It’s no secret that online marketing and social media is a necessity when it comes to successful hospitality businesses in our current climate. How many new restaurants, bars, and must-try dishes have you discovered through Instagram?
Now more than ever, social media referrals drive new guest experiences and keep your clientele coming back for more. Employee advocacy works in the same way by organically advertising and vouching for your hospitality business.
In this article, we unpack what employee advocacy is, why it’s so important, and how to implement it into your hospitality business to improve your recruitment and ultimately your establishment’s success.
What is employee advocacy?
So what is employee advocacy, exactly? Simply put, it’s the promotion of your business by the people who work for you. Employee advocacy can happen informally at social or business events or through general word-of-mouth, but in today’s climate, social media - which is great news since it’s arguably the easiest platform to sell your venue.
What are the top benefits of employee advocacy?
While there are many benefits to employee advocacy, we’ve outlined the top reasons below:
Having your employees vouch for your business is organic marketing at its finest. Employees are more than twice as trusted as anyone in a managerial position or even consumers. Furthermore, employees’ social posts can generate eight times more engagement than posts from employers directly. Your employees have a larger reach to new audiences that your venue hasn’t already tapped into, meaning their posts has further online reach.
Socially engaged team members will help boost our brand within their networks. Like having a positive workplace culture, nurturing employee advocacy will expose what is great about working for your venue and will attract similar employees. Furthermore, companies with a successful employee program are 58% more likely to attract and 20% more likely to retain top talent. Essentially, your recruitment structure will naturally improve with employee advocacy.
“When employees feel equipped, empowered, and trusted to act - whether on social media or any environment for that matter - all stakeholders stand to benefit.” -B&T Magazine
How do you build an employee advocacy program?
Regardless of your business but especially in the hospitality industry, your employees are your most valuable asset, and employee advocacy will authentically come out of valuing your employees with a strong workplace culture in place. However, rather than passively letting it happen, we recommend implementing your employee advocacy program with intention. Meaning, your program should be strategic with clear goals, focus on longevity, and have a genuine approach.First, make workplace culture a priority. Employees need to love their job and look at it more than just a pay cheque in order to become brand ambassadors of your business. Visit our blog on how to create a positive workplace culture to learn more.
Second, have open communication surrounding your employee advocacy program. Explain how it can benefit them (as it leads to potential promotions and more recognition). Speaking of recognition, acknowledge your team members’ work. Recognise those that are positively advocating your business with positive enforcement but never mandate the program. Asking will suffice.
Third, your team should be aware of your social media guidelines. Lead by example on this one, highlighting the type of positive messaging that you’re looking for, what kind of language is encouraged, and what should be avoided.
Consumers and especially Millennials - who make up the bulk of the population - don’t trust large corporations. Employee advocacy is a simple way to build trusting consumers, establish and grow your brand awareness, and improve your recruitment.
Looking for more tips on how to manage your staff, improve your workplace culture plan, compliantly onboard your employees, and more? Visit our Hospitality Employment Learning Centre below for free tips and templates.