Customer Advocacy and Employee Advocacy as a Measure for Healthy Organizations

February 19, 2024

Many organizations strive to surpass competitors, increase profits, and maximize shareholder value, and they may experience success. However, the brands that we admire, or even love, are not necessarily the ones focused on profit, but rather those that aim to benefit all of their stakeholders. 

These are the brands that bring in the most value to their customers, invest in their employees, treat suppliers ethically, and support the communities they are part of. Such companies are known as “positive organizations”, and, coincidentally, tend to bring in the most shareholder value.

In this article, we will discuss the advantages of building a positive culture, the path to developing a healthier organization, and how customer and employee advocacy are indicators of success.

What is a positive organization?

Positive, healthy organizations are based on a thriving corporate culture focused on customer satisfaction, career development, mentoring, diversity, communication, and conflict resolution. Such an organization is not just a place of high performance, but where people can flourish through their work. Here, customer concerns, feedback, and support are constructively acknowledged by the brand.

What are the benefits of positive organizations?

According to Deloitte, culture and engagement are top of mind for leaders around the world. In a worldwide survey, respondents were asked to rate their organizational problems in terms of importance. An astounding 87% of organizations regarded culture and engagement as one of their main challenges, with 50% defining the problem as crucial.

Culture, engagement, and retention have become key issues for business leaders in times of increased corporate accountability, enhanced workforce mobility, and severe skills shortages. These problems are no longer confined to the HR department. Companies who invest in creating a culture of profound employee engagement, meaningful work, job and organizational fit, and strong leadership are outperforming their peers, thereby attracting the top talent over their competition.

But the advantages extend further than just finding the right talent. Once they are embedded into the business culture, engaged employees are willing to work hard to make their company succeed by advancing projects and producing novel ideas. These behaviors have a concrete effect on the company’s bottom line. A study published by Gallup reveals that a strong, positive culture can raise customer ratings by 10%, sales by 20%, and result in an overall 21% rise in profitability.

Furthermore, a positive organizational culture reduces employee turnover and cuts costs for the management, since individuals are motivated, assured, and willing to promote your product. As a result, the team becomes more creative and committed to improvement. The Gallup study shows that engaged employees remained loyal to their job and worked harder. The companies that invest in culture experienced a 41% decrease in absenteeism and a 17% rise in productivity.

How can you create a positive organization?

A healthy and positive culture starts at the top:

  • Bring your leadership team together and uncover the mission and values of your organization: Get your team’s feedback on how those values can be implemented and executed. Discuss it with the team and getting buy-in on your plan is the first step in creating a positive workplace culture.
  • Create a working environment that is inclusive to everyone: Value individual differences and the growth opportunities they bring. Different points of view can resolve a challenge faster, and while not every opinion will be acted on, it’s important that your team feels heard and accepted.
  • Establish a clear goals and rewards system for your team: Recognize and celebrate their results. Ultimately, all their achievements will lay the foundation for a better company and workplace for everyone.

A positive organization also focuses on how people are treated outside the company:

  • Providing great value to customers: Customers are no longer willing to compromise on quality. 90% of customers read online reviews before contacting a business, making quality the key differentiator for today’s informed buyers.
  • Helping your customers throughout their product adoption journey: Organizations that prioritize their customers experience a significant increase in customer lifetime value and a reduction in churn.
  • Responding promptly and thoroughly to their support requests: There is a vast difference between “great customer service” and “good customer service.” You can either just do the minimum to keep a customer satisfied or go above and beyond to retain their loyalty and encourage advocacy.
  • Stay ahead of the market by tuning into your customers’ experiences and learning firsthand how to design and deliver user-friendly, accessible, and delightful products: This can help to drive growth and move towards a mutually beneficial relationship.
  • Supporting the community that you belong to: An increasing number of clients and employees look beyond product and experiences when choosing a brand. They pay close attention to the choices the brand makes, such as respect for the environment, support of locals, sustainable policies, and fair business practices.

One can learn a lot from reading the books of Patrick Lencioni and Richard Sheridan. It turns out, organizations can increase profits for investors, have talented employees, and bring value to society simultaneously if they take a healthy approach to business.

Customer advocacy and employee advocacy as a measure for healthy organizations

How does customer advocacy reflect organizational health?

Customer advocates are customers motivated by great products, excellent service, and loyalty to the brand’s values. They thrive on sharing their positive experiences with the social groups they are part of. These advocates fuel your brand marketing by actively participating in events or creating content, give referrals that can boost your revenue, and provide feedback on existing product features to improve quality. They also complement your support services by participating in communities and mentoring newcomers or unsatisfied customers.

Industry leaders like Tesla, Uber, Netflix, and Apple have become successful by engaging with their customer base. They make customers feel unique and set them apart from other users of similar products, technologies, or services. Their customer advocates are not just early adopters, but evangelists within their communities. They educate their networks on the benefits of becoming a customer and strive to improve the lives of other people and be part of the larger solution.

If your brand is a shared passion of your followers, you should actively participate in their advocate community by supporting them, benefiting their enthusiasm, and encouraging them to share their thoughts.

How does employee engagement reflect organizational health?

The three key internal and external aspects of a company’s growth are connection, communication, and engagement. In today’s competitive marketplace, employee engagement is a key component of business success. This engagement can significantly contribute to employee retention, productivity, and loyalty, as well as play a key role in customer satisfaction, company reputation, and overall stakeholder value.

A positive organizational culture is easily observed; employees are engaged in social channels and leave positive reviews on recruitment websites. They amplify customers’ voices by sharing content with their networks, help the sales process by attracting leads, and contribute to human resources by bringing in referrals.

Companies today live in the era of Glassdoor. Every corporate move is instantly exposed, and public debate is inevitable. Private issues of both current and potential employees are now posted online and accessible to everyone. Company culture, also known as “the way things work around here,” is open to the world and escalating.

Engaged employees are more likely to do a high-grade job, which leads to the production of quality work. According to Harvard Business Review, this can result in doubling the success rate, in comparison to less engaged businesses.

How can you encourage happy customers and employees to join your program?

When someone praises you or thanks you for a job well done, don’t you feel highly motivated to keep going? That applies to your employees and customers alike. Here are a few ways in which you can encourage their program participation:

  • Thoughtful appreciation and recognition
  • Transparency and honest communication
  • Motivating yet ethical rewards

Key takeaways.

Positive, healthy organizations are composed of thriving corporate cultures that focus on customer satisfaction, career development, mentoring, diversity, communication, and conflict resolution.

If your brand is a shared passion among your followers, you should actively participate in their advocate community by supporting them, harnessing their enthusiasm, and encouraging them to share their thoughts.

Engaged employees are more likely to do a high-quality job, as Harvard Business Review found, which can double the success rate compared to less engaged businesses.