One way to create Workplace Happiness: offer family leave programs!

family-2611748_960_720Family leave, childcare, flexibility — these aren’t frills. They’re basic needs. They shouldn’t be bonuses – they should be the bottom line.” – President Barack Obama.

Today’s organizations are fighting the war for talents. To get the talent, you need to think how to attract them, how to keep them in your organizations and how to keep them happy and engaged. People value different things on the different stages in their life, so there isn’t one silver bullet that you could use to create workplace happiness.

Today’s workforce values different things starting from work and life balance, flexible work, social responsibility activities, etc. So, therefore, you need to ask what your people want. Paid family leave is definitely one of the things that our people need when the new baby is born to their family. There are a lot of families that have loans and mortgages to pay so they can’t afford to take a year off from work with no income what so ever.

There are quite many countries today that offer parental leaves. For instance, new parents in Sweden are entitled to 480 days of leave at 80% of their normal pay. After maternity leave ends for the parent in Estonia (which is 140 days), parents get an additional 435 days off to share, with compensation calculated at the average of their earnings. And Finnish fathers are granted eight weeks of paid leave, while both parents can split the 23 weeks of leave split between pregnancy and child-rearing.

But there are of course still quite many countries that don’t offer any (paid) family leaves or where mothers are allowed to have only a few weeks off from work before and after the new baby is born. And definitely, this is the time and place they could use some help and support from their employers.

Of course, it has some costs involved, so what should you know before putting this topic on your table?

Boston Consulting Group reviewed the policies of more than 250 companies and interviewed 25 HR leaders at large organizations. Their finding: employers see a solid business case for offering paid family leave, including benefits such as improved talent retention and attraction and their own ability to manage the costs of the program through thoughtful policy design.

A growing body of research shows that offering paid parental leave isn’t just the right thing to do—it’s good for business. Paid leave programs increase worker’s retention and reduce turnover, which helps businesses avoid the cost of having to hire and train employees to replace those who leave to care for a new child.  For instance, when consulting company Accenture doubled its paid maternity leave, to 16 weeks then they saw a nearly 40% reduction in the number of moms leaving their jobs after the birth or adoption of a child.

One study on the economic impact of paid family leave in California found that the vast majority of businesses in the state saw no effect or a positive one. 87% say it has not increased costs, 9% say they saved money, because of decreased turnover or benefit payments.

I am really happy to see that there are so many countries and organizations that take care of their people. So let’s have a look at the organizations that offer the best family leave programs. For instanceAmazon offers up to 20 weeks of paid leave to new mothers and up to six weeks to new fathers. But in addition, they have two programs available to support new parents: „Leave Share“ and „Ramp Back“. “Leave Share” is a program that allows Amazon employees to share their paid leave with their partners if their partners’ companies don’t offer their own paid leave program. And “Ramp Back” helps new moms and primary caregivers ease back into the workplace. Over a period of eight weeks, new parents can work at a reduced schedule as they become re-accustomed to work. Another great example is Starbucks. Starbucks has adopted a new parental leave policy that offers any new parent up to 12 weeks paid leave at 100 percent of their annual salary. To be eligible, parents must work a minimum of 20 hours a week. And the third company that I’d like to mention here is Netflix that offers new parents unlimited paid leave for one year. The policy enables them to take off as much time as they want during the first 12 months following the birth or adoption of a child. They also have the choice to come back part-time, full-time or to “return and then go back out as needed.”

What is your experience with family leave? What is this that your company offers to new parents?

 

Sources used in this post:

http://www.businessinsider.com/countries-best-paternity-leave-2017-6/

https://www.bcg.com/publications/2017/human-resources-people-organization-why-paid-family-leave-is-good-business.aspx

http://blog.indeed.com/2016/10/27/paid-parental-leave-strengthens-companies/

https://www.fastcompany.com/3064070/why-offering-paid-maternity-leave-is-good-for-business

https://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/249467

Workplace Conflict Resolution: Where Is Your Anger Taking You?

