RCS Influencer and partner Heidi Ellsworth shares tips on how to engage employees so they will embrace the company mission and brand.
From an employee empowerment perspective, stealing time is really the realm of disengaged or unhappy employees. One of the areas that I speak about often from a marketing stance is building brand ambassadors. There is a strong opportunity here for companies to build not only their brand but their high-quality reputations. It is an opportunity to let employees promote the business they believe in. The passion for what they are doing will show as they work with their local and professional organizations. Employees are one of your best marketing tools but only if they are engaged and believe in the work they are doing.
I would like to share ways of engaging your employees as brand ambassadors. When they embrace this idea, they are not going to be as inclined to cheat the clock or goof off. Now it is their brand too and they want it to be the best. The peer pressure from other employees to be good brand ambassadors encourages a commitment to getting the most out of every day on the job.
How can you and your management team encourage your employees to become brand ambassadors
- It starts with asking for their opinion. Don’t just ask them to promote the business but ask for their feedback on what they believe are the company’s strongest assets and where there may be room for improvement. By including them in the process of improving the company they gain ownership for the overall enterprise, gaining pride and confidence.
- Create channels of communication. Be sure your employees know what is going on within the company. Take the time to educate and get them excited about new products, projects or services that make your company distinctive. Include them on company newsletter mailings or emails. Make it easy for them to share the excitement.
- Encourage social media interaction and advocacy. This is an area that is still hard for many companies. Is the employee engaged or just scrolling through Facebook? In this day and age, it is both. Employees live their lives at work and at home. They are liking posts, commenting on new information and making referrals. How powerful is it when they do it for their own place of work?
- Allow employees to help strengthen customer relationships. Every positive meeting is a great sales and marketing opportunity for the company. Whether it is accounting, jobsite production, sales or the front desk, employees should leave the customer smiling and happy. Employees need the time to introduce themselves and be a part of fixing or improving the process. It is ok to ask for referrals after a good experience, but it takes every employee being an amazing brand ambassador to create that perfect referral and sustainable business model.
- Financially and emotionally encourage involvement. Help employees be involved in professional and community associations. Having employees attend Chamber of Commerce events, sponsoring school sports or helping with community service projects gives them the time to advocate for their place of work while being involved. It shows that the company is committed to the community it works in and is willing to support their employees’ involvement.
- Make sharing easy. Help employees share this information with each other and your customers. Monthly lunch and learns that share how to be a brand ambassador, social media discussion groups and company newsletters are all ways to engage and educate employees. Encourage employees to follow the company on all social media. These exercises can make a huge difference in building morale, commitment and helping employees message the uniqueness of the company!
- Make sure every employee is enabled to be a brand ambassador. From the rooftop to the front desk, every employee should be able to talk about the mission and differentiating qualities of the company. Why is this the best roofing and exterior contracting company? What do we offer that is different? How can our employees help create raving fans or amazing customer brand ambassadors?
By taking these steps, asking questions and taking the time to train employees on the company’s brand, marketing materials and messaging it will reap great rewards including a commitment to make the most of every minute. Make your employees a part of the mission and brand of your company. Share how important employee engagement is and it will not only help the company but will help your employees own personal performance and future financial success.
Heidi Ellsworth is owner of HJE Consulting Group and a partner in RoofersCoffeeShop.com. See her full bio here.