Employee engagement is a great way to keep your employees happy and involved with a company. You can even turn them into advocates for your business or brand. That, in turn, can help you attract new talent or make your brand more attractive to consumers. There are plenty of employee engagement ideas, and many of them involve social media and user-generated content in some way or another.
Employee engagement campaigns can help you with one or a combination of the following:
- Give back to your employees and have some fun
- Create a connection and bridge geographical distances
- Show others what your company is like
- Communicate your company culture and values
- Attract and recruit new talent
- And much more
Great content is at the heart of employee engagement
Employee engagement campaigns can be internal, external or a combination of both. They can involve employees posting to their social media accounts with a specific hashtag or even “taking over” the company’s socials and posting there. Central to all of them is great content created by happy employees.
Whichever way content is collected, a social media wall can display and draw attention to the content created by everyone involved. A social wall can be embedded on a website, in a virtual event environment or shown on a screen or digital signage device.
And when more privacy is needed, companies can even circumvent social media entirely by setting up a social wall with direct posts. The Direct Posts feature allows everyone to upload content directly to the social wall without having to post with a hashtag on social media first.
Let’s look at some ideas and examples of employee engagement done right.
1. Show your employees some love
Yes, a little bit of appreciation won’t make up for terrible working conditions and low salaries. However, if your company is already doing the basic things right (which I hope you are), why not show your employees some love by publicly praising them?
Show off their work, celebrate their achievements, create a social wall of fame to announce and celebrate professional achievements, promotions, etc.
A great example is the German bank Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken, who have set up a social wall to celebrate their trainees’ achievements.
The wall collects content via a hashtag and also gives some advice for the application process. It doesn’t just make the featured trainees feel great but also encourages more young adults to join the programme.
yes, the bold
- Makes featured employees feel good
- A boost for your image
- Helps your attract and recruit more of the right talent
Show your employees some love using a social wall.
Part of engaging your employees is trusting them to bring their ideas and thoughts to the table and not just letting them but asking them to share them with the world. Give them the space to communicate their ideas and what they care strongly about.
Capgemini created a social media series called “Her Story”, asking female employees to share their thoughts and stories.
Asking employees to tell their stories in their words is way better and more effective than a company tooting their own horn. Furthermore, you allow your employees to use their talents, knowledge and skills to establish themselves as thought leaders.
In the case of Capgemini, it also communicates the company’s values and shows that gender equality matters to them. It also has an effect on recruiting, as it might encourage a more diverse set of people to apply for jobs there because “if you can see her, you can be her”.
- Create thought leaders within the company
- Communicate company culture and values
- Helps with recruiting
Let employees share their thoughts on a social wall.
3. Create a hashtag campaign for your employees
Similar to external hashtag campaigns, which are primarily for your customers or users, you can also create internal hashtag campaigns aimed at your employees. They’re a great option to break up the monotony and add something fun and engaging to everyday company life. It brings employees together and fosters communication.
Wholesaler METRO created a two-phase social media campaign to engage both employees and its main customer base, which is predominantly made up of independent business owners. The campaign initially encouraged METRO employees to take selfies (so-called #ownies) with METRO customers. They were posted on internal channels, and employees could win a reward. In the next step, the campaign went public, encouraging METRO’s customers to post selfies with their customers to social media. The content was collected with a hashtag, and incentives were offered.
A campaign like that works on multiple levels. It engages both employees and customers and, ultimately, their customers as well. It sparks conversations and creates a bond between employees and customers. Once the campaign is in its public phase, it also boosts the company image and has a chance to create buzz.
You can find out more about the campaign in our METRO showcase.
- Engages both employees and customers
- Creates bonds between company, employees and customers
- Creates a positive brand image and promotes the company as a workplace
Create a hashtag campaign for your employees and collect authentic content that helps promote your company as a great workplace.
If you’re in a big, global company or a distributed team, it can be hard to keep everyone connected, but a hashtag and social wall can help you foster a sense of community. You can have that up and running long-term, but it’s also a great addition to internal events, especially if they’re virtual events.
Simply create a hashtag that aggregates conversation and put it on a social wall. Tell your employees about it and encourage them to use it before, during and after the event. It’s an excellent way for people to get to know each other online despite great distances and create a sense of community.
Even before the pandemic forced companies to go remote, Cisco was already dealing with teams and employees spread far and wide across the globe. For Cisco Leader Day, one of their biggest global leadership events, which lasts all day throughout various time zones and involves lots of video calls, they set up a social wall connecting employees across the globe.