Workplace conflict resolution is about replacing anger with something more productive. The first step to resolving anger is to ask where is your anger going? Is it taking you where you want to go? So many fail to ask themselves this question and the anger takes them to an unforeseen end.

 

Workplace Conflict Resolution: Image is a road headed into stormy skies.

Workplace Conflict Resolution: Where Does Your Anger Take You? Image by Patrick Emerson via Flickr.

Patrick Emerson via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Reacting to situations and letting your anger hurl you forward is not helpful in workplace conflict resolution. Instead, ask yourself where did your anger come from? Where is it going to take you? Is that were you really want to go?

Anger comes from feelings of being …

  • Minimized and ignored
  • Disrespected, discounted, discarded
  • Bullied or played for a fool
  • Lied to, cheated, or manipulated

Where is anger going to take you? To …

  • Vent your emotion? Then where?
  • Accuse others and destroy trust? And then where?
  • Hurt feelings and new resentments? Where will that take everyone?
  • Words that you can never retract? Do you want to go to this point of no return?

Workplace conflict resolution helps everyone go forward together. If anyone creates a point of no return, how can this happen? So before you hurl anger at others, ask yourself where is this anger going to take me and everyone?

This pause gives you and everyone time to assess where the anger came from. From there you can mend the rifts and correct behaviors to prevent future trouble.

How has looking ahead helped you prevent angry outbursts?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

©2017 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Why should organizations consider flexible work?

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photo: pixabay.com

Organizations that allow remote working save a lot of time and money that is spent on commuting to work or to meetings. They will also save the costs related to maintain the workplace (such as office furniture, supplies, etc).

Remote workers are believed to be more productive. Employee engagement firm, TINYpulse surveyed 509 full-time remote employees in the US about happiness on the job and compared their responses to benchmarks based on over 200,000 employees across all different kinds of working arrangements. The vast majority of remote workers felt they’re more productive outside of the office: 91% believed they get more done compared to just 9% of remote workers who didn’t feel more productive outside of the office.

(Partly) Remote employees are more engaged. Gallup’s State of the America Workplace report reveals that engagement climbs when employees spend some time working remotely and sometimes working in a location with their coworkers. The optimal engagement boost occurs when employees spend 60% to 80% of their workweek (which means that about three to four days) working off-site.

Good to know. But flexible work doesn’t always mean remote work. In addition, it means that employees can decide up to agreed level how and when they work.

Flexible working has several benefits for organizations. For instance, people who have flexible work options are more loyal. According to FlexJobs’ 6th annual survey of more than 5,000 participants – 79% of respondents said that flexible work options would make them more loyal. In addition, 29% of respondents in the same study said that they would take a 10-20% cut in pay in exchange for the option to telecommute.

Moreover, the flexible work environment is something that is attractive to potential candidates. For instance, according to a study conducted by Jacob Morgan’s company Chess Media Group in 2013 called The Future of Work: Reshaping the Workplace Today. Building for Tomorrow they found: 90% of employees believe that an organization that offers flexible work environment is more attractive to prospective hires than one that doesn’t.

These things do matter in real life. Flexibility and the chance to be their own boss is a key reason why people join Uber; they want work that fits around their life, not the other way around. Flexibility is a big motivating factor: 88% started driving with Uber because it fits their life well, not because it was their only option.

Wegmans, a major supermarket chain in the US, employing about 46,800 people is a well known employer who also offers flexible schedules and work/life balance. These two are actually the reasons why people join and stay with them. Here is what they say at Great Place to Work: „Store locations have more than 500 employees across 30 departments, allowing our 24×7 operation tremendous flexibility to accommodate changes for student schedules, caring for a sick family member, and personal activities or obligations“.

Let’s take also the third example. Hoolekandeteenused (100% state-owned Estonian enterprise that provides social welfare services to adults with special mental needs) is another employer that allows employees work remotely. For instance, their Head of Procurement lives and works two months per year in Thailand and their Head of  Development lives already the 6th year in Czech Republics.

