The concept of brand ambassadors is closely linked to digital environments and the actions of certain people on social media. And not without reason, as they usually have a clear mission: boosting the reputation of a company and acting as proponents of its services, values, etc. Their communicative actions are increasingly important, since users are basing more and more of their trust in companies on the opinions of individuals and third parties.
This is why the idea of an internal employee serving as a brand ambassador has been gaining strength over the last few years. In fact, the Edelman Trust Barometer states that 41% of consumers now consider employees to be the most credible sources when it comes to generating trust in a company. Which has led us envision two broad key areas in the design of a brand ambassador strategy focused on workers:
The creation of employee experiences: First, it must be understood that talking about employee experiences, as opposed to work, has enormous implications and involves significant differences. An employee experience takes into account all of the factors that affect the worker’s motivation and performance. Therefore, it requires the consideration of people’s professional development, their training, their involvement—to a greater or lesser extent—in decision-making, the organization of work and teamwork, internal communication and everything else that makes the workplace a space in which the employee feels integrated, committed and valuable.
Communication: It’s the process by which the committed and motivated employee becomes a brand ambassador, learning what, how, and where to communicate. To this end, it can be highly useful to conduct employee training and draw up some common strategic guidelines. To do so, it’s necessary to determine the extent of employee knowledge and establish a starting point.
It’s very common and easy to talk about this second aspect of communication (which is, of course, extremely important), but sometimes it seems easy to forget the importance of employee experience. As we have said, an employee will only act as a brand ambassador if their experience at the company is optimal. Additionally, any employee—whether or not they’re active on the Internet and social media—can contribute to brand reputation, and just because they don’t act as a brand ambassador at a given moment, it doesn’t mean that they won’t in the future.
Having employees who act as brand ambassadors requires the constant creation of a great employee experience, and this strategy should be implemented and integrated in all phases:
- Offering the job to the candidate
- Contacting and interacting with the candidate
- Selection process
- Entrance into the company
- Daily life
- The end of the working relationship
At Montaner&A, we know that the employee experience is fundamental for productivity as well as brand reputation. For this reason, we put people at the center of all these phases. Last May, two of our coworkers ended their working relationships with Montaner&A, so it’s a good time to analyze their experiences at the company through their own testimonials.
Lydie Fleury’s arrival at Montaner&A
Lydie arrived last June with the intention of working at our organization for a year. Her work experience was already geared toward human resources, with “more than 5 years of experience in HR, working in training and recruitment as well as legislation, personnel administration and payroll”. She had also held various positions in this area with different companies at an international level (Japan, France, Spain, Ecuador).
She came to Barcelona for two reasons: to get to know the city, and to continue dedicating herself to her passion—human resources. “I found a European Union program that could give me this opportunity: Erasmus+ (formerly Leonardo, the Erasmus program for lifelong learning). It took me more than a year to arrive at Montaner&A; I had to change locations to join the program, find another job during that period, and send out a lot of applications”.
Finally her CV reached Montaner’s selection department, and contact with the company began through Skype interviews, which resulted in her being hired.
Incorporation and development within the company
From the first moment, Lydie found “a human company, where people share values and good humor”. She highlights “the closeness of our team, in which communication is constant, and which is one of the most important parts of any job—both to do good work and to feel valued at the company”. In this way, Lydie perfectly summed up how she, like us, loves people. “I like to bring not only my technical knowledge and qualities to the company, but also my contagious happiness and good humor, because I like to joke around and make people smile”.
Another incredibly important aspect of her experience at Montaner was the evolution of her role at the company. In just one year, her responsibilities have grown and she has been able to increase her role in decision-making. “My duties have evolved a lot; I began by drafting and publishing job offers, and soon I started screening CVs, conducting interviews, and eventually headhunting, supporting the training department, benchmarking, and much more, which has allowed me to become familiar with all aspects of the profession”.
In Lydie’s case, we like to think that the end of her working relationship with Montaner&A is not a goodbye, but rather a “see you later”. “For months we’ve been talking about future collaboration, because we’ve all loved being able to work together. The feedback from my direct superiors is very positive, and that’s why we’re keeping future collaboration in mind. Once again, lots of communication: congratulations, gratitude for the collaboration, saying positive things—there things are missing at many companies and are so important for employee motivation”.
It is precisely this communication that has allowed, on an operational level, for “the transfer of tasks to not entail too much work, since we work together every day and we know each other’s responsibilities and methodology”.
We’re convinced that our paths will cross in the future, because we firmly believe that she wants to connect with the company again and, as Lydie says, “One of my qualities is perseverance, which means I usually attain my goals”.
Kevin Muriel’s arrival at Montaner&A
In Kevin’s case, his interest in people arises from psychology, an interest in the human psyche and the way it interacts with its surroundings. His relationship with human resources began in a somewhat spontaneous way; during his first internship he ended up conducting selection interviews. His interest in this area continued to grow over time, and now, for him, “work is the most important part of life, along with family and friends. I think the role of HR is vital in achieving better work conditions. It also directly affects work-life balance.”
In Kevin’s case, it wasn’t so much that he found Montaner&A, but rather that we found him. “It fell from the sky. I was about to turn in my thesis, and they contacted me through Infojobs regarding a consultant position that they had open. They told me about the group and I liked everything I heard; it seemed like a very human business that I identified with. So I went to the interview and began an exhaustive process, and luckily I was selected. And that’s how I started at Montaner”.
Incorporation and development within the company
As soon as he became a part of our organization, Kevin seemed to find the work environment he was looking for. “The team of people is possibly one of the most important and differentiating aspects of Montaner. From the first day I realized that, though hierarchies existed, they weren’t as rigid as they might be at most companies, which greatly favored the creation of a good work environment and encouraged teamwork”.
According to him, the experience has been equally positive at the personal level. “They’ve trusted me since the first moment, and I’ve always tried to get involved in all the jobs and tasks they entrusted me with: in their management and communication, as well as with coworkers, new additions, etcetera”. In fact, Kevin sees this trust as a general attitude that the company has toward its employees. “The trust they have in their workers is reflected in the autonomy they’re given. As I understand it, if you have a team of workers it’s because they’re qualified to carry out the duties assigned to them, and it’s not necessary to constantly hover over them. You should trust employees, and that’s what I’ve seen at Montaner&A”.
In terms of his roles and professional development, as in Lydie’s case, Kevin has been able to diversify his duties, “starting with personnel selection and moving on to training, administrative management, personnel administration, etc. This has helped me to escape the confines of routine”.
When a working relationship comes to an end, it’s the perfect moment to find out how that relationship has really been. In Kevin’s case, we maintain that this relationship has been terrific, and based on total transparency. “Since the first moment I’ve wanted both my team and the central offices to know that I was participating in a selection process, so that they would have time to look for a replacement who fits the group’s philosophy. I’m leaving happy, I’m leaving behind a lot of experiences and a great team, and it wasn’t an easy decision. Although I’m leaving, they’ve made it clear that I’m a member of this family, and I feel like one. I’m setting off in search of new professional challenges, but of course it’s nice to think that we’ll meet again in the future.”
We’re convinced that, in the case of both Lydie and Kevin, and in addition to everything they’ve given us, we’ll continue to count on them as proponents of our company—whether in their closest circles or as speakers on behalf of the brand, whenever they decide to raise their voices and talk about us.