This post originally appeared on neilpatel.com
As a business owner, you know your employees are vital to your company’s success. That doesn’t mean they always feel appreciated, however.
Regular recognition at company meetings is essential, but so is making your appreciation public. Employee spotlights let you tell the world about top employees and explore their contributions to your company.
Employee spotlights aren’t just a way to recognize and reward loyal, hardworking employees. They are an uber-effective (and perennially underused) marketing tactic. They can help humanize your brand and, ultimately, boost sales.
It’s time to stop taking our employees for granted. Here’s how to use employee spotlights to give your staff the recognition they deserve while growing your business.
6 Benefits of Employee Spotlights
First and foremost, employee spotlights are about recognizing the wonderful people who work for your company, but that’s not the only benefit.
They also make for incredibly effective marketing collateral. There’s no corporate sales message with an employee spotlight. Just authentic brand storytelling that shares what makes your company stand out.
That kind of message comes with some significant benefits—the kind that can send revenues soaring.
Boost Your Recruitment Strategy
Employee spotlights are a fantastic tool to help your company attract the very best talent. The kind of talent that takes your company’s sales to the next level.
It’s a huge commitment for someone to take on a new role. Even more so if it’s senior management or an executive position. When all job adverts look similar, potential employees look for as much inside information as possible.
They want to know what it’s like to work at your company, who their colleagues might be, and what perks they can expect.
Employee spotlights highlight the day-to-day experience at your company and could be the deciding factor that sways a candidate’s decision in your favor. If you are hiring, you can run ad campaigns about job positions featuring real employees.
Foster Meaningful Connections Between Employees
There are few better ways to create meaningful connections between your employees than a series of articles and interviews that shine a light on individual employees.
Employee spotlights can be particularly powerful in large enterprise companies where it can be hard for employees to get to know people in different departments.
They break down barriers and silos that separate departments and give employees a nifty way of striking up a conversation between teams. This can increase productivity, communication, and your bottom line.
Increase Engagement and Reach on Social Media
Employee spotlights are usually incredibly popular when shared on social media. Employees, their friends, and families love to share posts about people they know. While corporate sales messages might only pick up a handful of shares, this kind of social media engagement can be transformational.
Each comment, like and share, gets your company in front of a much bigger audience. That could lead to new applicants and even new clients. Potential clients feel good about working with a company with incredibly engaged, connected, and happy employees.
As you can see, Twitch’s employee spotlight got over 250 likes and shares and showed off their company branding.
Win Over Potential Clients
Employee spotlights are a fantastic tool to win over new clients. When there’s not much difference between firms in terms of price or previous work, the decision can often come down to which company the client thinks will be more enjoyable to work with.
Think about which company you would choose to work with: a faceless corporation that doesn’t even have a team page on its website or a company that is proud of every single employee and goes out of its way to show them off?
Grow Existing Client Relationships
Employee spotlights aren’t just great for winning new clients. They can also improve the relationship with your existing clients. When you send out employee spotlights in your email newsletter, you give your existing clients another opportunity to engage with your brand and reaffirm their choice to work with you.
They can follow up on services that employee offers or learn more about their contacts at your company.
This may give you more business as a result of something mentioned in your spotlights.
Improve Your Company’s Reputation
Glassdoor and other job review websites have made it all too easy to dig up dirt on companies. Employee spotlights give you the chance to bolster your company’s image.
The time and money invested in creating employee spotlights show your company cares about its employees. The content of each spotlight can further bolster your reputation.
What gets said by employees can prove your company is committed to creating a rewarding and challenging working environment. That tells possible recruits there is a great company culture, and you have nothing to hide.
How to Create an Employee Spotlight
Now that you understand the many benefits of creating an employee spotlight let’s cover how to create them.
Before creating the content, ask yourself these three questions:
- Who are you going to highlight?
- What are you going to include in your spotlight?
- Where are you going to post it?
Who to Highlight
No one should be off-limits when it comes to creating employee spotlights—unless they don’t want to participate, of course. (Don’t force employees to take part against their will.)
For those who are willing, however, make sure you highlight a broad cross-section of your team. Everyone from the executive leadership team down to the new intern deserves the opportunity to be recognized.
