Nearly every event I speak at on Employee Advocacy, I’m asked by business leaders, “What incentives do you find work the best to motivate employees to engage?”

This question was raised when I was honored to speak at the Social Media.Org Brands Only Summit, where there over 300 brands were Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 8.50.36 PMpresent.

So,“What incentives do you find work the best to motivate employees to engage in an employee advocacy program?”

Do you suggest paying them?

Do you provide prizes?

Do you use leaderboards?

What about gamification techniques?

While these may provide a limited lift in engagement for some brands, I would say none of these are what employees are truly seeking. So what is it that motivates employees to engage in a committed way to share their expertise and great news about their companies? Two words:

Visibility and recognition

Top most is visibility amongst coworkers, managers, but most importantly Senior Leadership. Followed by recognition for their commitment and dedication. It’s truly that simple!

So what are you doing to integrate visibility and recognition types of rewards into your Employee Advocacy program?

Here’s a few ideas you may want to consider:

  • Start a column to recognize the most dedicated employees that are the most committed to regularly engaging to drive the program and company goals forward. Run this column in your company newsletter and create a feature story series on your intranet or company blog.
  • Create a monthly opportunity for Senior Leaders to recognize employees verbally on a management call. A simple mention of the employee with examples of how their efforts are driving results is a fabulous way to motive employees and spread the good word to management and the C-Suite as well as inspire others to engage.
  • Take advantage of company events where leaders can recognize the efforts of the top most engaged employees publicly amongst their coworkers. There is nothing more gratifying that public recognition.

IMG_3700You will find more on this topic during the Q&A of this video where I’m asked this question and more. Also, there is a whole section about rewards and recognition in my book, The Most Powerful Brand on Earth see Chapter 2: Help your people do well

Best selling author and founder of Social Media.Org the one and only Andy Sernovitz pictured with me. What a great event!

“The Most Powerful Brand on Earth,” presented by Susan Emerick from on Vimeo.