Paul Massie: How to make your employees into brand advocates

From a speech by the head of communications at Serco Business Services at an Institute of Public Relations Conference in London
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The Independent Online

The EU Information and Consultation Directive, which comes into force on 23 March 2005 for companies with 150 or more employees, seeks to empower workers by ensuring they are provided with information in a timely and open manner. It seeks to consult all staff on matters such as their employment prospects and contractual relations, so that they are included in the decision-making process.

The EU Information and Consultation Directive, which comes into force on 23 March 2005 for companies with 150 or more employees, seeks to empower workers by ensuring they are provided with information in a timely and open manner. It seeks to consult all staff on matters such as their employment prospects and contractual relations, so that they are included in the decision-making process.

It pays to embed sound employee communications practice within your organisation. Research conducted by Mori in 2002 showed how satisfied employees become brand advocates. If they are happy with the organisation, they become informal spokespeople and are five times more likely to support and champion the organisations they work for. This research also uncovered that a good internal communication strategy builds loyalty and morale amongst staff. Employees who feel that they are valued respond positively.

This is common sense, really. But given the shock-horror stories you get from time to time about employees finding out about downsizing and "Fat Cat" payments via the media, you begin to wonder whether leaders only pay lip service to communications and whether they recognise the real value of good employee communication.

By making it mandatory for organisations to consult with their employees, employees are empowered, since they are given the right to have their say on issues affecting the organisation. This is a powerful tool for management as it presents opportunities for both employers and employees to understand one another better.

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