10 Tips for Employee Advocacy that Work Every Time
As an entrepreneur, you want to develop a team that is loyal to you and is ready to do whatever it takes to help you succeed. The best way to do this is to create an environment where people feel comfortable telling you what they think you should hear. That’s how you can build a team that works together.
It’s a culture where people can speak up and offer suggestions. You can do this by creating an atmosphere where everyone feels welcome to say what they think. You can even invite a few people to lunch to get them comfortable talking about their feelings.
Employees are usually your greatest asset. They are treasured in your business. They are the ones who take care of your customers. They are the ones who drive your sales. They are the ones who make your business grow.
But when you manage your employees well, you should be able to get more out of them. Don’t be too demanding with them. Treat them well. They will be glad to serve you and your company.
Employee advocacy means being concerned with your employees’ interests. When they are happy and feeling well-off, you feel happy and contented. It’s essential to make your employees feel comfortable at work. This will help them to work better and produce quality products or services. Employees don’t like to work hard unless they are treated well. They should come to work on time, be ready to work, and smile.
We have identified 10 strategies and tactics to improve employee advocacy.
1 – Start Small: Set Up a Peer Mentor System
If you haven’t heard the term, “peer mentorship” refers to the practice of having employees mentor each other. Employee peer mentors help their colleagues improve their skills and build confidence as they navigate unfamiliar territory.
One of the most potent benefits of peer mentoring is that it allows employees to practice being positive role models for others while building their skills and career.
The peer mentor experience also benefits the peer by increasing their self-confidence and providing them with the opportunity to share their knowledge.
Many companies set up a mentoring program for new hires. For instance, at P&G, new employees are assigned to a peer mentor who’s already been through the training and onboarding process. The new hire benefits from having someone who’s already been through it all.
Mentors can act as a sounding board, coach, and guide for the new employee. This makes a huge difference in the long run. But if the company doesn’t have the resources to support mentors for every new hire, you can set up a peer mentor system instead.
2 – Focus on the Issue: Empower Employees to Solve Problems
Instead of having employees follow orders and do what you want them to do, empower them to solve problems. It would be best to give employees the autonomy to figure out the best solution and apply it. If you’re a CIO or CEO, this can be challenging, but it’s something you must learn to do if you want your organisation to grow and succeed.
There are many different ways to empower employee advocacy. For example, you can allow employees to choose which projects they work on. You can also ask them to help you determine what to buy and how to use the resources you have.
Empowerment can come in many forms – it doesn’t have to be a big thing. A small amount of empowerment can make a massive difference in how your employees approach their jobs. Encourage open communication.
When working with employees, you want them to feel like they can tell you everything they think. Open communication helps you know what is going on in your organisation and allows you to improve.
Don’t get me wrong – you need to understand the problem before you can empower employee advocacy. But don’t let this stop you from communicating your vision.
A good sales manager communicates a clear, actionable vision that employees can embrace. They take this vision and empower it with data.
When people come up with ideas for products or services that aren’t necessarily yours, there’s always a chance that they’ll give those ideas to someone else who will execute and build the business. And that’s the problem with employee advocacy.
When an employee tells a potential customer about a new idea, it could potentially lead to the creation of something better than what you’re selling. So how do you avoid that scenario? With employee advocacy, share data and information to keep the big picture in mind.
A survey by Harvard Business School professor Michael I. Norton found that a whopping 75 per cent of employees believe that their organisation doesn’t share enough information.
When it comes to sharing data and information with employees, it’s easy to believe this is internal. But if you don’t do it right, you’ll lose out on opportunities for engagement and better employee advocacy.
Instead, focus on providing all the necessary information for your employees to succeed. If they need additional training or guidance on how to perform their job effectively, provide it.
4 – Be Honest: Don’t Be Afraid to Say “I Don’t Know.”
This advice can also help in any relationship, whether a family member, friend or colleague. If someone asks you something that you don’t understand or can’t answer, it may signify that you’re not comfortable saying, “I don’t know.”
Employees want to work for a company that respects them. They don’t want to feel like they have to explain everything to their bosses and coworkers or that they can’t express honest opinions or ideas without being accused of being negative.
Being honest, especially during the hiring process, is one of the most powerful ways to gain loyalty from your employees.
One of the most common excuses employees use in the workplace is that they don’t have the authority to decide or do something. It’s a good thing that there is no authority in a democracy, or else the majority would always get its way.
However, the reality is that every person working within an organisation can do something that could help or hurt the company’s cause. However, the biggest obstacle to employee advocacy is not knowing how to make those choices.
So, before a manager suggests a course of action, they should ask themselves, “Do I know enough about this issue to say yes or no?”
5 – Make the Process Visible: Create an Aligned Culture
We all know the power of advocacy. People who are empowered to speak up, raise issues and influence their teams positively impact the bottom line and often become the driving force behind their company’s success.
An empowered, engaged team can increase productivity, higher retention, and a greater likelihood of repeat customers. It is essential that employees feel safe enough to speak their minds when they have concerns or issues that need to be addressed.
This is an excellent way to create a great work environment. As soon as people find out that they can share their opinions and concerns about the organisation, they will be much more likely to come up with ways to help others, whether in their department or elsewhere.
The more comfortable the sales team gets with this type of culture, the more likely it will be to see that the company’s customers have the same issues. This can help the salespeople understand the customer’s problems and needs and develop a plan to resolve those issues.
The better the salespeople will understand the customer’s problems, the better they will be at solving them. Salespeople are only as good as their customer relationships. So, they must try to figure out what the customer’s problems are and that they help the customer overcome those problems. This is an excellent strategy for helping to get rid of the competition, and it will increase the productivity of the salespeople.
