Last updated on March 8th, 2023 at 09:14 pm
Employees are a company’s greatest marketing asset. They promote the company’s name and image in a variety of ways including through the quality of their work, their attitude, and their level of communication. But only happy employees do this. If your employees are unhappy, not only will you suffer the cost of high turnover rates, but they’ll never bring you new customers.
This is especially true for Millennials and Gen Z, two generations who absolutely will cut off their employers if they aren’t happy.
In this post we’re going to talk about how companies can leverage happy employees to grow their customer base and increase their profits. We’re also going to provide some great ideas on how to keep your employees happy and encourage them to become advocates for your business.
Happy Employees Are More Likely to Talk Positively of the Company
While it seems to be an obvious statement, it’s amazing how many employers and bosses forget that the people who work for them have their own social circles and families full of potential customers.
It doesn’t matter what you offer your employees if they’re not happy. You must have happy employees for them to have any positive effect on your marketing efforts.
If you make your employees miserable, they’re going to vent about how much they hate their job. And they’ll vent to everyone; all of those people will develop a negative perspective on your company even if they’ve never tried your product.
So how do you keep your employees happy? Let’s talk about it.
Competitive Salaries (Obviously)
Go ask Google how to keep employees happy, and you’ll find article after article that neglects to mention monetary compensation (because they’re usually written by HR professionals). They’ll talk about holding giveaways, communication, creating positive environments – all very important things that we’ll talk about – but they completely skirt around the primary reason people go to work every day: money.
If you’re content to pay your employees the middle of the road salary, understand that means 50% of your competitors will be willing to pay them more.
Now this isn’t to say you need to be the highest paying company in your industry, but your employees should be able to afford to work for you. You get what you pay for – if you want the best employees, then you have to pay the best salaries.
Underpaid employees will not be running around on their free time talking to potential customers about how great their company is.
A healthy work/life balance is another significant way to keep employees happy. A strong work/life balance is the one thing many people will take a position with less money for.
If your employees have time away from work to spend with their family & do the things they love to do, they’re more likely to remain happy. This means allowing them to leave work at work and not expecting them to work longer than their agreed upon schedule.
How to Get Your Employees to be Your Strongest Marketers
Now that you know how to make your employees happy, let’s talk about some ideas that will encourage them to be advocates for the company and bring in more sales & leads.
Your Employees Need to Know What the Business is Really About
Surprisingly, may employers place employees in roles where there is a specific task that needs to be done, without the employee really even being told what the company does and why they’re a great company.
As an example, large and medium companies frequently employ accountants for back office functions. Accounting is one of those professions that is pretty much the same no matter where you work, so great accountants don’t necessarily need to know what the company is about as long as they have the numbers they need to do their job.
In reality, those accountants will never be cheerleaders for your business. Employees must know what you do, why you do it, and why you do it better than anyone else. If they know this information, they’ll recommend your services to the people they know!
Provide Incentives for Referring Leads or Sales
Bringing in new business doesn’t have to be something that only the sales department does. Giving your employees a valid stake in the company’s successes will encourage them to be champions for your business. They’re you’re strongest lead capture tool!
If an employee refers one of their family members or friends to your company, consider providing them an incentive for doing so. Perhaps you give them a bonus, or a percentage of the sale. Whatever you choose, make it’s something that’s important to the employee. A pizza party never suffices. If you’re worried about it affecting your bottom line, remember you never would have had the sale in the first place if it weren’t for the advocacy of that employee.
If you haven’t spent energy communicating to your employees that their referrals are important to you, and that you’re willing to compensate for it, then there’s no reason to think they’d recommend your company to anyone.
Make sure it’s in the employee handbook, every quarterly newsletter, and any other publication your employees see regularly. Make it impossible for them to forget!
Final Thoughts: Your Greatest Marketing Asset
Your employees can be one of your greatest marketing assets. And if they aren’t, then it’s up to you as a business owner to fix that.
Make sure your employees know you want their business, treat them well, and give them something in return for it. It’s a long term marketing strategy you can count on.
Sharif Jameel is a business owner, IT professional, runner, & musician. His professional certifications include CASP, Sec+, Net+, MCSA, & ITIL and others. He’s also the guitar player for the Baltimore-based cover bands, Liquifaction and Minority Report.