Employees are essential assets to an organization and deserve a spotlight to bring attention to what is working and how it differs from others.
What is an employee spotlight? How will it benefit your organization and employees? What are some best practices worth mentioning in the employee spotlight?
This article discusses what an employee spotlight is and how it can help foster an empowering work environment and create inspired employees.
This write-up also tackles best practices, including determining the best format, deciding what to feature, and preparing spotlight questions. Furthermore, the article covers examples of employee spotlights.
How Can the Employee Spotlight Help Your Workplace?
Organizations implementing employee spotlight can achieve the following internal benefits:
- Gives employees recognition for their efforts and provides exposure among colleagues
- Motivates employees to continue giving their best efforts and work harder
- Helps build stronger interpersonal relationships among coworkers within the company
- Provides opportunities for increased collaboration among colleagues and higher employee engagement
- Helps create a positive organizational culture that promotes mutual respect and appreciation within the company
- Provides an effective way to share updates, news, or current events within the company, especially to remotely working teams
Furthermore, when the spotlight motivates individuals to work, they can increase productivity, leading to more career opportunities or better pay to change their financial condition.
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Aside from internal benefits, an employee spotlight also provides organizations with external advantages, such as the following:
- Helps a job-seeking applicant transform from being passively interested in the job or company to a motivated and engaged candidate
- Adds an interesting or exciting feature to the company’s branding story
- Plays an essential part in the company’s marketing material, especially during customer engagement or recruitment efforts
- Helps humanize the company so that clients will have a more favorable impression of it, leading to more confidence and trust
- Gives outsiders a sneak peek into the company’s culture
What Is Employee Spotlight?
Employee spotlight helps feature notable employees in your company, including their achievements, personalities, successes, challenges, anniversaries, and other elements that can be of significant interest.
You can think of employee spotlights as similar to testimonials. However, employee testimonials mainly aim to provide social proof for candidates. On the other hand, companies use employee spotlight primarily for employer branding.
Organizations can publish employee spotlight posts in multiple formats, such as written interviews, short videos, or graphic presentations. These formats typically feature the employee’s picture accompanied by a short introductory text or summary.
Companies usually publish these posts on the following channels:
- Internal communication channels
- The company’s social media accounts
- The organization’s website or career pages
Employee spotlights provide an excellent channel to share content about employee stories to boost the business’ brand and build connections among the organization’s employees.
Notable Employee Spotlight Examples
Numerous organizations have implemented employee spotlight in various ways.
Examples of such best practices include the following:
Employee spotlights using this format typically have short lengths, allowing organizations to include one or more employee perspectives on a single page.
This format provides job candidates with a general idea or snippet about the company or team.
For example, South Texas Research Institute, a clinical research site in Edinburg, Texas, has an employee spotlight page on its official website. This page features a mini interview with one of the institute’s employees.
Sharing employees’ career paths
Candidates applying for specific job roles in an organization can learn how its current employees landed their roles.
UIPath, a global software company, is an example of an organization that conducts in-depth interviews of employees to help candidates become more informed of what these employees do in their roles.
The articles also provide helpful tips to help prepare applicants for hiring opportunities at the company.
Highlighting job openings
Companies can use employee spotlight to promote job openings.
In the case of Delta Airlines, it utilizes its Instagram account, Life at Delta, to highlight employees and promote job opportunities in the company.
One of its posts focuses on one employee who talks about Delta’s diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) commitment.
The post also promotes Delta as the place to establish a career in the aviation industry or apply for work after retirement.
Sharing leadership stories
Members of an organization’s C-suite (top management positions where “C” stands for “chief”) can provide authoritative and insightful knowledge about the company and industry.
One example is Solstice, a U.S.-based tech company, which interviewed three C-suite members to share how they became interested in pursuing a career in technology.
These top management members also shared what working at Solstice as a woman in technology is like and the challenges women in tech industries face.
Conducting in-depth interviews
In-depth interviews can provide job applicants with an opportunity to see the organization in the eyes of one of its current employees and learn about the employee’s detailed experiences in the company.
ezCater, a Boston catering company, conducts such interviews by asking questions like how the employee got their job at ezCater or how the engineering team collaborates with other teams in the company.
In-depth interviews are great examples of how an employee spotlight can give applicants an insider’s view of an employee’s experience.
Encouraging employee retention and job satisfaction
Employee spotlight can present opportunities for the company to highlight its employees’ job satisfaction.
One example is E. & J. Gallo Winery, a family-run winery. Its Instagram account features the career journey of one of its employees, from being a production engineer to a startup manager to a product owner.
This spotlight shows how the company believes and trusts its employees’ abilities through promotion, improving job satisfaction, and employee retention.
Launching the Employee Spotlight: Where Should You Start?
Employers can start implementing employee spotlight by considering the following activities:
Showcase the right employee
Many organizations will likely have notable star employees waiting to be featured.
However, highlighting a wide array of team players and personalities is also essential to promote diversity.
Such individuals include those coming from different departments, a recently-promoted supervisor, or a valuable colleague whose significant contributions might otherwise go unnoticed.
Create a list of insightful questions
Employee spotlights are opportunities for the company’s employees to shine. More detail is usually better; open-ended questions are one way to accomplish that.
Examples of such questions include:
- What does your job require you to do at our company?
- What motivates you to go to work?
- What project has been your favorite so far?
- What questions do you like to ask our chief executive officer (CEO)?
- What is something about you that many individuals do not know?
Choose your format
Organizations with successful employee spotlights use appropriate formats to engage readers and potential job candidates. Thus, companies must take the time to determine what format works best for them.
Some organizations prefer sharing questions and answers (Q&As) in a company newsletter. Other businesses post public blogs that customers and coworkers can read.
Still, other companies use audio and video media to bring more personality to the spotlight.
Conduct a formal interview
Interviewing in person can help you get genuine and in-depth answers and explore more details about the employee. This way, you have the option to engage in a face-to-face meeting and take notes or record the interview through a smartphone.
When interviewing an employee, be sure to share questions ahead of time, so they have time to prepare. However, be ready to dig deeper when follow-up questions come to mind.
Make it visual
The human brain can respond to and process visual content 60,000 times better than text. Thus, images and similar media will likely capture more attention than written transcripts.
Employers can keep the employee spotlight interesting by letting employees choose photos to use for this campaign.
Companies opting to share the spotlight interview through video can consider mixing footage of the employee in action. The employee can provide their own videos for the content or let the company record the employee performing some work-related activities.
Employers can think of various ways to be creative with their employee spotlight. If you believe this campaign can benefit your organization and boost your coworkers’ productivity, consult your manager or human resources (HR) personnel.