Employee spotlights are an essential component of any employer branding strategy, both internally and externally.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management, it’s more important than ever to develop employee recognition practices, benefits, and perks that lead to real and measurable business impacts. More than 80% of leaders surveyed by SHRM have such programs in place, and the vast majority cite engagement, relationships, company culture and organizational values as the biggest benefits.
Organizations can use these spotlights to increase employee satisfaction and loyalty, promote their company's culture and values, and attract top talent. Meanwhile, employee spotlights also provide an opportunity for employees to share their employee experience and feel recognized and appreciated for their continued exceptional performance.
What Are Employee Spotlights?
This type of recognition of your employees allows everyone to learn more about them and your brand. These spotlights can be extremely effective tools for fostering trust and loyalty among coworkers, potential new hires, and even customers.
These are a great way to share your employees’ stories via content that you publish on your internal communication channels, your company’s social media pages, career sites, and other channels. These posts may include everything from an employee’s work history and achievements to personal hobbies and interests.
An employee spotlight can also help foster a relationship between team members with a recently promoted supervisor, a great colleague, or your company's leadership team. This system may significantly improve your employee retention rate.
While employee spotlights share some similarities to customer testimonials, they differ from them in that employee spotlights focus on the employee experience and what it’s like to work within your organization. For example, employee spotlight posts may serve to highlight your company culture, core values, training opportunities, and efforts to support individuals’ goals.
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Benefits of Employee Spotlights
- They give your employees exposure among their colleagues and recognition for their efforts
- They motivate your employees to work harder and continue to give their best
- With teams working remotely, they are an effective way for you to share what is happening within the company
- Employee recognition can help build stronger interpersonal relationships within the company
- They can lead to higher engagement and better collaboration among colleagues
- They can help build a positive company culture of appreciation and mutual respect within your organization
- Spotlights can help convert a job-scouting candidate from passively interested to an engaged job applicant
- They can add a fascinating new dimension to your employer branding story
- They can be used as marketing material for your company, during recruitment, client/ customer engagement etc. (as they are more authentic than marketing fluff produced by the organization)
- They are a sales tool that can humanize your company and help clients and customers feel comfortable in moving forward
- They can give a sneak-peak into your company culture
Creative Ways to Spotlight Employees
Employee spotlights help you keep your best employees and boost productivity. They can also be an excellent tool for employer branding, employee recognition, attracting new talent, and standing out from the competition.
In recognizing outstanding employees, photos can feel inadequate. Fortunately, with social media, you can always use video to recognize employees! (Please keep in mind that when filming employees, you should always get their permission.)
Capture footage of your employees in action for a video showcase, whether they are communicating professionally with a customer, performing excellent work on a job site, or delivering a strong presentation.
Do you run a large company with a lot of employees? If this is the case, likely, the majority of your employees do not know all of their coworkers.
You can use social media to both recognize outstanding employees and foster company camaraderie.
Use video to record short interviews with employees you want to recognize, preferably from different departments. Ask short, informative questions in these interviews, such as “What are you most proud of?” or “What’s the best thing about being a part of our team?”
Don’t forget to emphasize the employee’s specific accomplishments! Share these interviews on your Instagram story or LinkedIn page.
What better way to share your employees’ voices than to give them the ability to use them directly?
Increase employee advocacy by including prompts, digital assets, hashtags, or tools to encourage people to post directly on social networking sites such as Instagram, LinkedIn, and others. If you send new hire swag to an employee, for example, include a note encouraging them to share a photo with their LinkedIn network using your employer branding hashtag.
Contests and Competitions
A competitive spirit is almost always beneficial to your organization. Why not channel that energy into inviting employees to represent your company in a race or other type of competition? Alternatively, you could organize internal company competitions.
You can organize it around sports such as cycling, running or be centered on other interests such as cooking, baking, photography, or volunteering.
You’d be surprised how involved people can become, especially when it comes to something they enjoy doing.
Is one of your employees mentioned specifically in a customer or client review? Now is the time to acknowledge that!
You can easily highlight public employee performance reviews, which has the added benefit of promoting your standards (and your employees) to customers.
Share reviews from Yelp, Google, Angie’s List, and other sites to Facebook, making sure to include a clear mention of the employee cited.
Things to Highlight When Designing Spotlights
- Everyone in the organization, not just upper management or prominent employees, should have an equal opportunity to be in the spotlight - including new hires.
- Attempt to recognize unsung heroes and people who are not typically recognized—after all, everyone plays an important role in your company.
- Create a spotlight to celebrate an employee’s achievements as soon as possible.
- When sharing a spotlight, try to use a format that is familiar to your target audience
Internal Employee Spotlight Best Practices
Undoubtedly, internal employee spotlights can help you strengthen relationships with your employees and build rapport with customers, job candidates, and other stakeholders. Before you start shooting videos or writing posts, however, review the following employee spotlight best practices:
- Determine the best format for your employee spotlights. Videos and podcasts are great for engaging audiences that would rather listen to your content than read it. You can then repurpose this content into blog posts and social media posts, allowing your content to get extra mileage.
- Choose an employee to spotlight. Ideally, select people from different departments throughout the company and with varying levels of experience. Ask if they want to participate before sending a list of questions, making it clear that it’s optional.
- Be flexible as you interview. Don’t be afraid to stray from your list of questions if the conversation goes in an unexpected direction, but also, do your best to keep the interview on track.
- Once you’ve created your employee spotlight, promote it through your internal channels as well as externally on your blog, social media pages, and other mediums.
- Employee spotlights published on your company's website or social media platforms are also powerful on their own. Posting them on social media where they can be viewed and commented on by both staff members and potential customers give the positive impression of having a great business culture.
Top Employee Spotlight Examples
Cooleaf partners like Shipt, MountainSeed, and Rasmussen take their employee recognition strategy to the next level by including team member spotlights across organization-wide social media platforms!
The benefits of employee spotlights are clear: they help you attract prospective employees as well as maximize employee engagement. They also showcase the employee experience, in turn, building trust and connection with the rest of the team and encouraging others to take pride in their work. Overall, employee spotlights help foster a sense of community, which can lead to better business practices and morale overall.
Ready to put the spotlight on your team members? Get started on Cooleaf!