Does the thought of your employees being active on LinkedIn scare you? It shouldn't.
Rather than fearing they are on there looking for new jobs, you should hope they're there representing your company well. Your employees are an extension of your brand -- on LinkedIn and everywhere else. Here are five ideas for helping your people shine on LinkedIn in ways that cast a positive light on your company, too.
1. Host a headshot event at the office.
Hire a photographer to spend a couple hours, half day or whole day at the office taking everyone's headshot. This will save your employees time and money and say to them that you care about them and they are valued. Individual headshots might cost $100 or $200 each but by hiring a photographer or a longer period of time, you can work that price down and give your people a really nice treat.
2. Design a branded cover image for employees' profiles.
See that banner behind your employees' headshots? I'm guessing it might be adorned with LinkedIn's standard issue blue background or a cover photo that has nothing to do with your business. You could hire a graphic designer -- if you don't have one on staff -- to design a customized image, with your company logo or brand elements, for that spot and encourage employees to use it. Make sure to put this image on your company's on LinkedIn page.
3. Encourage team members to write articles on LinkedIn.
If you have team members who write blogs on your company website, encourage them to share those blogs to LinkedIn or maybe even write original content for the platform. If you don't have a company blog, consider using LinkedIn as the means for your company's subject matters experts and leadership to write articles to share their industry knowledge, market trends and exciting ideas.
4. Encourage managers to write recommendations on LinkedIn.
I'm sure some of you will disagree with this idea. Why help employees get hired away, right? Wrong. Aside from a pay raise, I can't think of a better way to acknowledge an employee's hard work, leadership and contributions to the organization than a public shout-out while that employee is still part of your team.
It's one thing for past managers to write recommendations after the fact. But current managers? That sends a powerful statement to current employees and those who are considering applying. It might help you attract more stand-out staff. Encourage your managers to recognize their team members in real time on LinkedIn.
5. Fill your company LinkedIn page with content.
Keep up your company page on LinkedIn by posting new content. Share things like articles written by employees, news articles about your industry or, better yet, about your company, announcements of promotions and new hires. Encourage your employees to read and share from the company page. Make sure there's more there than job postings.
The point here is you want to show that your company is a great place to do business and work. Your employees can help you tell that story on LinkedIn -- if you let them.