So you see, flexible work has different benefits for an organization, such as helping to attract and retain a loyal and engaged workforce.

Do you offer flexible work in your organization? Share your story! Leave your comment!

Sources used in this post:

Morgan, Jacob. „The Future of Work: Attract New Talent, Build Better Leaders, and Create a Competitive Organization“. 2014

https://zapier.com/blog/remote-work-happiness-infographic/

http://workplaceinsight.net/people-claim-productive-outside-traditional-office-claims-report/

http://www.gallup.com/businessjournal/206180/engaged-remote-workforce.aspx

http://reviews.greatplacetowork.com/wegmans-food-markets-inc

https://www.facebook.com/PAREEesti/videos/10155409938261992/

https://newsroom.uber.com/driver-partner-survey/

Create Workplace Happiness by keeping your side of the Psychological Contract

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photo: pixabay.com

Today’s organizations are fighting the war for talents. Everyone wants to make sure that they attract the best ones. But to be honest majority of employers are happy to get any suitable candidate to apply for the job. At least this is the situation in many labor markets.

So what happens after successful recruitment and selection process when the job offer is made? Are we still ’flirting’ with the person whom we hired or do we see recruitment and work relations as a one night stand? Yes, work today in one organization isn’t marriage for life either. But do we honestly see a long relationship with the person whom we hired, whom we promised the Moon or maybe even more, and who, when joining our organization, realizes that the carriage is actually a pumpkin and the horses are mice?

Did I just get too edgy for you? Hope that I didn’t scare you away ? I just wanted to make a point here when talking about the importance of psychological contract between employee and employer.

The psychological contract refers to the unwritten set of expectations of the employment relationship as distinct from the formal, codified employment contract. The psychological contract includes informal arrangements, mutual beliefs, common ground and perceptions between the two parties.

But is that really important? Yes! According to HRZone research has shown how employees whose expectations are met by their employer are happier at work and they reciprocate in kind. They demonstrate higher levels of commitment, they are more willing to ‘go the extra mile’ in their work.

So what exactly am I talking here about? I mean different practices and activities that we are doing in our organizations. For instance, let’s take one of my favorite topics: praise and recognition. When we have an employee, who is doing an excellent job but receives no feedback and praise for that, what do you think, what will happen? Will the person go the extra mile also tomorrow or will he stop doing what he was so great at?

It is really easy to break the psychological contract and to ruin the relationship between employee and employer. That is why it is really important to educate your managers. To make them understand the importance of their actions. This is also the reason why we at ISS are teaching our managers with the program called Service with a Human Touch where we are using (one of my favorite) quota:

Good performance if not noticed will go away.

Poor performance if not noticed is there to stay.

DecisionWise, a Management consulting firm, worked recently with a large company whose employee turnover rate was really high. The company wanted therefore to have a better understanding of their employee experience.  So they turned to DecisionWise who conducted interviews and surveys with 4,544 employees who had left. And here is what they found: typical turnover during employees’ first six months of employment was fairly minimal — less than 10 percent. This was the time when employees’ expectations were met. They were assigned a mentor, received training on how to perform their jobs and felt that their employer had laid out a clear set of expectations. But at about the nine-month mark, employees were leaving in droves. About after seven months, they began to see that the job they thought they had signed up for was not the job they would actually be doing. About half of the employees who left during the six-to-nine-month time frame indicated that the reason they left was that the job wasn’t meeting their expectations. They didn’t see a future. They realized they wouldn’t receive additional training once their new-hire phase ended. Further, they saw that the hours they had thought they would be working were different from those they were actually expected to work. Worst of all, the employees realized that what they were expected to do every day didn’t align with what they had been told they’d be doing when they accepted the job. As we dug further, we found that 60 percent of those who left felt that the training they received did not meet their expectations. That’s a big gap in expectations.

