Your Employees Are Your Hidden Superpower — Here’s How to Leverage Their Talent & Credibility

Your Employees Are Your Hidden Superpower — Here’s How to Leverage Their Talent & CredibilityYour company wouldn’t be what it is today without its employees.

That’s not a reflection of your team’s quality. It’s a statement of fact — every successful organization needs people to plan, execute, and react.

Chances are good that your firm has at least a few high performers on board, though. These people are its hidden superpower, the difference between “good enough” and “amazing.” They get outsize credit for your company’s market share growth, its sales momentum, its profit margins.

Make sure they know it. And make sure you’re getting the most out of them on the next phase of your shared journey by leveraging their talent, credibility, and ambition.

1. Include Key People in Your Company Directory Listings

This is a quick fix with a return that’s as close to passive as it gets in marketing and business development.

Assuming your company has already set up listings or profiles on high-visibility business directories like Crunchbase and AngelList, all you need to do is add mentions of your key employees. If the platform has special fields for these entries, all the better — if not, work those mentions into your company description or wherever else it makes sense.

The Crunchbase profile for Asiaciti Trust, a trust services provider based in the Asia-Pacific region, shows how this looks in real life. The profile’s “people” tab includes a high-ranking board member and the firm’s CEO — two individuals likely to be high on prospects’ contact lists.

2. Make Sure Everyone on Your Team Shows Your Company As Their Current Employer on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is even more visible than purpose-built business directories like Crunchbase. And much as you’d like the reverse to be true, it’s likely that more LinkedIn users search for your employees than for your organization — at least, in the aggregate.

So make sure people viewing your employees’ LinkedIn profiles know they work for you. Ask every employee to list your firm as their current employer, with their full title and a clear description of their role, if they haven’t already.

This is a numbers game and an authority game. For better or worse, more employees means more credibility in a crowded marketplace; and the more associations it creates within the LinkedIn ecosystem, the more influence your organization appears to wield.

3. Have Key Employees PostExpert Content on LinkedIn

An association with your firm is valuable enough, but clear thought leadership is potentially priceless.

Tap key employees (or subject matter experts who don’t rise to the “key” level) to publish short but high-value LinkedIn posts. These posts should cover issues salient to your audience and tag your organization or appear on your company page.

4. Explore Contributorships With Relevant Publications

LinkedIn isn’t the only digital venue to promote your employees’ expertise. It’s not even the highest value.

Contributorships on blue-chip publications are reputational gold for your organization and the employees who earn the byline. While it’s challenging to get contributorships for top-tier publications, it is doable if you or one of your key employees can show you’re a thought leader and can establish ties with relevant editors. Also consider having employees join relevant Forbes councils as well.

5. Pursue Volunteer and Community-Building Opportunities for Your Team

Your team should be visible in the communities you serve — or, if they’re mostly remote, in the communities they reside in.

Set aside at least one day per quarter for volunteer work. An organized “company day” works fine; for those who don’t want to or can’t participate in what you’re offering, allow alternative service. All that matters is that they’re visibly lending a helping hand on your behalf.

6. Set Aside 10% to 20% of Your Employees’ Time for Self-Directed Projects

Many employers are reluctant to do this for fear that self-directed projects become self-directed enterprises — potentially competitive ones, employment contracts notwithstanding. But the flip side is also true: a successful project can create tremendous value for the organization that incubated it, both in monetary and reputational terms.

Take the risk.

Protect Your Assets

Even in the most employer-friendly labor markets, recruiting, training, and retaining new employees is expensive and time-consuming. In a perfect world, you might be slow to hire and quick to fire, but in reality, you’re probably slow to do both.

As you should be. And that’s all the more reason to focus on cultivating the talent you do have on your team, investing in key employees’ happiness, and leveraging the credibility of your company’s human capital.

Done correctly, this sets up a classic win-win for your company and team. Your employees stay happy, buy into your mission, and work harder; your firm grows more productive, more profitable, and more credible.