Talent has never been as important to business as it is now. According to a recent Forbes article, the globalisation of business, advances in technology and a rapid rate of change in the business environment have all contributed to this change. Hiring and retaining the right talent today can be the difference between success and failure.
A study in 2015 by Manpower Group showed that 41% of executives blamed a reduction in their competitiveness and productivity on a shortage of specific skillsets. While the industrial era could rely on workers whose skillsets were largely interchangeable, this is no longer possible for many businesses that require specialist skills not readily available. The result has been what Adam Ochstein, founder and CEO of StratEx Partners described as an “absolute war for good talent”. But hiring the right talent is only part of the equation, retaining talent is perhaps an even bigger challenge.
An article in Talent Economy highlights this challenge particularly well: “Now the largest generation in the workforce, millennials are the least likely to stay for more than a few years.” This is a challenge that is only likely to continue. According to Adam Ochstein, “Generation X, Y and soon to be Z come from a perspective of inclusion and need to understand not only what their job is and their task, but how that job and task impacts their division or department [and] the overall organization.”
One of the interesting trends we have seen at Onalytica in recent years that could help to tackle this is the rise of employee advocacy. Caroline Leach, a specialist in social media branding at The Carelle Company, wrote earlier this year that there has been a 25% increase in the adoption of employee advocacy programmes.
Why employee advocacy?
From a talent perspective employee advocacy enables companies to involve their employees more closely in the overarching messaging of the company. Regardless of their day to day role, every employee can get involved on social media representing their company and having a direct measurable impact on brand perception and customer conversion. With employee advocacy comms and marketing are no longer isolated within their own silo, but fully integrated into the whole organisation. All employees, especially those from Gen X, Y and Z, will value the visibility that gives them over the overall business objectives and the impact they themselves are having on that.
From your business perspective employee advocacy brings four advantages:
A human relationship building element to customer conversion (people buy from people!).
Expert thought leadership from employees that know the detail of your product and services.
A much extended reach beyond your own brand handle.
A means of attracting top talent by offering a differentiated employee value proposition to help employees build their own personal profile and network
What impact will this have on the Future of Work?
This is just the start. At Onalytica, the majority of our customers start with a network map that looks like this:
Companies that are already ahead of the game have a big advantage over their competitors. They have invested in training their staff on social and helping them build personal relationships with influencers. IBM, for example, have been able to increase their brand reach in one specific department by 43% by involving just 19 employees. Consultants like Sarah Goodall at Tribal Impact have been able to accelerate this training for a wide range of brands.
What this means is that the social influence of employees is becoming increasingly important for businesses, not only to grow and develop, but also to recruit. If adoption of employee advocacy was a top PR trend for 2018, social recruitment will be the trend for the next decade.
To learn more about Onalytica’s employee advocacy solution click here.