Yesterday, I conducted an all day learning workshop. It was pretty intense, with only a couple breaks and a working lunch. The employees who participated in the workshop were there to learn about the new social media plan and policy recently adopted by the organization. They spent the day listening to presentations, getting involved in several team exercises (both with their departments and people who they never worked with before) and watching videos from outside experts and companies.
Taking the time to communicate, educate and involve employees in your new initiative that’s poised to move the organization forward, makes people feel valuable and a part of the company’s growth. It also motivates people to buy into a new program and to take action. If a company wants an army of internal brand ambassadors, the company has to invest time and energy into creating those brand ambassadors. Of course there will always be natural champions who surface. These are the “Passionates” who raise their hands and want to immediately get involved. However, creating a broader learning environment and engaging more members of the company, means moving different people toward passion through education and team development. Suddenly, you’ll find champions, you never knew existed in your company.
”It’s their job and they need to get on board” is not a good approach. Sure, in a tough economy, when companies aren’t spending a great deal on internal education, I’m sure this has been said a lot. However, the reality is … if you want your employees to truly buy into your efforts and believe in the brand, you have to empower them, educate them and give them the tools that they need to succeed. This is especially true with social media and employee participation. At the onset, social media to the employee may appear as “one more hat they have to wear.” Of course, this type of thinking is not exclusive to social media. Any change effort that necessitates a shift in culture (the mindset of the people), the process (management of systems and procedures) or the technology (infrastructure), should be introduced in a way that makes people feel a part of the process and working together toward a better solution.
Investing in your employees isn’t a one-time opportunity, it’s ongoing and the more you continue to empower, give trust and provide the right tools, the more they will feel motivated and use the tools to participate in programs that transform or advance your business.
Investment = Buy-In