The power to have a conversation with your customers need not be used only for damage control. Blogs have many advantages other than the most commonly advertised ‘promotion and lead generation’ objective. Among these, image and brand management along with customer engagement ranks at the top for B2C organizations.
Different organizations have adopted different models and management styles to organize their blogs. Some use them for product promotion, while others use them to provide their employees an avenue to express themselves and go beyond their “roles and responsibilities”. Some of these blogs are private – locked for internal viewers, while others are public, and any employee can post without any editorial (and I don’t mean proofreading) oversight. Of course, there are strict guidelines for what these employees can publish . . . or not.
But that is not the only reason you should ask your employees to blog.
Let us now look at some of the reasons you should encourage your experienced employees to be active bloggers and how their participation can help customers, other employees, and themselves.
If there is any one thing that connects everyone using social media today, it is the desire for public recognition. Leaders want it, actors need it, sportspersons love it – why should your star performers be any different?
Compensation, benefits, and the core job duties are still the most important factors that can help you retain talent. But not all your employees fall in this category. Maslow taught us that people usually move from basic needs to a higher plane as they age and gain experience. However, the hierarchy of needs did not talk about the time it takes people to move from one need to the next. Organizations need to recognize and place each employee in the right category to motivate and retain talent. This survey from Deloitte claims that employees rate intangible elements such as candid communication (50%), employee recognition (49%), and access to management and leadership (47%) as more important.
Encouraging your experts to interact with your customers and within the organization shows that you genuinely recognize the efforts of the employee and have no hesitation in certifying them as a valuable resource.
Capturing tacit knowledge of employees is a long-standing challenge for any organization. The short transition time between the old and new employee is not always enough to get the new employee up-to-speed. Other than the one-to-one handover, it is always desirable to have a workforce that is agile and can take on different responsibilities at a short notice. Breanna Banford, at Xerox Corporation discusses how internal blogs at Xerox help increase collaboration and discuss innovative ideas.
Gary Klein in his keynote address highlighted the importance and the challenge of capturing experts’ tacit knowledge. According to him, storytelling is one of the most effective strategies organizations can adopt to capture this information. Although, employee skills can be maintained through periodic training, each expert blogger brings a different perspective to every situation. The conversational tone of blogs and the freedom to write long posts can help experts talk at length, which is difficult to capture in presentations.
Influence other employees
In our dynamic habitat where multiple forces act and prod us, everyone gets influenced and at time influences others. Every mother instructs her child to avoid ‘bad company’ and stay on the right path. Most of us are influenced by movies and television stars – and I increasingly see people buying stuff because their favorite actor uses it or endorses it.
My point – it is important that new additions to your organization are influenced by the experts. The more they come in contact with a happy, motivated employee, the more likely they are to stay and be motivated. A senior employee openly sharing knowledge also indicates a healthy work environment and encourages new employees to do the same. Judy Gombita outlines similar core benefits of encouraging experts and seasoned employees – she calls them opinion leaders – can bring to the organization.
Internal blogging, Insourcing, Internal Crowd Sourcing – call it what you want, the benefits the company can accrue by encouraging its employees to blog are manifold. How do you leverage this new tool to help your employees help you?
We would love to discuss your specific needs and provide solutions to harness the power of blogging for your business.
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