Thursday January 30, 2020

Employee Engagement Strategies That Drive Sales

A group of employees collaborating at a table demonstrating active employee engagement

It’s estimated that actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. $450 billion to $550 billion in lost productivity per year. With that kind of profit-loss, it’s imperative for companies to emphasize employee engagement.

According to 2018 findings from Gallup, 66% of employees are not engaged at work or are actively disengaged.

The same study found that compared to companies in the bottom 25% of employee engagement, companies in the top 25% saw:

  • Better customer engagement
  • 17% higher productivity
  • 41% reduction in employee absenteeism
  • Greater employee retention
  • Fewer accidents
  • 21% higher profitability

Imagine the impact that a 21% increase on profitability could have on your organization.

But how do you effectively increase employee engagement in a way that not only increases job satisfaction, but encourages your team the tools to help turn leads into valued customers? These four initiatives can help boost engagement and build team morale, while encouraging brand advocacy and enhancing your sales pipeline.

Marketing Tactics to Boost Employee Engagement and Drive Sales

Employees that actively live by your company values and support your initiatives end up, knowingly or unknowingly, becoming advocates. Given the right set of tools, engaged employees take this a step further and help convert those leads into customers.

Recognition-Based Social Media Campaign

Rewarding employees serves two purposes: it helps encourage job satisfaction, and it encourages your team members to publicly share about their role. But it’s important to make sure that this recognition isn’t just between the employee and his or her manager.

According to studies through , peer-to-peer recognition is 35.7% more likely to have a positive impact on financial results than manager-only recognition. Likewise, 41% of companies that provide peer-to-peer recognition have seen a positive increase in customer satisfaction.

A key platform to implement this type of recognition is through social media. By incorporating an employee spotlight or employee of the week feature on your social media accounts, you not only boost your team member’s morale through selecting them to receive the accolade, but you also end up with highly-sharable and engaging social media content. The employee featured is likely to repost the achievement to their account, where your company will now gain awareness with their entire network.

If a reward is given in the form of a physical award, make it photo-worthy, even if that means printing a certificate on thick card stock or in a frame. A nice presentation encourages your employee to take a picture of their reward, which they may share on LinkedIn or another channel as well, giving you double the coverage for the marketing initiative. You can also consider using swag as a reward, which brings me to my next point.

Everyone Loves (Useful) Swag

In addition to verbal recognition, a tangible form of appreciation can go a long way. According to the SalesScreen study, the number-one reason most Americans leave their jobs is that they don’t feel appreciated, and an alarming 65% of people surveyed said they got no recognition for good work last year.

Incorporating a recognition system that rewards employees through a swag item can help retain employees by showing them that they are valued. I know what you’re thinking – is spending money on swag to keep an employee really worth it? Let’s break down the cost.

If you spend approximately $15 per piece on a luxe, branded swag items that play into your company’s mission, it may seem like a lot. According to data from Xactly insights, onboarding a new sales rep costs approximately three times their salary. So if you have to replace a sales rep that makes $100,000 per year, your cost to onboard a new team member will be about $300,000. Now that $15 swag piece doesn’t seem like such a large investment, does it?

Swag doesn’t only have to be used as a reward for employee performance; it also makes a great welcome gift to show new employees that you appreciate them.

When it comes to swag, not all branded items are created equal. To truly ensure that this helps drive back to your overall company mission, it’s important to consider how your swag plays into your values. For example, a company that’s committed to sustainable business practices may want to give employees a reusable tote bag or straw to cut down on waste.

In addition to tying back to your company mission, the right swag can become a key marketing tool for your business. If you provide a high-quality reusable bag that your employees start using for every grocery store trip, you gain brand awareness to the customers of that store. Likewise, a nice jacket that’s worn throughout the fall can go a long way for garnering awareness with people in the community. 

If you need help strategize the right swag items and an action plan on when to give it out, I know just the team to call. 

Transparent Employee Newsletters

Employee newsletters are a great way to keep everyone in the loop on company updates, upcoming events and new initiatives. By sharing events such as trade shows your company will be attending, you give your team valuable information to share with their leads to help convert them into sales. Plus, by including any upcoming deals or promotions, you provide the tools to help close sales.

Additional items to include are:

  • New hire announcements
  • Key marketing messaging for products and services
  • Great customer feedback
  • Employee spotlight winners from your social media campaign

A robust newsletter isn’t enough. For it to truly be impactful it also needs to be transparent. By openly sharing company initiatives, organizational changes and bridging gaps between teams, your employees gain valuable insights into your organization while building trust in the company. This trust, in turn, leads them to share your new programs and initiatives with their network and leads, enticing possible sales.

Employee Feedback Channels

It’s not enough to just share information with your employees – you need to encourage your team to share feedback with your leadership team.

According to a report from Salesforce, employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to perform their best at work. If your team isn’t performing their best, they miss out on key lead nurturing and sales opportunities, as well as customer satisfaction moments.

Further, by encouraging honest feedback, you may uncover key discrepancies or hiccups in your sales process that are causing your company to miss out on sales opportunities. By receiving direct feedback from the team members working closest with your leads, you have the best chance of uncovering these issues and resolving them in a timely fashion.

An easy way to implement an employee feedback system where you can also provide updates is through a private social media group. These groups could be managed by your HR team or an outside firm to help ensure that conversations were positive and constructive.

Depending on your employee-base, LinkedIn or Facebook could be used as a starting platform for these groups. By making the group private and requiring approval to join, you can ensure that only current employees were members. Admins of the page can post questions, add polls, share photos from employee events and more. If management team members are in the group as well, they would have direct access to the real-time employee feedback, or they can be left out for added anonymity and the admins can share feedback as it’s received. 

If you’re looking for a way to capture team feedback that doesn’t require a unified social media channel, communication tools like Slack are a great way to collect it in real-time. In fact, Slack has a tool called Happster Feedback that is specifically designed to capture public and anonymous feedback from employees.

Setting Up Your Strategies

While employee engagement isn’t an overnight fix, putting together a plan for rolling out these marketing initiatives is a key next step towards improving your team’s engagement. By making an effort to create a transparent, welcoming environment you not only encourage an entire culture shift, but you ultimately help increase your company’s profitability.

If you need help with creating and implementing a marketing strategy that engages your team, we can help.

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