As of 2015, millennials took over the American workforce to become the largest occupying generation. But the career landscape is far different than in decades past.
Because of this, millennials are becoming entrepreneurs at a higher rate than previous generations. Good thing, considering these folks prefer working remotely.
But that’s not the only reason they are striking out on their own.
Stagnant wages in the U.S., which have far from kept pace with inflation, have proven that corporate jobs are a dead end road for many.
While notable companies like Google, Zappos and Facebook have managed to attract top talent with vibrant company cultures, employee perks like great snacks and top-notch health benefits, and similarly desirable bonuses – nothing beats a fatter wallet.
People want to pay their bills, buy a home, go on vacation, put “bread on the table,” and save for a proper retirement while not working themselves to an early grave.
So if businesses are unwilling or incapable of doling out the extra dough, what can they possibly do to keep their employees engaged and advocating the brand?
Teach them to make more money on top of their current salary – a “side hustle,” something millennials are fast embracing.
This creates a win for the brand by cultivating a fervent promoter who is actively taught by the company to be a self-starter who can generate their own resources. Employees also earn a “W” as they have gained a new skillset that smashes the glass ceiling on wages.
If your company is ready to turn its workforce into brand ambassadors and future CEOs, here is how you can train them to make it rain.
It’s a little like the famous quote by Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie: “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”
eLearning platforms are a huge deal right now. Sites like these provide users with an affordable and convenient channel to deepen their skillset and knowledge, no matter what stage of their career they are in.
Employers can leverage this toolset one of two ways:
- Create courses that teach employees new skills to succeed outside of the company.
- Train employees to embrace their unique abilities and teach them to create their own courses in order to succeed outside of the company.
No matter which route feels most appropriate, platforms like Kajabi for instance supply all of the tools businesses and employees need to succeed – and then some.
With comprehensive learning platforms as Kajabi, brands can easily create courses that consist of text, audio, video, images, and other content formats to create a dynamic and engaging learning experience.
Engage through Gamification
Another method for creating brand ambassadors that will increase your company’s profile is through different employee engagement tactics and platforms.
This not only increases the brand’s social presence, but it assists in transforming workers into thought leaders within a given space.
Many of these types of tools target a variety of social media websites, so employees can choose where they think will be most beneficial to build their audience.
And since most of these tools have gamification elements like leaderboards, rewards, and similar features, employees not only gain a larger audience, but they have a blast doing it.
These types of community and influence-building tools can lead employees to landing columns, speaking gigs, consulting opportunities, and other revenue-boosting possibilities.
Reward Employee Referrals
Through this method, businesses can leverage the corporate benefits that advocates tout while simultaneously enriching an employee’s paycheck.
Referral marketing is pretty much what it sounds like – leveraging the power of word-of-mouth marketing through your advocate’s networks in order to drum up new prospects.
This method is highly effective because people are much more likely to buy a product with the recommendation of a trusted friend than an ad campaign. It also works because it is cheaper to run than a traditional marketing push.
By incentivizing employees – perhaps with a monetary bonus for each referral or each stage of the marketing funnel their referrals reach – you provide employees with additional income without sacrificing profit margins.
Outside of providing a financial incentive for employees to gain referrals, brands can also highlight their top advocates through blogs published on company websites and shared via social media channels. This raises the profile of the employee and shows their distinct value to the brand – more ways to transform a workforce into influencers and thought leaders.
Moreover, through successfully referring friends, family, associates and acquaintances, workers gain valuable sales skills that can benefit them inside or outside of their current role.
If your brand implements any sort of initiative that enables your employees to earn more money – no matter if it is through incentives or skillsets – they will be more engaged and productive. This type of synergy helps to elevate all parties and maintains positive sentiment towards a brand.
Help your employees by teaching them to help themselves. This is the ultimate workforce win-win, and it will ensure you, too, can attract top talent and keep them engaged, incentivized, and loyal.
For everything you need to run a successful employee engagement campaign on Glassdoor, download Glassdoor’s Enterprise Employee Engagement Playbook or the Employee Engagement Playbook for Small and Midsize Businesses.
About the Author: Joseph Sogbaike is Content Marketing Consultant and founder of Time&Ink Creative Digital Agency. He helps budding entrepreneurs and growth companies acquire new customers through effective content marketing. Follow Joseph on Twitter @gbengasogbaike or via his website