Your company culture is key to growing the business and improving employee engagement. But it’s also important for creating long-term brand champions.
In today’s changing landscape, jobs are becoming less and less of a 9-5 construct; today’s workforce wants to find a job that’s not just a paycheck, but a passion.
That’s great news for you as an employer. These types of employees should be inherently great candidates for employee advocacy or becoming your “brand champions” on social media.
However, you can’t just expect that every employee will begin tweeting and posting things about your company as soon as they’re hired (although you can onboard them in the process and provide training).
But your company must create a work environment that inspires this type of activity in a positive way.
Below we’ll dive into company culture and how to build a connect team of brand champions.
What is Company Culture?
Every company has some kind of culture, whether it was carefully crafted or just happenstance. The company culture typically is determined by branding, founder values, employee morale, company communication, workplace norms, and staff benefits, among other things.
But one thing is for your sure, your company needs to work on company culture.
How do You Measure Company Culture?
Measuring the culture is important for noting the successes and adjusting the holes in your workplace culture formula.
This can be difficult to pinpoint, but getting a clear understanding of current culture is important for moving forward.
A good idea is to focus on is employee satisfaction in the workplace. To measure your culture you’ll have to look at things like:
How is our hiring and onboarding process? Is leadership open to ideas and collaborating? How are employees working together? What are the attitudes of your team?
Identify Your Company Culture
A company’s culture can be hard to identify, especially if your company has never really focused on it previously.
It is made up of a lot of different parts, including the company’s values and objectives. And it’s influenced by how you and your employees interact, which affects the overall feel of your office environment.
You should consider the kind of culture you want your company to have and the culture you have now.
Is your company highly professional and formal? Do you want to encourage creativity? Should your company rely on structure and routine, or is it more flexible? What do your customers expect you to be? Do you want to meet those expectations or challenge them?
The right company culture can foster better relationships with customers and help you reach out to new potential buyers. Plus, it can help you stay ahead of the competition.
It’s also the time to find your mission statement and reason for being. But you want to avoid generic “Power Words” and present a clear reason for your company’s existence.
Not only does your company have to have a clear purpose, but your employees have to truly believe in it too.
And your workforce needs to know that what they do matters towards the success of the company.
Building Brand Champions with Company Culture
Once you have identified how your company culture will be and should be, it’s time to figure out how to ensure its adopted and successful.
It is especially important If you want a team of brand champions, because to have employees champion the brand, it has to start with your company culture.
Below are some company culture tips as to how to get your workforce more engaged with their work and the organization.
“We’ve found that the employees who experience high levels of satisfaction work smarter, harder and take greater pride in a job well done. They’re the ultimate brand advocates.” – Kathleen Reidenbach, Chief Commercial Officer Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants (Source)
Hire The Right People Who Fit Your Company Culture
Once you understand what makes your company culture great, you can focus on hiring employees that will fit that culture.
Find people who value your culture, mission, and ideas.
Even those people who may have the right skillset, aren’t necessarily the best cultural fit. There can be some trial and error here, but it can always be improved.
And just as scary, one bad hire can cause a whole department to crumble or cause employees to feel frustrated. This negatively impacts your culture and can spread throughout the company.
But an employee who’s motivated and is able to stay informed about their own professional passions will believe in what the company is doing.
Engaging with social media on the company’s behalf can often make employees feel even more engaged with the company itself, so it’s a win-win. And should not only feel comfortable sharing this information on social media—he or she will want to.
Encourage Professional Development
A company culture that provides opportunities for employees to develop and grow, leads to stronger brand advocacy.
You might be afraid to lose good employees by fostering their growth, but by neglecting or limiting their professional development, you push them away much faster.
The motivation to be a brand champion will also align with employees professional goals. For example, salespeople may work to benefit the company, but also to gain the personal advantage of engaging in social selling.
If they know they’ll be contacting prospects through social media and trying to start a sales conversation, they’ll be more likely to post company content to draw those prospects in.
The same goes for marketing professionals—they know that a large part of their job is tied up in the company’s brand image, so they should want to do everything they can to protect and build that image.
Yet in both examples, you should get them involved in contributing to content writing, adding feedback, and their ideas. Employees learn and grow from these opportunities, plus are more engaged.
Employees of socially engaged companies are more likely to stay at their company, feel optimistic about their company’s future and believe their company is more competitive. (Prophet)
Foster Knowledge Sharing
Information and knowledge sharing are key components to building a workforce that feels connected. Employees should and want to be kept in the loop about company initiatives, industry news, content, and other resources.
- 85% of employees said they’re most motivated when management offers regular updates on company news. (Trade Press Services)
Company culture grows when everyone has access to information, whether about the company or to help them learn something new.
It’s why companies are rolling out employee advocacy programs and enterprise-wide too. As these programs act as the central hub for all things content, communications, and allow employees to share to their networks.
It gets employees involved in conversations, allowing for feedback, participation, and incentivizing as well.
Executives and company leaders are not the only ones with something good to share or teach.
When companies use social media internally, messages become content; a searchable record of knowledge can reduce, by as much as 35%, the time employees spend searching for company information. (McKinsey)
At the end of the day, employees functioning as brand champions on social media should be mutually beneficial for both companies and their employees.
Employees get a chance to get their name out there and prove themselves as loyal and worthwhile additions to the company, while companies receive increased brand recognition and the ability to evaluate who truly believes in the company mission.
And that, I’m sure, sounds good to you and your company.
But without company culture and putting some practices in place, long-term brand champions may be harder to find.