What if your employees became ambassadors for your company? HR functions face many challenges in 2022: new organization of work, automation of HR processes, new employee expectations… Attracting new talent has also become a major concern. It is therefore essential to put in place strategies to improve your employer brand, retain and engage your employees…
If many HR blogs already exist to give you advice, we offer you in this complete guide answers to the following questions:
- Why should you make your employees your ambassadors?
- 3 examples of companies having undertaken this approach;
- How to choose your employee ambassadors?
- Ambassadors may not be what you imagine
- What is the role of the employee ambassador?
- 5 (good) reasons to pamper it
- How to choose an employee ambassador?
- What strategy should be adopted for an employee to become an ambassador?
Ambassadors may not be what you imagine
Contrary to popular belief, no, an ambassador is not necessarily one of your employees!
It’s done anyone who speaks positively about your business and recommends it. It can therefore be one of your customers, a supplier, a consumer of your products or services, an influencer or one of your collaborators.
Quite naturally, it is your employees who know your company, its history and its values best. They are therefore the best placed to talk about it. At a time when attracting new talent is becoming more and more difficult, this is an asset to pull out of your sleeve. Their speech will indeed influence your employer brand.
What is the role of the employee ambassador?
An employee ambassador represents, builds and defends the company’s image.
It promotes your products and services, even if it is not commercial, and spreads the employer branding message in a positive and natural way. This behavior is fostered by a strong corporate culture, strong commitment and a strong sense of belonging.
For example, when asked where he works, Louis doesn’t just mention his job title. He can talk long hours about the company he works for, with passion.
5 (good) reasons to pamper it
We call “Employee Advocacy” the marketing strategy whose goal is to transform employees into ambassadors of a company. It is a powerful lever to develop your employer brand since it allows you to have:
- A wider audience and better visibility. The information that the employee ambassador spreads can be done via word of mouth, but also via social networks. By spreading his message to his private sphere, he can reach a target that your company could not reach or more difficult.
The AccorHotels group mobilized the employees of its 3,700 hotels on social networks with its program “Social Desk”. As a result: the audience on its platforms has been multiplied by 6!
- A message that gains credibility. The speech of an employee is more authentic and credible than that coming directly from the company which can be perceived as a commercial speech. Confidence in the message will also be greater.
78% of consumers trust recommendations from peers and loved ones, while only 14% trust a tweet for advertising purposes.
- An enhanced brand image and a boost for your recruitments. A candidate who will have the choice between several positions will naturally favor the company for which the number of positive testimonials from employees is the most important.
45% of business leaders say they are affected by recruitment difficulties (Manpower study). And 83% of job seekers are likely to look at company reviews and ratings when deciding to apply. (Glassdoor study, 2018).
- Employees who feel valued and involved. It is a real guarantee of trust that is granted to an employee ambassador to be able to express themselves on behalf of the company. It is therefore also a source of motivation, commitment and involvement that will be reflected within the teams. By highlighting them, they become important players and see that they have a real impact around them.
Only 6% of French employees say they are engaged at work (study State of the Global Workplace by Gallup, 2017). To promote commitment, the assessment interview is a great opportunity. Learn more in this article.
- Turnkey training. Beyond the positive points that this represents for the company, it can also bring a lot to the employee ambassador himself. By positioning himself as an expert, a reference for the company, he will be able to work on his personal branding and expand his network.
An employee reaches an average of 1,140 people on social networks (study Why Employee Advocacy is Now Mainstream by Dynamic Signal, 2015).
Not all of your employees can be good ambassadors. Certain qualities are required to ensure the success of this strategy, both for you and for him. But the golden rule: don’t force it (we stick to it)!
It is preferable that the process of sharing such or such content be on his initiative, that the message remain authentic, that it reflect his personality and that it be spontaneous. We explain to you
- Be a good communicator. The ideal is to favor an employee who has a certain ease in expressing himself in writing and orally. And who is also comfortable conveying a message to others. Some people have a way of capturing and holding attention when they express themselves.
Every week, Faurecia employee ambassadors involve the brand community in their daily life on Instagram. They present their job, their missions, their work environment, to the four corners of the globe.
- Be motivated and enthusiastic. The employee must be convinced to be convincing (CQFD) and adhere to the values of your company. He must be able to show you off.
At Air France, employee ambassadors volunteer to answer questions from the community on a dedicated platform. A great way to highlight the different trades and create a privileged relationship of proximity with their audience.
- Master the codes of social networks. The employee must be able to create and maintain a community. But also use the right formats, the codes of the platform on which he communicates… If you have a Community Manager, he can offer him a short training to give him advice.
Dell has set up an “academy” which provides courses to all its employees who want to learn how to use digital tools. A skills diploma is awarded to them at the end of the course. In terms of results: 58% of employee ambassadors communicate on behalf of the brand at least once a week.
Do you already have internal ambassadors? You can take a look on LinkedIn to identify them.
What strategy should be adopted for an employee to become an ambassador?
The culture of the company and its values are of course elements that have an important place in this process. But what also matters is to create a real bond with your employees.
- Happiness at work. An employee who wants to talk positively about his company is first of all… a happy employee! Quality of life at work (also called QVT or more recently QVCT) is therefore a subject that needs to be addressed. You can implement actions to improve their well-being: adapt workspaces, promote hybrid work to improve the balance between professional life and personal life, etc.
- A spirit of cohesion and group. We don’t hear it enough, but it’s all about reciprocity. If you want an employee to speak positively about your company, you must ensure that the working atmosphere is good and that he feels well integrated. The type of management adopted will also be a condition for creating cohesion, encouraging listening and communication between the teams.
- Meaning and implication. In this continuity, show him that it is essential to the proper functioning of the company to develop his involvement. For example, you can offer him to take part in the recruitment process to retain him, give him responsibilities…
Now that you have the keys in hand to implement this strategy in your company, you will be able to implement your Employee Advocacy program. It will allow you to frame your practices and deploy them on a larger scale. It’s a roadmap that will guide you and your employees. There is no framework to follow imperatively and you are free to build your own.
*Fichier Entreprise is the magazine dedicated to HR and edited by experts in the field.