It’s no secret nowadays that employees want to be treated as individuals and gain internal satisfaction and fulfillment from their job. In other words - they need to feel emotionally engaged in the workplace. We all know an engaged employee when we see one; the happy-to-be-here, super productive, going above and beyond the call-of-duty type. A far contrast to the late-arriving, mood-fluctuating, space-staring folk who drag themselves out of bed to achieve their 9-5, so that they can get a paycheck at the end of the month.

Great employees are irreplaceable.

If you don’t give your employees a compelling reason to stay, they’ll find another job that will. The truth is, no company just wants employees - they want brand advocates; people who believe in their business, are influencers of the bottom line and those who will do the hard work of promoting their company from the inside out. But, brand advocates don’t just appear out of thin air. They require their ideas to be encouraged, their talents, nurtured and their needs, addressed. 

From the top - down.

The key to maintaining this kind of employee is to create a "best-place-to- work” environment; one which measures and rewards performance and aligns with the business mission. Leaders at the top create the conditions that enable others in the organisation to take charge. They should be mobilising employees towards developing the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed in order for them to excel in their jobs. In other words - change the system, not the people. This is the role of leadership: to invest in systems, look at structures and put in place strategies in order to make the people and business succeed. 

At the end of the day, if you want your staff to show up for more than just a paycheck, then you need to promote a culture where creativity and individual talents are actively encouraged and promoted. This is the challenge for leaders - knowing what conditions are necessary for people to develop themselves and for their ideas to flourish.

How are you leading your employees to become your best brand advocates?