What is Employee-Generated Content?
Employee-generated content (EGC) is very similar to user-generated content (UGC), the main distinction being that it is content created specifically by employees of a company rather than by any user. Like UGC, EGC has a wide array of applications and can be a cost-effective way to drive improved engagement.
The Cost of Outdated Onboarding
Employee turnover can be a huge drag on your bottom line. Direct replacement, on average, costs 50% of the annual position salary while total cost of replacing highly skilled personnel can add up to 200% of salary. With 23% of new hires leaving before their first year anniversary, employee turnover presents enterprises with both challenge and opportunity.
If you are looking for tools to improve these numbers for your organization, it might surprise you how effective an employee-generated content (EGC) initiative can be.
There’s nothing easy about hiring. It’s tough enough to find skilled candidates who are also a good fit with the company and business unit culture. It’s even harder when you’re battling digital media narratives you can’t see and don’t control.
No longer dependent on the recruiter in your HR department for information about your organizations, potential new hires now possess the tools to quickly and easily perform extensive research on your company. Chances are, they’ve formed an opinion about your organization, a business unit, or even an individual hiring manager before submitting their resumes.
Platforms like LinkedIn and Glassdoor provide open forums for current and former employees to express opinions, both positive and negative, about your business. This can affect the attitudes of not just the candidate pool, but your current personnel as well.
EGC can empower the enterprise to take a holistic approach to onboarding and retention.
Here are three key elements to revolutionizing how your organization onboards new hires:
1. Start the Onboarding Process Before the Job is Posted
Too often, hiring managers find themselves fighting digital white noise about their organizations. One disgruntled former employee can influence dozens of employment forums and cause lasting damage to your organization’s reputation. If your digital presence paints a negative picture of your company, highly qualified candidates who might be a great long-term fit will likely deselect your company without ever applying for a position.
Candidates have more influence on your workplace reputation than ever before. It is not limited to forums on employment platforms like Indeed or Monster. Future, former and current employees share information anywhere and everywhere about what it’s like to work for your organization.
Like brand ambassadorships, EGC transforms your personnel into employment emissaries. Real voices relay real stories about your workplace—touting what makes it unique and great without sounding like a contrived corporate initiative. By offering authentic, positive information to the community, potential candidates with shared interests and values come to favor your organization in their job searches.
EGC targeted at recruiting, onboarding, and retention helps you promote the best things about your corporate culture while improving understanding of your own employees, and painting a more vivid picture of the ideal candidate in the process.
What are the most popular perks of working at your company? What values are appreciated and rewarded? What’s a day in the life like for one of your employees? EGC gives a voice to your happiest, best employees and lets you take control of the online conversation.
2. No Surprises on Day One
The traditional “here’s your packet” onboarding process can often lead to costly turnover within months or even weeks. A recent study by HR Morning listed the 2nd most likely reason for an employee to quit quickly as, “The work was different than I expected.”
Managing a validated, organic message about your employee experience reduces the surprise. Surprises upon arrival are not limited to misinformation about PTO, insurance premiums, or cubicle location. It’s the more idiosyncratic stuff that can poison the well shortly after arrival. Do most people eat lunch at their desks or in common areas together? Is the culture more “work hard-play hard” or more “work-life balance?” Do employees take part in team social events outside the office?
EGC is the ultimate way to promote the intangibles that truly differentiate your company from your competitors. Setting the proper expectations before candidates begin can make or break the onboarding process before it even begins. EGC can attract new hires with better awareness of the workplace—enabling faster, smoother, and more reliable assimilation.
3. A Low-Cost Way to Improve Retention
Suppose a firm employs 1,000 individuals with an average income of $50,000 per year and experiences a middle-of-the-road 15% annual employee turnover. Direct cost alone would be $3.75M annually. At the enterprise level, each percentage point in employee retention can represent millions of dollars. Understanding this cost of turnover, EGC as an onboarding tool provides great value to the organization.
Less expensive and more credible than a packaged, corporate promotional plan, a well-managed EGC program can serve as the foundation for a cheaper, more efficient onboarding process. The EGC program can be largely automated, avoiding labor intensive efforts that are hard to maintain. The work effort is put in the hands of your happiest employees – and can even be incentivized within the program if an extra push is needed to get going. Authentic, original content filters up to the top and you can choose what gets published where. EGC is a brand new – and stunningly effective – way to drastically improve hiring, onboarding and retention.
Better Onboarding Translates Into Happier, Longer-Tenured Employees
Effectively managed EGC can create real return for your organization. By starting the onboarding process at the awareness phase using EGC, rather than the first day on the job, your organization is less likely to experience quick turnover and more likely to hire candidates that will be long-term assets to your company. It’s really not all that different from dating apps – the more parties know in advance of the first date, the likelier a positive, long-term relationship becomes. In this case, letting your current employees express their favorite parts of their jobs makes qualified candidates who would be great culture fits that much more likely to apply.