When most people think of ‘influencers’, they are usually thinking about Instagram stars. And whilst these influencers can reach large swathes of the population, they aren’t always the most effective, particularly when it comes to brand advocacy and word of mouth marketing.
The very best influencers for a business, are its employees. Afterall, what better brand advocate could there be than the people that work there?
The importance of personality
The biggest brand advocates share the same values as a business and will display those values – and therefore the company – in a positive and authentic light.
Whether deliberate or not, brand advocates and business influencers will boost awareness: supporting sales, customer engagement and even recruitment.
David Bernard, CEO of innovative artificial intelligence recruitment firm AssessFirst, is passionate about creating a positive business culture and states that personality underpins this.
He said: “During recruitment, though the cognitive skillset of an individual is important, their personality should never be overlooked. If a candidate’s personality has a high affinity with their employer – and its values, mission and vision – then the candidate will represent and advocate for that firm, becoming an influencer often without realising.”
David explains why recruiters should consider which information about a person is truly transformative in the search for ideal candidates.
He said: “Through predictive psychometric technology, we are able to provide non-bias evidence that will indicate a candidate’s ability to thrive in a particular company culture, in a particular job, and even within a very specific team. Company culture looks after itself with the right people on board.”
The benefits of a strong company culture
Great company culture boosts productivity, with happy employees being 31 per cent more productive than less happy counterparts. What’s more, a happy and emotionally healthy workforce is proven to drive brand engagement.
For example, Swedish fashion brand Lindex is renowned for its uplifting and encouraging culture. Supporting its staff through body positivity initiatives, Lindex launched an underwear campaign using them as the models. Because of this, brand advocacy is very high.
Similarly, Zoom is recognised for its culture that focuses on employee satisfaction and ultimately, takes care of its staff whilst they take care of their work. This comes as the firm takes the top spot as the company with the happiest employees for the second year in a row.
And, with research showing that 90% of Zoom Video Communications employees report happiness with their work-life balance, topped with 98% stating that they would call their work environment positive, this is a positive reflection of Zoom’s cultural commitment to ‘deliver happiness’ to its staff.
David said, “A workplace culture that is centred around flexibility, collaboration and community is one that will achieve great success: attracting and retaining new team members.
“And, as employees are a business’s biggest influencer, these are all things that should be considered and put into practice.”
David is a pioneer of remote working: helping his team to seek out an ideal work-life balance, which is demonstrated through AssessFirst’s 100% remote business model.
He said: “Where employers can do it, remote working provides new opportunity for both employees and businesses.
“It gives businesses access to a larger talent pool, fostering collaboration with people from diverse backgrounds worldwide.”
Avoid the risk of clashing culture with personality
To maximise productivity, it is important for businesses and employees to work together towards the same goal.
And David explains the risks that businesses may face if their company culture isn’t reflected by the people that work there.
He said: “Culture and personality are so closely bound to one another that there is great risk in not having them aligned.
“Bad reviews, negative word of mouth marketing and lack of efficiency are all things that are put at risk when employee personality and business culture aren’t aligned.”
Employees are critical to the success of any business, so it is only right for their personalities to be embraced. David encourages companies to nurture individual personalities as part of a collective cultural establishment. This, he argues, is what creates the best influencers your business could ever hope for.