The results of the study show that the violation of the psychological contract has a significant impact on employee happiness. When people expectations are not met then they become unhappy and leave the organizations. But how to prevent that from happening? Here is what I would recommend:

Do not exaggerate in a job interview when talking about the job or your organization. Be honest, because the truth will come out anyways.

Promise only what you can deliver. You should not promise things that you can’t keep or that you do not have authority to offer.

Deliver what you have promised. When you are promising a work and life balance or development opportunities then do not retreat from your words after a candidate has accepted your job offer.

Be clear in your communication and promises so that everybody knows what to expect. For instance, send a written job offer with a value proposition.

Ask for a feedback from your people. You can ask for the feedback to the recruitment and selection process, to the training programs, to the induction program, etc. And after receiving the feedback make sure that you make the needed improvements as well.

Be honest and don’t hide! Everything around us changes and of course, there will be situations and cases where you need to make some changes to your programs and practices. So make the changes, but be then also honest do your people. Tell them about the changes and tell them also, why you need these changes.

Notice your people when they do a good job, give them feedback and don’t be afraid to recognize them.

Sources used in this post:

https://www.hrzone.com/hr-glossary/what-is-a-psychological-contract

https://www.hrzone.com/lead/strategy/the-psychological-contract-within-employer-branding

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/286158

https://workplace-happiness.com/2017/06/24/make-your-employees-happy-by-saying-thank-you/

5 THINGS TO BE AWARE OF WHEN RECRUITING THE BEST THE MARKET HAS TO OFFER

Having worked within the headhunting (passive) recruitment market for some 13 years now, clients definitely fall into two categories; those who assume moving forward with passive candidates is the same as the more active market and those who completely understand the headhunting process and hook better candidates in.

So what is my best advice for company’s looking to drive better shortlists and ultimately recruit the best the market has to offer, rather than skimming from the best available candidates obtained through database and advertising means:

1 – First, and foremost, interviewers need to be aware of the courting process, especially at first interview stage. Companies all too often have poorly thought out candidate engagement strategies, with weak employer branding. It staggers me companies still want headhunted candidates to fill out (largely redundant) forms of employment and assessment centres ahead of preliminary interviews. Shock horror when candidates get turned off by this process. This is not to say at subsequent stages the company do not have the opportunity to cross question and be more forensic in their approach. Importantly, by this stage, the company have already warmed the candidate and has a strong handle on their personality and fit for the culture.

2 – During first interviews passive interviewees may seem a little reserved about their motivation and in giving in-depth information about their current employer (especially if direct competition). This, in part, goes back on the courting process at first meeting stage. Candidates are not going to show all their cards straight away. Once they feel comfortable, and are fully brought into the company, they are more likely to open up and trust the prospective employer.

3 – Package. Passive candidates are likely to be less forthcoming with package details. This is where any headhunter worth their salt will work to support both parties at a very early stage, making sure expectations are married up before any awkward conversation spills over. Oh, a word of warning to headhunted candidates – best not to dive in straight away regarding the 30% increase in salary you are looking for. This is likely to just turn off the headhunter and show your true motivations for moving… on second thoughts, carry on doing this as it saves mine and my client’s time in the long run!

4 – Communication is key (and a degree of flexibility from the interviewer’s perspective). Again, this goes back on the whole “courting” process. As long as passive candidates are clear on when they can speak, be this for a specific reason, or a more generic weekly window for a catch up, company’s should respect this. They are not actively looking and have day jobs to do.

5 – Do not fall into the trap of allowing the candidates CV to solely influence your opinion on whether you should interview. This, again, is where a consultative approach from your headhunting partner works wonders. More than likely, the candidate has cobbled together an updated CV one evening in between getting the children ready for bed and reviewing one of his team’s performance review.

