Hello and welcome back to a full workweek! At my house, all the turkey is gone and the football games are over and the sleepy afternoon naps are over. The Black Friday protests aimed at retailers were largely a bust.
Time to get back to work though, so let’s take a look at a very important topic for employers working to build positive employee relations. Check out this fantastic post from the Hootsuite blog discussing why employee advocacy will be the trend employers want to keep an eye on in 2016.
Consider the imagery in the tweet below from Marc Andreessen and count the cell phones, if you can. More after the jump:
Pope Benedict inauguration 2005 vs Pope Francis inauguration 2013: pic.twitter.com/nAWQzciKNH
— Marc Andreessen (@pmarca) September 26, 2014
The first image shows the Catholic community mourning. If you look closer, you can see a man in the middle with a smartphone and a few screens glowing.
The second image shows the same place, eight years later. This time, the Catholic community came to witness the inauguration of Pope Francis.
While two very different events (mourning versus celebration), the difference is compelling.
As guest speaker Laura Ramos, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research Inc., explained on our recent webinar:
“You can see that there is a dramatic change in the way that people are experiencing this momentous occasion. Technology has become not only an important part of capturing but also of sharing the experience.”
Tapping into your social employees is something that you should examine as part of your employee relations strategy in 2016. Research cited in this article and many others clearly shows that in today’s social media world, people place more trust in the opinions of their peers than they do in many other sources. How often do you base your dining and travel choices upon peer reviews from websites like Yelp and TripAdvisor? Do your recruiters and employee relations staff read what is being said about your company on Glassdoor?
Customers want to hear from each other, and your employees about your brand. Candidates considering your organization as an employer want to hear from employees and other candidates about their experiences. Your employees want to hear from your leadership. Consider this, from the Hootsuite article
For example, a global study by Edelman found that employees are trusted more than CEOs, well-known personalities, elected officials, and celebrities.
The study found that 72 percent of the general public trust social media content shared by friends and family.
Many employers aren’t doing as much with this as they might, making employee advocacy well worth exploring as a strategy. If you are interested in learning more about how to get started with an employee advocacy program, I suggest you check out this terrific Hootsuite webinar, “Extend Your Reach with Employee Advocacy,” in which you’ll learn how to start including employees in your social media strategy, including:
This kind of social advocacy works great for customers, and for your employment brand, but how will it benefit my employees relations strategy, you may ask. To answer that, I’ll close with this comment from leadership expert Phil Wilson via LinkedIn – “The other key point here is that employees who advocate for their company are much less likely to join in on later efforts to trash their company (or sign a union card) – This is basic Cialdini.“