There has been a lot of discussion about employee engagement lately or, more precisely, the lack of it. According to the latest statistics from Gallup.inc, less than one-third (32 %) of U.S. workers were engaged in their jobs in 2015. The same trend continues throughout the world. The study shows that worldwide, only 13% of employees working for an organization are engaged. Especially big companies seem to need the most improvement.
Distressing facts indeed - disengaged employees translate directly to low performance and productivity. But that's not all. The lack of engagement has its effects also on Employee Advocacy. It has been stated quite many times that employee advocates need to be at least somewhat engaged to be willing to advocate actively on behalf of the company.
A successful advocacy program benefits both parties
This takes us to the fact that a successful Employee Advocacy program needs to be built to benefit both the employee and the employer – in that particular order. If this aspect is forgotten, the Employee Advocacy program won't meet its targets and can fail eventually. The program may lose its edge when authenticity deteriorates. This clearly highlights the importance of employees’ role and their impact on the initiative’s success.
Disengagement is not an excuse
Often the lack of employee engagement is used as an excuse for not launching an Employee Advocacy program at all. “Our staff is not engaged enough to act as brand ambassadors. There’s no sense in establishing an Employee Advocacy program”.
Luckily it is not that simple. When a program is built based on the benefits employees gain, there is a great opportunity to succeed! The program that is established in a right manner, helps employees to build their own professional brand - a benefit that no employee can overlook any longer. At the same time, the company can enjoy the increased visibility provided to its content.
In fact, the Employee Advocacy program can even help companies keep their employees informed about projects and content that is produced elsewhere in the company. As the research suggests, well informed employees are also more engaged.
In the best case, you will get more engaged employees in addition to increased brand reach. Like said, employee engagement is a two-way street!