of the company in order for employees to feel engaged. Companies must walk the walk of their claims on social media to forge genuine employee engagement which is helped by a strong, authentic and connected social media platform which benefits the employees’ social capital. Therefore, external social media provides a unique chance to double down on customer and employee attachment if the company aligns its goals and values with its actions.
2. Invest in technology
Using workforce management apps for social networking allows organisations to facilitate open communication between teams whilst offering administrative benefits and therefore enhance employee engagement. An all-in-one technology solution makes using social media easy, professional and connective with the platform immediately accessible to all employees whether they’re on the first or hundredth shift. Social media connection between teams has been shown to reduce worker loneliness, increase morale and productivity and foster employee engagement.
3. Recognise and reward
Using internal social media platforms to recognise employees which builds positive feelings.
Use WFM apps to create peer-to-peer chats and forums where co-workers can praise each other and build team engagement.
An Alfresco research paper found that of over 750 business professionals, 83% felt that collaboration was dependent on technology. 37% of employees said “working with a great team” is their primary reason for staying. Queens’ University found that 75% of respondents found collaboration ‘very important’ yet 39% reported little collaboration in their offices.
Collaboration has the following benefits; improved productivity, employee retention & satisfaction, and achieving desired project outcomes.
4. Listen and review
When employees are engaged they interact more with companies via internal and external social media. If companies find their activity is not gelling with employees it’s likely they need to re-strategise. Likewise, social media policies need to fit with how employees are using social media.
5. Bring you values to life
Show your company values on social media in interesting ways Employees form attachments with brands that do something/make it interesting
When most people think of communicating with customers or prospects, they think of branding, advertising or marketing. This usually takes the form of thought-provoking or emotionally driven campaigns designed to create desire and move people to action. When most people think of communicating with employees, they think of memos or company newsletters telling people what is going on in the business.
- Show your brand doing (real) things which reinforce their value. Not only will employees be involved through internal marketing of the thing but also external, where they can gain social capital and feel reassured that the company they work for is ‘good’.
- Use internal social media platforms to gamify performance, encourage team-activities (weekly online meditation)
- Give them reason to feel a connection with your company besides their job.
6. Link internal and external/consistency
- Match the internal communications with external communications through involving the marketing team in internal comms rather than just HR.
- This helps to show consistency and conviction which helps employees engage
7. Use internal social networking to promote cross-functional collaboration
- An Alfresco research paper found that of over 750 business professionals, 83% felt that collaboration was dependent on technology. 37% of employees said “working with a great team” is their primary reason for staying. Queens’ University found that 75% of respondents found collaboration ‘very important’ yet 39% reported little collaboration in their offices.
- Collaboration has the following benefits; improved productivity, employee retention & satisfaction, and achieving desired project outcomes.
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