Everyone loves to be recognized. As humans, we want to feel as though we belong, are seen and appreciated. When you highlight your team on your owned channels and include them in your earned media strategy, the benefits can help strengthen your employer brand—especially in a difficult hiring landscape.
The truth is, many workers today don’t feel valued. More than 40% of employees surveyed for the Achievers Workforce Institute’s 2022 Engagement and Retention Report shared that not only do they not feel valued at work, but they are stretched thinner than before because of labor shortages. And while more companies are recognizing their workers compared to a year ago, only 59% say they are supported by their employer when it comes to personal and professional development goals.
Dedicating the energy to highlight your team members as part of your employer brand strategy can bolster your culture, demonstrate your company’s breadth of talent and celebrate the people who are making things happen on a daily basis, all at the same time.
Here are eight ways you can highlight your team:
Introduce your team
Meet the team content is great for companies of all sizes, but this type of content can be especially impactful for smaller companies and those with many customer-facing roles. “Meet the team” or employee spotlights, whether on social channels or your website, is an opportunity to recognize employees for their hard work while introducing them to larger audiences and conveying the personalities of your team members. This recognition is especially true of people in roles that aren’t often featured or called out as part of larger company initiatives. You can also use this type of feature as a way to introduce the team members who will be onsite at your upcoming hiring event, providing information about their role and what kind of questions they’ll be able to answer.
Share employee recognition externally
Hopefully, you already have a mechanism in place to honor the achievements of your people. If you don’t have an internal recognition program, now’s the time to start. With this program in place, highlight a job well done when you can. Choosing the right channels is an important first step—social media is well suited for this type of content, whereas earned media might be more of a stretch. With that said, employees with significant longevity or who have been responsible for building and launching a product or service for your company might fit into a company profile or a local media mention. When you do highlight your team on social channels, tag the employees and incorporate channel-specific hashtags.
Highlight employees in alumni publications
Make the collegiate connection between your employees and their alma mater. Many colleges, universities and trade schools distribute alumni publications or highlight alumni on social media. Check with your employees to see if any of them are members of alumni associations, as this might make it even easier to shine a light on their work and their impact post-graduation. You can also reach out to these schools to align with hiring events in the community to bridge the gap to future talent. For example, you might want to use two of your rising star engineers on Manufacturing Day to align with an on-campus recruitment event.
Celebrate a host of holidays
A tried and true tactic, adding relevant holidays to your calendar can help raise awareness of a team or group of people within your organization as part of your communications strategy. Women in Stem Day, Administrative Professionals Day and IT Day are just a few examples of the odd but satisfying holidays on the calendar. You can recognize an entire department or raise awareness of individuals making an impact. Develop holiday templates to plug and play with no matter what the holiday may be, or incorporate photography of your team to better acknowledge their achievements. You can tag your employees to gain additional visibility and encourage sharing of this content to your team’s individual profiles.
Schedule social media takeovers
Anyone who wants to could be a company influencer for the day. Demonstrate your culture and EVP by allowing your employees to show what their day is really like from their perspective. This takeover works especially well when individuals or teams are off-site or participating in a unique event or experience beyond their typical everyday routine. You can also extend the reach of this type of experience with a series of short “day-in-the-life” videos highlighting the different roles within your company.
Submit your employees for awards
There is no shortage of professional awards, and they aren’t limited to executives or senior leadership. Review award opportunities available in your community, industry and specific roles within your company to identify ways you can recognize employees at all levels. There may be age-specific milestone awards to consider as well, including 20 in their 20s or 40 under 40. You can also survey your employees to understand what industry associations they belong to, so you can add those member-specific awards to your list.
Spotlight team member anniversaries
Consider creating graphics to celebrate work anniversaries on social media. These types of stories can be particularly useful as a recruitment tool because they can demonstrate the tenure of your employees and the reasons people are committed to remaining on your team and enjoy working for your company.
Honor all accomplishments
Your employees are doing great things, both inside and outside of work. Celebrate significant accomplishments and let employees know their dedication and hard work are being seen. Completing certifications and degrees may be an option, and so should large-scale projects, successful trade shows or events, or even an awesome holiday party. Highlighting employees individually for their contributions and what they did to impact the company is far more impactful than a general thanks to a specific committee. Don’t forget to also highlight the volunteer work and community impacts your employees are doing outside of work. Celebrating all achievements—personally and professionally—helps foster a feeling of belonging and respect.
Creating opportunities for your employees to feel valued and recognized will not only strengthen your overall employee brand strategy but helps employees to feel more engaged and inspires prospects to want to join you. Taking time to highlight your team members and implementing some—or all!—of these steps can boost morale, increase productivity and showcase your company culture to the people who keep your company moving forward each day.