6 – Keep It Simple: Use a Simple Framework for Implementation
There are three basic types of employees: those who do what you want, those who don’t but could, and those who won’t do anything unless you force them. But most employees fall somewhere in between. They’re motivated by the carrot and the stick.
So instead of making employees feel like they must jump through hoops to support your business, use a simple framework that allows them to choose how they want to support you.
One of the biggest mistakes small businesses make is that they try to dictate how their employees should act. In many cases, that doesn’t work. Instead, it would help if you allowed employees to do what they want to do.
Some of the things you can do include:
- giving them more responsibility,
- allowing them to work flexible hours,
- giving them additional incentives,
- providing better benefits,
- and offering them more control over their own time.
Allowing employees to choose how they want to work is the only way they will be motivated to work for you. It doesn’t matter how much money you pay your employees. The only thing that matters is how much money they bring in. Don’t think about your employees as a fixed cost. Instead, think of them as a variable cost.
When you are a leader, you should help people reach their goals. People need to trust and respect you. One of the ways to earn the respect of people is to help them when they are struggling.
When you are helping others, don’t worry about what people think. Helping people is the right thing to do. You’ll feel good knowing that you are doing something to help them get what they want. You’ll also earn their trust if you are honest and fair when helping them.
Show them that you care about their situation and show that you are willing to help them with your available resources.
You can help them in different ways, such as by giving them advice, showing them how to solve problems, helping them to prepare for interviews, giving them tips on how to succeed at work, etc.
It would be best if you always were willing to help your fellow employees. You shouldn’t expect that they will help you.
Be open to learning and accepting constructive criticism, and always remember that there are no failures. It’s easy to make mistakes. It’s essential to learn from them so that you can improve yourself.
7 – Focus on the Details: Let Employees Participate in Action Plans
To help employees gain credibility with customers, focus on the details. By asking questions and listening carefully, you can help employees feel a sense of ownership in your business and their roles within it.
Ask them to define the company culture in their own words. Ask them to give you examples of what you’d consider a success. Make sure you’re not just trying to collect information — your employees are also experts in your industry.
As an employee, you may think it’s impossible to accomplish your organisation’s goals without a sales team, but that doesn’t mean your coworkers aren’t equally important.
Many studies show that a collaborative, engaged workforce is more productive than a disconnected, unproductive one. So it makes sense to involve employee advocacy in your strategy and goals.
8 – Have a Plan B: Build a Backup Plan in Case Things Go Wrong
We all have those days when everything goes wrong. It could be your first day working on a project, but it could also be when your boss calls in sick. Whatever the reason, sometimes things don’t work out as planned.
When things like these happen, it’s time to build an emergency plan. So if your company gets acquired, how do you respond to that? Do you start looking for another job? If your project goes over budget, who do you turn to?
An exciting thing about employee advocacy is that it can often backfire. Most employee advocacy programs fail because the employee advocates either: 1) they don’t know how to advocate effectively, or 2) they are forced to advocate against their own company.
By having a plan B, you can ensure your employees are effective while protecting your company’s best interests.
9 – Show Respect: Celebrate the Small Wins
This can be hard to do in any field but especially difficult when making changes. For example, consider the difference between an employee who wants to change the company’s culture versus an employee who wants to make things better.
Both want to change. But one advocates for a change within the company while the other advocates for changes to the product. Navigating a relationship with an advocate can be difficult if you don’t understand the distinction.
Celebrating the small wins in employee advocacy is easy to keep employees engaged and motivated. It can build excitement around a new campaign or initiative and show them you value their input.
You can celebrate all the significant contributions your employees make towards your company and its goals, but make sure you recognise those more minor victories that they are achieving daily.
10 – Be Specific: Communicate Exactly What You Want
Here’s a simple tip for HR managers: Start with the specifics when communicating company goals and vision.
Use numbers and figures to make a point, instead of vague statements like “We are always striving to be the best place to work.”
The details will help employees relate to the statement, and it will be easier for employees to get excited about a future that they can see and understand.
While many people advocate for change by using the word “we,” it’s essential to recognise that using “we” is a generic form of communication.
When you talk about yourself, you’re saying nothing more than, “I am.” When you use “we,” you imply, “You are.” And yet, when you want to advocate for a change in a workplace, it’s more powerful to say, “We’ll be able to accomplish X if you do Y,” than, “If you do Y, we’ll be able to accomplish X.”
Most of us would agree that we can’t really talk about specific examples or give concrete suggestions. So, how can we help employees understand what we expect them to do?
We can use the “What” approach. When you talk about “what,” you try to teach employees what you expect them to do. This doesn’t mean that you tell them how they should be doing things. You ask them to show you what they are doing right.
For example, you might ask them: “Are you using the correct forms of communication?” Then you can give specific examples of what they should be doing.
You will find that employees become engaged if they feel that you are trying to help them be more successful. It can also help you gain greater trust in your employees because you are trying to make them better.
Many companies find themselves with a wide variety of goals and objectives. Some are focused on revenue, others on customer satisfaction, and others on employee satisfaction.
The only way to know which goals are more important than others is to ask those impacted by the company’s decisions. This process can be complex at times. It’s important to understand that employees often have different perspectives on achieving those goals.
While you may want to hear every idea thrown at you, not all will be useful to achieving your company’s goals. It’s crucial to pick out what you think is helpful advice. Then, decide what you can do differently to make a better result.
Get your employees involved in advocating for your brand. There is nothing better than having your employees talking about your products.
You can get the best marketing for your company by getting your employees to talk about your products. They will tell the world about your company.
You can motivate your employees by letting them know that you value their opinion. You can also help them become more loyal to your company by letting them participate. After all, your employees are one of your greatest assets. So, motivate your employees to do their best to sell your product.
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