By Bradley Honan, CEO

I’m honored to be speaking at the Conference Board’s 2016 Digital Transformation and Communication in the Changing Workplace seminar this Friday in New York City.  I’ll be speaking on influencing employee performance and productivity at 3:15pm.  If you haven’t yet had a chance to register, you can do so right here.

I’m going to be presenting the results from a fascinating study we did in partnership with Weber Shandwick on employee activism and how it can make or break your business.  The talk will cover the crucial intersection between employee activism and social media, as seen to the right, and its impact on brand reputation, engagement, and profit:

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Our global research revealed that as many as 1 in 2 employees are sharing content about their employer on social media.  That’s huge – especially when you consider the fact that employee-shared content (as opposed to traditional marketing, advertising, or sales content) can increase reach 10x and engagement with a brand 8x. This type of engagement is a powerful force in maximizing and promoting your brand.

The other side, of course, is that not all engagement is positive and employee engagement on social media can also have a negative impact on brand reputation. Some in hiring circles call this ‘The Glassdoor Effect,’ named for the site where you can anonymously review a past employer. Because the anonymity increases transparency, companies run the risk of losing potential future top talent because of how past talent is reviewing them.

There’s real business opportunity for your brand here, but there are also landmines everywhere if you don’t handle it correctly.  It’s an important area to get right.

Unfortunately, there are two primary ways that employers are not leveraging employee activism to its full potential.  First, employers aren’t actively encouraging social sharing.  And secondly, only about 30 percent of employees in our research are deeply engaged with their employer:

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Doing it right, and turning employee engagement and activism into a bottom-line business advantage, will be the focus of my Conference Board talk. I’d love to see you there if you happen to be in NYC this Friday — and if not, come back to the KRC blog next week for the full deck and some thoughts/feedback from the talk.