Adams & Knight Marketing Blog
POSTED BY: Reem Nouh

Turn disengaged workers into effective brand ambassadors


Research shows that 71 percent of U.S. employees are not engaged in their jobs.

For marketers trying to build equity for their brands, this is a huge problem.

According to Press Ganey, engaged employees are more likely to have “strong emotional, rational, and behavioral attachments to their job.” They are more likely to recommend the company as a place to work. And even more, they tend to go above and beyond their job expectations.

But if employees are not engaged, satisfaction, performance and customer experience all suffer. And with 89 percent of companies now reporting that they expect to compete primarily on the basis of the experience they provide customers, keeping them engaged is critical.

So how can you engage internal audiences to share your messages? Here are five steps you can take that will transform internal audiences into ambassadors for your brand.

1) Discover why your employees show up everyday. Find out what motivates your employees to come to work. Survey them at all levels throughout your organization to learn why they chose to work in your industry, at your company and do the type of work they do. Probe to learn what’s important to them . . . in meetings or focus groups . . . and, listen, really listen, to what they have to say.

2) Empower them with an emotional rallying cry. Scour feedback from employees to find a common message. Then create a clear rallying cry that reconnects with them on an emotional level about why they chose a career in your field. As you hone the message, bring together two ideas:  What can we say? What do they want to hear?

3) Make it human . . . with human resources. Historically, employee relations (and engagement) has been a human resources responsibility. But as we have seen more recently in the news, internal audiences are critical for embracing a brand and delivering on its promise. If employees are not engaged, marketing dollars go to waste . . . and hinder brand-building efforts. By partnering with human resources, you can access employee data and organizational insights and together you can incorporate into new employee processes.

4) Don’t think about tactics. Imagine a robust campaign. An effective campaign successfully articulates three things. It must express what is:
1) true to your organization
2) relevant to your staff, and
3) unique in the market.
The key is to craft a campaign that reflects the core message…and authentically connects everyone to your brand.

5) Spread the love. Make sure you surround your employees with the positive messages of your campaign. That means in person, online and at all touchpoints. Like at new hire meetings. On your website. On social media. Even in the cafeteria. Living and breathing the unifying message through digital, experiential and traditional tactics will build engagement and foster pride in your brand…and among co-workers themselves.

To see how all five steps came together in a recent campaign, watch this case study.

No matter what, don’t approach employee engagement as a one-and-done thing. It must be ongoing so that employees believe it, share it, and live the brand promise. Do this and you will start to build a ready and willing team of ambassadors for your organization.

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Reem Nouh
Chief Strategy Officer
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