Connecting to a New Generation of Employees
A desire to see the company succeed is crucial for advocates, and this cannot be created by corporate mandate. Compulsory advocacy negates the entire point of bringing employees onto social media: creating a transparent and authentic business environment that resonates with customers.
So what motivates an employee to advocate on behalf of her company? The same factors that motivate her to do anything more than go through the daily motions at work. In other words, if she feels engaged in her work, she’s far more likely to engage customers. In Germany, Gallup found that 81% of engaged workers are willing to provide positive recommendations of their employer’s products and services, compared to 18% of actively disengaged workers.
The 2012 Global Workforce Study (GWS), conducted by Towers Watson, an HR consultancy, measured the extent of engagement in more than 32,000 workers in 29 countries. Employees are categorized as “highly engaged” in the GWS if they commit discretionary effort to achieving work goals, work in an environment that supports productivity in multiple ways, and feel energized by a work experience that promotes well- being. Disconcertingly, only 35% of respondents fit this description. But this year’s study, like previous editions of the GWS, indicates that employees want to be engaged. Generally, a lack of incentives is not the issue. Instead of relying exclusively on reward- oriented programs, companies can attract, motivate and retain talent by changing the texture of everyday work life:
“First… the drivers of sustainable engagement focus almost entirely on the culture and the relational aspects of the work experience. These include the nature, style and quality of organizational life… Second, the impact of these drivers is felt through thousands of interactions — positive and negative, large and small — that play out daily across an organization.”
From Towers Watson Workforce Study – 2012
If corporate leaders want a passionate, stimulated workforce, they should focus on the culture and technology that define how people interact within their enterprise.