Following a difficult two years during the pandemic, unemployment levels have risen while retention figures have fallen as employees quit their jobs in the hope of a better option elsewhere. The change has been driven by a desire for the ideal work-life balance, including more flexible or hybrid working options, greater mental health support, and seeking companies who openly promote their values.
For employers, this has prompted an interest in employee advocacy to not only promote the positive qualities of a business but to also create and maintain a more open and supportive staff dynamic that can contribute towards improved retention figures. Employees who are motivated by their work and share their company’s values can then become effective brand ambassadors and advocators.
What Causes Employees to Quit their Jobs?
Deciding to leave a job is never easy, but when work begins to affect your wellbeing, it can seem like the best option. During and following consecutive lockdowns, many workers cited a lack of support – whether from an individual manager or from the company as a whole – as a key reason for quitting.
Other reasons include pursuing a new career direction, position advancement and/or an increased salary, location and the office environment, greater independence and/or flexibility, and working for a more supportive and optimistic company. But how can employers prevent staff wanting to leave?
Why Employee Advocacy Can Help Retain Staff
One solution is to introduce an employee advocacy program. Employee advocacy is all about the staff themselves promoting the company they work for, and it can be achieved in several ways. Not only does this create a great public impression of the business by the people who know it best, but it can also help employees feel more involved and valued knowing their opinions are being listened to.
Employee advocacy can also be beneficial during recruitment as job seekers will often look at social media or review sites such as Glassdoor to find out what working for a particular business is like. Studies show that employees’ viewpoints are seen as more trustworthy than company marketing.
How Can Employers Encourage Staff Advocacy?
The first place to start is to form and sustain a positive company culture where every employee feels valued and supported. This can be encouraged by creating a safe space for employees at all levels to come together to share thoughts, concerns, questions and feedback without judgement. Select a senior team member who is a natural mentor to lead the sessions and hold them on a regular basis.
When you’re ready to start encouraging direct employee advocacy, you could try inviting staff to a networking or promotional event. Make sure everyone connects to the company’s social media sites, include staff stories in newsletters and blogs, or ask workers to contribute their own content.
At Marmion, we help employers and employees alike to feel valued in the workplace. Contact our friendly team on 0113 332 0678 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.