Ok, I appreciate a lot of the above puts the onus on the perspective employer to impress and, of course, ultimately it is the decision maker’s neck that is on the block if the recruit does not work out. Much of the above revolves around the early part of the recruitment process, which allows for the company to come out of the traps harder after preliminary conversations.

For more information, contact Mark Goldsmith on (+44 1829 732374).

 

Image courtesy of everydayplus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A warm welcome

29 Aug

A warm welcome

For some people starting a new job is an exciting opportunity, but for others leaving behind the familiar routines and people they may have worked with for a long time can be a nerve-racking and stressful experience.

I recently left another HR role to work at wattsnextsomewhere I had wanted to work for a couple of years. From the minute I got offered the role to starting at 9am on my first day, I couldn’t contain my excitement. I was really looking forward to being part of the wattsnext team.

While I knew wattsnext took traditional HR practices and put a modern and creative spin on them, what I didn’t expect was that I would feel like a wattsnexter before my first day.

It started when I received my employment contract, reading through it made me realise that wattsnext genuinely cared about their employees’ experience. My employment contract was written in a tone that reflected wattsnext fun and vibrant culture.

Within a couple of hours of returning my signed employment agreement, my soon to be manager sent an email to all of the wattsnext team ‘e-introducing’ me. While I thought that was pretty cool, what happened next was something I didn’t expect. Every employee sent me a personalised email welcoming me to the team – they were just as excited to have me on board as I was to be joining them. It was such an awesome feeling!

I had six weeks until I started my new role and during this time I wasn’t forgotten. I received regular emails from the team which included information and documents I would need for my first day, links to resources that would help me settle in quickly, a Prezi presentation introducing the team (being able to put faces to names prior to my first day made me feel like I knew everyone before I had actually met them), as well as access to the social media platform Slack that they used to communicate internally.

A couple of days before I started, I received a call from my manager. She was calling to see if I had any questions before my first day. She reconfirmed how excited they were to have me joining the team and also gave me a quick run-down of what my first week would look like. I got off the phone thinking ‘these guys are amazing!’ as my experience so far had been fantastic!

When my first day finally I arrived, I was ready to hit the ground running. I knew what had been happening in the office recently (there’s nothing worse than when people are having conversations you can’t relate to), I knew who everyone was, I knew there was an induction plan in place and the best thing was that I felt like I’d been part of the team for ages.  I was able to spend my first few days and weeks focusing on our clients rather than trying to fit into the team!

So what were my learnings from my recent experience with wattsnext?

  • Communication is key! The regular contact during the period leading up to my first day helped put any nervous feelings I might have had about working in a new role with new people at ease. I felt prepared and excited about my first day – not nervous and anxious.
  • The little things count! The welcome emails from the team, the regular emails with information and things I would need for my first day, the Prezi introducing everyone through to the check-in phone call from my new manager helped me to settle into the team quickly.
  • Have a plan and be prepared! I wouldn’t have had the amazing experience I did if wattsnext weren’t as prepared as they were – my induction and orientation ran so smoothly!

Alisha Ross , HR AdvisorAlisha brings experience and knowledge obtained from working in HR environments in both Australia and New Zealand. She enjoys working with clients to implement and refine HR frameworks that contribute to achieving the business objectives. She has a passion for assisting clients to create amazing workplace cultures for their employees.

9 CHAMPIONSHIP LESSONS

 

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December 4, 2017
The Power of Positive Leadership

Discover how and why positive leaders transform teams and organizations and change the world.

Available where books are sold including Amazon & Barnes & Noble.

Visit PowerOfPositiveLeadership.com for resources and tools.

I know that not everyone is a Clemson fan. However, after reflecting on all I have learned working with a coach and team that won a National Championship last year and just made it to their third Final Four in a row, I would be doing a lot of people a disservice if I didn’t share the leadership insights, lessons, principles and gems that can benefit your leadership, team and organization. In this spirit here are 9 Championship lessons.