As people logged on and off according to the timezone they were in, the social wall remained as a constant that allowed them to reach out to each other and communicate asynchronously in addition to the synchronous nature of the video calls.
Read the whole Cisco showcase on our blog!
Meanwhile, S&P Global spiced up its 4-day virtual conference MI Content Expo with a social media wall that combined our Direct Posts feature and a Snapbar photo booth.
The social wall was beautifully embedded in the 6Connex virtual event platform and let employees from across the globe make meaningful connections and share their thoughts with each other. Plus, a photo booth always adds a lot of fun, and the Direct Posts feature helped maintain the privacy requirements S&P Global has for internal events.
Here’s the whole MI Content Expo showcase if you want to know more!
- Create a connection between employees
- Bridge geographical distances and time zones
- Add a fun and communicative element to virtual events
Engage your audience at internal events with a social wall.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is definitely something to show off and inspire others with, but it’s also a lovely way for employees across borders to engage and communicate what each team has been doing.
International consulting company BearingPoint organised an internal CSR campaign called 10 Days of Caring. BearingPoint teams around the world picked activities to give back to the community and documented them in social media posts. A hashtag brought all their content together on a social media wall which was displayed in BearingPoint offices everywhere.
Read up on BearingPoint’s CSR campaign to learn more!
- Create a connection between employees in different teams across the globe
- Show accountability for the meaningful work you’re doing
- Inspire others to give back as well
Create a corporate social responsibility hub.
6. Create an employee advocacy programme
Employee advocates are employees who will actively promote your company or brand to the public. It’s a chance for your brand to connect with people you as a company may not be able to reach as well with your own communication efforts as a brand.
Just like consumers trust other consumers and user-generated content, they will also put more trust in employees speaking well about a company rather than the company tooting its own horn.
German insurance provider LV 1871 launched an innovative corporate influencer programme. About 30 employees who volunteered for the position now have the task of presenting the company to the outside world. They post on social media using a set hashtag, and their posts are collected on a social wall together with the company’s social posts.
The wall is embedded on the company’s website and displayed prominently at headquarters, where it draws attention from employees. You can find out more about LV 1871’s corporate influencer programme in our blog post.
At the end of the day, a corporate influencer programme is merely a more organised and formalised version of employee advocacy. Employee advocacy can bring fantastic results, both internally and externally. It boosts a brand’s image, creates trust, and it gives employees agency.
- Create trust through employee social proof
- Attract customers
- Attract new talent
Turn your employees into brand advocates with a social wall.
Social walls are often embedded on websites, but you can also display them on screens in a physical space. Sometimes, people use TV screens; other times, they put social walls on large LED screens. However big the screen, it turns a social wall into a social hub that draws attention and foot traffic.
Case Western Reserve University has two social media walls that are shown on a large screen at a central building on campus. It’s part of a two-storey, multi-touch video wall that displays a variety of media and informational content.
Students, staff and visitors can post to the wall, and people who book the space for events or conferences can also book the social wall to have their hashtag added for it for the duration of the event. Learn more about CWRU’s massive multimedia display!
Yes, CWRU is a university using a social wall on campus. But there’s no reason a company can’t set up a large social wall in their lobby with similar goals.
- Foster a sense of community
- Create a hub that transcends the offline-online divide
- Immediately show visitors and potential students/employees who you are
A quick warning about employee engagement ideas
Here are a few caveats about using these employee engagement ideas that look extremely good and tempting on paper. You probably don’t need to hear these warnings, but I just want to make sure we’ve talked about it.
First, fix your culture
Before you take a deep dive into employee engagement, make sure your company has a culture that employees actually want to engage with. If they’re not happy, they won’t want to promote your brand to the outside world, whether that’s to customers or potential talent.
Don’t force it
Employee engagement should never be foisted upon anyone. If it’s forced, it will not feel authentic. And, yes, people can tell whether something is authentic or not. Whatever your campaign is, don’t make it compulsory to take part in it.
Look for volunteers; look towards the people who are natural leaders. Once they are on board, it’s likely others will follow.
Be clear about what you want
Be clear and concise about what kind of content your campaign could make use of and communicate why you’re doing it and what the benefits are for the company and for the employees. Brief managers and let them set good examples.
Make it fun
Make employee engagement fun and give back. Organise competitions and raffles to encourage people to take part. Regularly showcase or highlight interesting content created by employees. And, most of all, let people enjoy this communicative aspect of working together and make sure you enjoy it as well.