If your company is experiencing high employee turnover, you aren’t alone. It’s estimated that more than a third of the workforce is either casually or actively looking for a new opportunity. The main reason? They no longer feel engaged in their work. If you’re searching for new ways to activate and re-engage your employees, you need to think beyond simple salary raises (though we’re sure that might help). True re-engagement comes from taking a holistic approach to improving the morale and sentiment of your workforce, which makes an employee advocacy program an ideal method for re-engaging disengaged workers.
Keep reading to find out why.
Understanding The Disengaged Workforce
A new report from Gallup suggests that 85% of employees are disengaged in the workplace. Not only are disengaged employees less productive with their time (which means less revenue for your company), but they can also sour the water for your more engaged employees by spreading their negativity about their job.
This can lead to higher turnover, an increase in disengaged employees, and the deterioration of your company culture.
In other words, the longer your actively disengaged employees stay actively disengaged, the more damage they can do to your company and your team’s morale.
The reality is that only 15% of employees say they are engaged in the workplace.
What drives their engagement?
- 85% of employees say they feel more motivated when internal communications are effective.
- 37% of employees state that recognition is the most important motivator.
- 77% of employees state that clear career advancement and new challenges motivate them to stay engaged.
Investing in re-engaging employees may seem like a daunting task, but it’s worth it. Studies find that a more highly engaged workforce can increase profitability by over 21%! At the same time, employee disengagement costs the U.S. economy ~$500 billion annually.
Given a choice, it’s clear that the more you can re-engage your disengaged employees, the better your bottom-line profitability.
5 Ways Employee Advocacy Programs Can Improve Retention and Engagement to Re-Engage Disengaged Employees
Before we dive into the meat and potatoes of this post, let’s take a second to get on the same page about what we mean by employee advocacy program.
Essentially, in an employee advocacy program, you use a platform (like SocialToaster) to distribute branded content to your employees.
Employees join by linking their social media accounts (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) to the platform. They’ll then receive an update from SocialToaster whenever new content is added to the platform. From there, they can read the content, engage with it, and even share it on their own personal, linked networks.
Now let’s dive into how this functionality can help you re-engage with your disengaged employees.
Provide Transparency into Company News and Updates
Disengaged employees are like mushrooms. They grow when they are left in the dark.
Sure, we might have stolen this one from Ted Lasso, but that doesn’t make this statement any less accurate.
You can’t assume that just because your employees work for your company, it automatically means that they’ll seek out all of the news and updates that your brand puts out. Use your employee advocacy program to curate the specific company news bites, product launches, and other announcements that will excite and inspire your employees.
Remind them of the great work you’re doing as a team.
What Not To Do: Don’t use your employee advocacy program as a make-shift newswire to blast out press releases. Instead, turn your press releases into engaging pieces of content that your employees will read and want to share with their network.
Share Employee Updates and Success Stories
An employee advocacy program is an ideal platform for providing your key employees with public shout-outs.
- Was someone on your team instrumental in closing a big, new account?
- Is someone celebrating the birth of their first child?
- Did someone get promoted?
Not only can these public shout-outs mean the world to the specific employee/employees mentioned, but they can also help keep your broader team motivated. Engaged employees want to hear about the success stories and good news that is coming out of your organization. It helps to keep them motivated and encourages them to reach for their own public acknowledgment.
What Not To Do: Don’t share company updates and accolades without also naming the team members that were instrumental in securing the achievements. Doing so can make it seem like the company (or company leadership) is taking credit for the good work ,OR it could come across that the team’s efforts were inconsequential to the finished product. Both of these scenarios can cause employees to disengage.
Produce Interesting Content that Educates Employees
Incorporate educational pieces as part of your employee advocacy efforts. The more skilled your employees are, the more they can do to increase the profitability of your organization..
These posts can include best practices, tactical walkthroughs, or even informational videos. Sharing this type of content is a subtle way to communicate that you value and encourage your employees to expand and improve their skill sets.
What Not To Do: Don’t share content that isn’t relevant in some way to your organization. It goes a bit without saying, but you want the performance-enhancing tips you’re sharing to apply to the day-to-day operations of your employees.
Utilize Quizzes and Surveys
The more robust employee advocacy platforms should include additional features on top of standard content sharing. SocialToaster, for example, includes both quiz and survey functionality that provides brands with a richer opportunity to engage with employees in their advocacy program.
Use the quiz features to test (and reward) employees on their knowledge of company history, policy, or mission/vision.
The survey feature can be used to mine valuable insight from your team and take regular temperature checks.
What Not To Do: Don’t create surveys and quizzes that overtly fish for negative information. Instead, focus on creating upbeat quizzes or surveys that your employees can enjoy. Let them see what Hogwarts House they’d be in or take a survey on where they can find the best tacos in town. Then share the results in fun posts to your social media profiles.
If you want to reap the re-engagement benefits of employee advocacy, your disengaged employees need to be active in the program. One of the best ways to encourage participation is by providing incentives.
Incentives could come in cash, or other forms of monetary gifting (gift cards, etc.), but there’s no rule that says all of your incentives have to have a cash value. We’ve seen strong employee participation for incentives such as:
- Extra PTO Days
- Sponsored Employee Training
- Longer Lunches
- Public Awards and Accolades
- Tickets to Upcoming Events
Earn some program bonus points by using a survey to solicit your employees to have them determine the incentive that’ll most encourage their participation.
What Not To Do: Don’t make participation in the program mandatory if your employee advocacy goal is to re-engage disengaged employees. Lead with the carrot, not with the stick, to woo them back and let them experience re-engagement first-hand.
It’s Always an Option to Re-Engage Disengaged Employees
As we said above, disengagement doesn’t stem solely from salary levels. It’s a side effect of a more systematic issue: feeling undervalued and ignored by the company. An employee advocacy program can help your team shine a light on the organization and its fantastic team, and on the opportunities that exist to re-engage those employees and improve your company morale.
To learn more about SocialToaster’s award-winning employee advocacy platform, schedule a free demo or give us a call.