1. Think Big – After Dabo Swinney was named the coach of the Clemson University football team in 2008 he had an early morning meeting with the Board of Trustees. One of the trustees said, “We want to create a football program that’s like some of the other great programs in the country” and then he named a few of them. Dabo replied, “Sir I appreciate your vision but mine is much bigger than that. My vision is to create a program where they want to be like us.” Now everyone is looking at Clemson and trying to figure out how to be like them.

2. Success Takes Time – Yes, Dabo and Clemson won a championship in 2016 but they lost 15 of his first 34 games and went 6-7 in 2010. Dabo thought he was going to be fired but his Athletic Director at the time, Terry Don Phillips, shared his continued belief in him. After that they won at least 10 games every year. Your success may take time too. Believe. Trust. Work. Improve. Grow.

Clemson3. Don’t Stop Believing – With every setback, failure and loss over the years Dabo would say “God doesn’t say oops. God doesn’t make mistakes. There’s a bigger plan.” His guiding encouragement over the challenging years was Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Dabo calls himself an over believer. He never stopped believing and he kept sharing his belief with his team and they reaped a harvest.

4. Look Inside, Not Outside – Dabo continuously reminds his players to look inside into their heart, soul, spirit and passion instead of worrying about what the media, fans, and outside world thinks. He said, “I’ve told my players to let the light inside them always be brighter than the light that’s shining on them.

5. Love Wins – After the national championship game Dabo said Love was his one word all year and he told his team that their love for each other was going to make the difference. They are a great example that love wins in the end. Maybe not today but eventually love wins. The challenge is most don’t have the patience, values or faith to commit to the process that love requires. Too many abandon people and situations when things get hard. They don’t stick to it so they don’t get to see love ultimately win.

6. Love and Accountability are the Keys – All great leaders provide a lot of love and a lot of accountability. Some in the media made it seem like Dabo is all about love and fun, which he is, but he also demands excellence and is all about the process too. He loves you and because of that he’s also going to make you better. He’s also going to hold you accountable to the team and the high standards and values of the culture. If you have love without accountability you’ll be a loving family but not a great team. Accountability without love leads to disengagement, burn-out and dysfunction. You need both love and accountability to be a great leader, family and team. I wrote a lot about Dabo and his leadership style in The Power of Positive Leadership if you want to read more about it.

7. Live and Reinforce Your Values – Several years before making it to their first college football playoff last year one of Clemson’s super star players violated team rules. Dabo suspended him which meant he was going to miss the first game of the season against a very good Auburn team. It wasn’t a big violation and even the administration told Dabo he didn’t need to suspend the player but Dabo told me, “If I don’t live and reinforce our values then what does that say to our players, our staff, our university and our fans. If we are going to win we will win the right way.” It’s no surprise that the waiter in the Clemson hotel in Tampa pulled me aside the afternoon before last year’s championship game and told me that they were the best, most respectful team they have ever had at the hotel.

8. Build a Great Team – No one creates success alone. We all need a great team around us. Years ago Dabo watched a bowl game that very few people were watching. His brother Tracy asked him why he was watching it. Dabo said, “I’m going to hire that offensive coordinator.” His name was Chad Morris who turned Clemson into an offensive powerhouse and spent a lot of effort and energy recruiting Deshaun Watson to be Clemson’s QB. Dabo then hired Brent Venables, a genius defensive coordinator, that turned Clemson into one of the best defenses in the country. Dabo built a world class coaching staff and recruiting operation that recruited and developed great players. Then he developed Jeff Scott and Tony Elliot as offensive coordinators knowing Chad Morris would become a head coach one day. When Chad left to become the head coach at SMU, Jeff and Tony were promoted as co-offensive coordinators. They made a great team who called the key plays on the final drive that lead to the last second victory. Fast forward to this year when Clemson lost Deshaun Watson, Mike Williams, Wayne Gallman and other key players to the NFL Dabo and his staff developed their younger players and gave them the confidence and tools to find their own greatness. It’s a lesson for every team in business, education and sports. Recruit great talent. Develop them. Attract the best from the outside. Develop your best on the inside.

