Your employees are the best billboards you have. They are the best ambassadors for what your brand represents. This has always been true, but the coronavirus crisis has highlighted how vital employees are to marketing narratives.
Marketers can’t afford to leave frontline support to some one-and-done HR campaign. Here are four ways marketer leaders can demonstrate that they have their employees’ backs:
1. Listen to them:
We’ve heard this a million times by now, but the current situation is changing rapidly. Customer expectations are shifting at an increasing pace. Frontline employees see and hear these changes in real time, and they can provide great insights into what it will take to reach buyers in this environment (and after). There’s no better time than now to give employees a voice and then use it for the market intelligence it provides.
2. Celebrate them:
I am not yet sick of the selfie videos of employees out doing their jobs amid the health crisis. It is inspiring. It is authentic. It gives employees the spotlight while showing off a spirit of dedication to customers. Whether the campaign is done inside or outside the company, celebrating that hard work goes a long way to build morale.
3. Surprise and delight them:
Brands are putting increased focus on personalized “extras” that will make each customer’s experience special. They need to do the same for employees. Learn about employees. What do they value and care about? Whether it is custom care packages to make their days a little easier or donations to causes they support, doing something special for them “just because” will not be soon forgotten.
4. Wow them with a stunt:
Celebrating their work is crucial, but giving frontline employees some creative distractions might be even more important. For example, we recently worked with a national music act to do a private streaming concert for our employees and clients. For 90 minutes, everyone got to set aside the crisis and be part of an extraordinary experience. Musicians, comedians and celebrities all have free time right now — just saying!
Marketers reach customers, but frontline employees serve those customers. Now is the time for marketing departments everywhere to play an active role in supporting these teams while providing them with the recognition and comfort they need in a time when serving customers is more stressful than ever.