What to Include in an Employee Spotlight
While you can include whatever you like in your employee spotlight, there’s a common format that most employers tend to take.
The Essentials of an Employee Spotlight
There are several elements no employee spotlight should be without. These are:
- employee name
- employee picture
- job title
- direct quote
An employee spotlight doesn’t have to be as comprehensive as you might think. This information alone can be enough to achieve some of the benefits we covered above.
The Optional (but Recommended) Extras:
If you want to make your spotlights shine, consider adding a lot more detail to help readers get the full picture. For example:
- a detailed description of their role
- the length of their employment
- a question-and-answer session
- their hobbies outside of work
- anything else interesting about the employee
What to Ask Employees in a Spotlight Feature
A video interview or a written Q&A session can bring your employee spotlight to life. Make sure to ask questions that will make it easy for employees to talk favorably about your company and give readers and viewers a good idea of what working there actually looks like.
Here are some topics to cover:
- employee perks
- company culture
- company leadership
- the job role, and why it’s enjoyable
- why the employee took the job
Civis Analytics uses a Q&A style spotlight that helps readers get to know their employees.
However, be careful not to get too hung up in the minutiae of their roles or trying to get the perfect soundbite. Canned questions can result in stale answers. Instead, trust your interviewer instincts and delve deeper into anything interesting the employees share.
The more unusual and different each of your employee spotlights, the more likely people will be to read every one. That also means mixing up the format of different spotlights can work well.
Short-Form Spotlights Vs. Long-Form Spotlights
Your employee spotlights can be long-form written pieces of short-form snippets, videos, or social media posts. There are benefits to both short-form and long-form spotlights.
So, why choose?
If you’re going to the effort of creating employee spotlights, consider doing both. Start the employee spotlight with a short-form executive summary or introductory video so readers can learn everything at a glance.
Then go into more detail for those who want to spend time getting to know your employees. You could post the full-length video interview or transcribe your entire Q&A session. You could even have employees write an in-depth blog post.
Don’t be afraid to chop up long-form spotlights into short, digestible chunks that can be shared on social media platforms, either. The more ways you can repurpose the content, the more valuable they become.
Where to Post Employee Spotlights
Post your employee spotlights anywhere and everywhere. Your brand blog is a great starting place. Create a new post for every employee spotlight and have a dedicated section of your blog where readers can easily browse past spotlights.
Use social media to get the word out and link back to your blog posts. Platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are a great way to significantly increase the number of people who will read your spotlights.
Don’t be afraid of using video snippets or direct quotes from each spotlight to create posts, either. You can also spotlight employees by letting them have complete control over your social media accounts for a day.
It’s also worth including every new spotlight in your corporate newsletter. We’ve already discussed the benefit of showing potential and current clients your spotlights, and this is a great way to make sure everyone knows about them.
If you’ve filmed your employee spotlight, you should upload it to YouTube, too. Not only is YouTube a great way to host your videos, but these types of videos are also incredibly share-worthy and can increase exposure on the platform.
Finally, don’t forget to share your employee spotlights on your company’s intranet or instant messaging app. Spotlights are great for boosting employee morale and helping employees get to know their colleagues better.
What to Do After Publishing Employee Spotlights
Once you’ve completed the first few employee spotlights, spend time gathering feedback from your team and your audience. Ask them what they liked about the interviews, what they didn’t like, and anything they thought was missing. You can even ask who should be highlighted next.
Armed with this information, you can make your next batch of employee spotlights even better. Collect more feedback after and then optimize them again. Whatever you do, don’t stop creating them. The more spotlights you create, the more chance your business will benefit from them.
It won’t take long before employee spotlights become ingrained in your company culture. You’ll wonder how you ever did without them.
It’s not an over-exaggeration to say employee spotlights can transform your company for the better. You can use them to:
- attract better talent
- improve employee morale
- expand your reach
- win new clients
- build stronger relationships with existing clients
- improve your company’s reputation
It’s not hard to create them, either. A simple Q&A or a short video is all you need to start changing your company culture for the better and improving sales as a result. What’s stopping you from getting started today?
Who will be the star of your next employee spotlight? Share in the comments!