Have you heard the term “micro-influencer?” If not, just ask the nearest Millennial to fill you in. He or she will tell you that micro-influencers use social media (mostly Instagram) to post content on specific topics like travel, food or interior design. Followers (who can number in the thousands) rely on influencers for recommendations, conversation and a sense of community.
Influencers are not only trailblazers in marketing, but also represent a best practice in employee communication. Like influencers, you can provide platforms for employees to share information, interact with colleagues and build community. Here’s what you can do:
Form an editorial board
An editorial board (aka ed board) is comprised of a diverse mix of employees who can influence content by serving as the eyes and ears of a company or campus. Because employees want content that’s relevant to them and their role, an ed board brings together different functions to suggest topics employees will find helpful.
How do you form an ed board? I bet you can name a handful of employees who are often “in the know”: having a pulse on news and events within your company. Nominate these employees to serve as members. Be sure to choose a diverse group of employees from different roles, functions and locations.
Recruit ambassadors for your next change communication initiative
To support change communication, give employees the role of ambassadors. Ambassadors will get the word out in a genuine way, while helping employees understand and act on the change.
What to do:
- Recruit employees from different areas of the organization
- Train them to become knowledgeable on the change initiative
- Communicate their experiences
For example, if you’re company is rolling out a new software program, ask for pilot volunteers. Then gather employee testimonials to display on your company’s digital signage or social media feed. Testimonials are impactful because employees value the opinions of those they’re closest to: their coworkers.
Provide opportunities for dialogue
Employees want to be heard; they most likely have questions or ideas. Often, the only opportunity to speak up is during a town hall Q&A—which can be intimidating or not the best platform. Give employees an outlet to share their ideas and help influence decision making by creating more experiences for two-way communication.
Here are a few ways:
- Conduct focus groups to gather employee feedback on a specific topic and uncover why employees feel the way they do
- Host coffee chats or other informal meetings devoted solely to answering employees’ questions
- Hold engagement sessions to identify current challenges and brainstorm solutions
- Create a designated feed on your company’s social media where leaders and employees can engage in conversation
These communication opportunities break down barriers, increase collaboration and build camaraderie.
By encouraging your employees to become micro-influencers, you are motivating them to have a voice in your organization.