3 Ideas to Develop a Corporate Culture that Boosts Employee Advocacy

December 7, 2017

Happy Employees at work

If your employees are happy at work, they are more likely to advocate on behalf of your brand. That’s why it is essential to foster a workplace environment and culture that elevate the employee experience.

We scoured the web for real-world examples of companies that do just that. Read on to find out what these organizations have in common—besides corporate culture that makes their employees sing the brand’s praises.

Building teams

Encouraging connectedness to fellow employees is high on the list for a thriving company culture. Being connected creates a sense of belonging. Plus, employees tend to give their best when they feel they’re part of a team working toward achieving a clear and rewarding purpose.

To help these connections form and strengthen, get employees out of the office so they can bond in a natural way. One idea is to set aside a day when people can volunteer to work together on community service projects.

Another is hosting an offsite event that incorporates activities promoting trust building, such as sharing personal stories or working on team challenges that require cooperation. Or it can be as simple as regular lunches out of the office that give everyone a chance to relax and get to know each other on a personal level. 

Alston & Bird – a law firm called out for its exceptional workplace culture seventeen years in a row by Fortune magazine – hosts gatherings called “Coffee, Cokes or Cocktails.” Small groups of employees are randomly selected to meet up for coffee, lunch or drinks on the company’s tab, offering them a great way to get to know each other.

Recognizing contributions

Employees want to feel that the time they spend at work is worthwhile. The best way to help them understand the value of their contributions is by celebrating them. And that recognition can go a long way toward keeping and increasing employee engagement.

Recognition can be as simple and personal as saying “Thank you!” or “Great job on that project!” Or it can be more public, with a compliment in the company newsletter, a shout-out at an all-hands meeting, or a note of appreciation on the company corkboard.

Or you can take a page from Zappos’ playbook. This online retailer has made the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list seven years in a row. It puts a unique team-building spin on recognition by allowing employees to award each other with $50 each month for going above and beyond.

Empowering individuals

One sure way to make employees feel they are valued is giving them a voice in how the organization is run. This demonstrates that your company respects their input. Whenever Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Airlines, takes a Virgin flight, he talks to the airline staff (and passengers). As he says, “One of the key attributes to being a good leader is listening – and very importantly, make sure you act on that feedback when you get back to base.”

Hand in hand with making employees feel valued is making them feel trusted. You can do that by granting them the autonomy and authority to make decisions on their own. Instead of requiring rank-and-file employees to run ideas and suggestions past their managers, your organization can give them the resources and support to use their own judgment. Southwest Airlines, long held up as a standard- bearer in the airline industry, does just that by giving employees the freedom to do what it takes to make customers happy.

While it may not seem obvious on the surface, building teams, recognizing contributions and empowering your employees all lay the foundation for a successful employee advocacy program. When employees feel connected, appreciated, and empowered, they feel more engaged with your brand – and more inspired to be a brand ambassador.

LinkedIn Elevate is the smarter employee advocacy solution that leverages LinkedIn data to maximize program success. Learn more about LinkedIn Elevate.