9. It’s Not about the Trophy – After the game in the locker room Dabo told the team how proud of them he was for winning a National Championship but immediately shifted gears and reminded them to be champions in life. He encouraged them to be great husbands and fathers too. He said, “This won’t be the best thing to happen in your lives. There is even more in store for you. The best is yet to come.” At the victory celebration later that week he said, “Trophies will not define us ever. We will be defined by our culture and how we invest in our young men at Clemson and by the way we teach them to love, serve and care.” They won the big trophy but Dabo was talking about their future as men and what really matters. This year is no different. He is even encouraging his players to follow his lead this year and appreciate and enjoy the journey.

– Jon

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How to turn your employees into brand ambassadors?

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photo: pixabay.com

Happy employees are more productive, more creative, and more engaged. But there are other benefits that organizations are gaining: happy employees are proud of their employers and they are willing to let their friends and followers know that they are part of that particular organizations.

Today’s organizations are fighting the war for talents. In case talents don’t know you then they won’t know to apply to your organization as well. As the word of mouth is one of the most powerful factors when it comes to consumers’ relationships with brands then this is definitely the topic that we as employers must focus.

That is why organizations need brand ambassadors that help to spread the word and help with the employer branding communication. There are so many ways how people can express their attitude toward their employers, starting from social media communication and finishing with Glassdoor reviews. The impact of social media on an employer’s reputation is now an everyday reality. Here are some facts from employees:

– 50% post messages, pictures or videos in social media about their employer;

– 39% have shared praise or positive comments online about their employer;

– 33% post messages, pictures or videos in social media about their employer without any encouragement from the employer;

– 16% have shared criticism or negative comments online about their employer;

– 14% have posted something about their employer in social media that they regret.

This is where the topic of employee experience and workplace happiness are coming into the picture. In case employees are engaged and happy with their work then this is the information that they are sharing as well. The same applies to unhappy and toxic employees: information that they share about their employers is mainly negative and critical.

So how can employers turn their employees into positive brand ambassadors? Well, it comes down to workplace happiness and to that what kind of experience are employers creating to their employees. There are different things that you can do to make your people happy, such as offering flexible work, recognizing them, do the unexpected, etc. But what are other things to do and consider when wanting to turn your people into your brand ambassadors and do have a more strategic approach to the topic? According to Smarp, Employee Advocacy and knowledge sharing platform, these are the steps to consider:

Create the right culture where employees feel motivated to act as brand ambassadors. People should believe in you and want to share the content. Your program will fail in case people feel that they are forced to be a part of that or if they do not enjoy working in your organization.

Have top management buy-in and participation to set an example for the rest of your employees.

Consider using a shared hashtag that employees can use the flaunt the company culture (like I am using #WorkplaceHappiness in all my posts).

Set Clear Social Media guidelines for your employees to follow. The purpose of having a company social media policy is to help protect the company’s reputation, avoid legal issues and drive employee engagement.

Train your employees so that they understand the purpose of the program, know different social media channels, know what and how to share or how to respond to different comments, including negative ones against your company.

Create and recommend content to share. Your company blog, different company news, achievements, stories, events, campaigns, fun facts, job adverts or similar are the content that you could and should encourage your people to share.

Create an environment where you share relevant content with your people. It could be on your intranet, social media group, mailing list, or the portal such as Smarp.

Use Gamification – create a contest, use leaderboards, offer prices, etc.

What have you done in your organization to turn your people to brand ambassadors?

Sources used in this post:

http://www.adweek.com/digital/ogilvy-cannes-study-behold-the-power-of-word-of-mouth/

https://www.glassdoor.com/index.htm

http://www.webershandwick.com/news/article/employee-activists-spark-a-new-social-movement-in-the-digital-age

https://workplace-happiness.com/ideas-how-create-workplace-happiness/

https://www.smarp.com/employee-advocacy/