Employee Spotlight: All You Need to Know + 7 Examples
Employee spotlight brings attention to your organization’s most important asset – your employees. In their own words, employees tell what it’s like to work for your organization and what makes it different from others.
Let’s look at the employee spotlight, its benefits and best practices, plus excellent employee spotlight examples.
What is an employee spotlight?
Employee spotlight is a type of content that features your employee’s history with your company, achievements, personality, work anniversaries, successes, challenges, and more. Employee spotlight posts are an excellent way of sharing employee stories to build connections among employees and boost your corporate and employer brand.
An employee spotlight post can be published in multiple formats, for example, an employee’s picture accompanied by a short text, a short video, or a written interview. Typically, these posts are published on internal communication channels, the company’s social media channels, and career pages.
Employee spotlight is similar to employee testimonial. However, while employee testimonials aim mainly to provide social proof for candidates, employee spotlight is also used for internal employer branding.
Related (free) resource ahead! Continue reading below ↓
HR Business Partner Resource Library
Download our free PDF and get access to essential reports, articles & videos that'll help you become a successful & future-proof HR Business Partner.
Benefits of employee spotlight
Still on the fence if an employee spotlight initiative is worth the time and effort?
Consider the following benefits:
Recognizing your employees
Employee spotlight presents the excellent work done by individual staff. The recognition increases an individual’s motivation and morale; thus, they work harder and give their best effort. Motivated workers are more engaged and more likely to stay with your company.
Building a culture of appreciation
Employee spotlights help create an environment where good performance is noticed by the management and colleagues, hence building a workplace where people acknowledge and value each other.
It also sends a message of your company’s positive work culture to the outside world. Online posts of a happy and engaged workforce tell future employees about the great company culture you have, where employee respect and appreciation thrive.
Fostering connections among employees
It can be challenging for people to get to know each other when working in a large company with various teams working remotely or across multiple locations.
In a hybrid/remote work setup, communication and collaboration are critical to breaking the barriers between coworkers and teams.
As such, employee spotlights can provide a conversation starter between people and departments. These initial conversations can result in closer interpersonal connections.
When different groups connect on a deeper level, it leads to higher engagement and teamwork. Increased teamwork eventually boosts productivity and the bottom line.
Authentic employer branding material
Attracting candidates that your employer branding and company culture resonate with isn’t easy. When people look for their next job, they want to know as much as possible about the organization they are applying for. They want to know the benefits and who their potential coworkers may be.
Candidates look for credible information on what it’s like to work for you. They trust your employees 3x more to provide such information than they trust the company.
Job review sites like Glassdoor can make it easy to find not-so-positive feedback about your company.
Of course, you need to work on the issues your (former) employees are addressing in their reviews to make your organization a good place to work. A well-crafted employee spotlight initiative can also help build a more positive impression of your organization. What employee says can prove that your organization provides a rewarding working environment.
In addition, sharing an internal employee spotlight with applicants at different stages of the hiring process will help them decide whether your job and company are a good fit for them.
Effective sales tool
More than an employer branding tool, employee spotlights can also be used as your company’s sales tool.
When in doubt about a company’s reputation, it makes sense for potential customers to check out its About page. Knowing the organization’s people can give you confidence in its products and services.
When placed side by side with another product or service with the same benefits and pricing, the decision can often come down to which company the customer thinks will be more enjoyable to work with.
Employee spotlights published on your website are powerful on their own. However, when you post them on social media where they can be viewed, liked, commented on, and shared by your workforce and potential customers, their benefit for your organization significantly increases.
Likewise, you can use them as content for your company newsletter. With email, you have a higher percentage of being seen by prospects because you don’t have to compete with other firms crowding their LinkedIn network. It’s also a much more personal way to communicate with customers because you’re talking one-on-one to them privately.
Employee spotlight best practices
Now that you’ve learned about the advantages of investing in employee spotlight, check out the best practices when creating the posts:
1. Determine the best format
The format of your employee spotlight posts will depend on how you plan to use the material and the audience you want to reach.
With the continuous popularity of TikTok and YouTube, it makes sense to create employee spotlight videos. You can shoot and edit a simple video on your smartphone.
Another popular format is the podcast, which is ideal for people who prefer to listen during commuting or driving.
If you have the resources and want to get the best results, get a professional to do it for you.
You can then repurpose your podcasts/videos into other formats like blog posts. Write a mini-interview and publish it on your website or include it in your company’s newsletter.
Further, repurpose your spotlight into social media posts. Combine the picture of the employee and the quotes during the interview. Then share them on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram.
You can also consult your marketing team to help you brainstorm employee spotlight ideas.
2. Decide who you want to feature
Ideally, your employee spotlight posts should highlight staff from different departments and levels (from interns to senior leadership).
Give a chance to everyone to be recognized. However, keep in mind that they should be willing to participate.
3. Prepare your employee spotlight questions
Popular topics to cover in your employee spotlight include company mission and vision, leadership, organizational culture, challenges and success, big projects or milestones, work perks and benefits, and career growth opportunities.
Here’s a sample of questions you can ask:
- How would you summarize what you do?
- What makes you want to stay at our organization?
- What do you like about our company culture?
- Can you tell us a few details about the favorite part of your job?
- What does your daily routine look like?
- Tell us the most significant project you’ve handled and how it has impacted our company?
- How does your current job compare with the previous jobs you’ve had?
- What things stood out for you about our management team?
- Which company values resonate with you the most?
- What have been your most significant achievements working for our company?
- Who inspires you the most within our organization?
- Which work benefit or perk is your favorite and why?
- What’s unique about working for our organization?
- Describe how you’ve grown professionally since you started working for us.
- What is the most difficult challenge you’ve experienced working for us?
- Given the opportunity, what would you like to ask our CEO?
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
- What’s the best advice you can give to someone who wants to work for us?
- What’s the most exciting thing you are working on right now?
- What skill do you think everyone should learn?
- What motivates you?
During the Q & A session, don’t stress about trying to get a perfect answer. Instead, let the responses from your staff naturally flow. And when something is mentioned that you think deserves a follow-up question, go with it.
While you may be tempted to follow your own Q & A plan, you want every employee spotlight to highlight each person uniquely.
4. Promote the employee spotlight
Share your employee spotlight posts on the different channels we’ve mentioned above, whether it’s social media, video platforms, or your company blog.
Don’t forget to promote it internally via your company’s intranet or internal communication channels like Slack or company newsletter.
Remember, these posts are great for boosting employee morale and helping them get to know their colleagues better.
5. Track the results
After publishing and sharing a few employee spotlights, ask your employees what they thought about it: what they liked and didn’t like about the interviews and about the posts themselves.
Then, you can use the collected feedback to improve your next batch of employee spotlights.
Track how the posts in different formats did on social media and email. That way, you can decide the best formats to focus on. For example, if your goal is to attract people from your social media accounts to your website, you can see what format achieves that best.
Employee spotlight examples
Need more ideas on how to create your employee spotlight posts?
Find inspiration from the following examples:
In their Employee Spotlight Series on their blog, a cloud communications platform MessageBird features employees (who they call ‘Birds’) from around the world.
In one of their posts, they give us a personal glimpse of Guila’s work history at MessageBird: how she started with the company, her career motivations, what her ‘typical workday looks like, and her biggest achievements with the company.
The direct quotes on her strong confidence with MessageBird’s offers and her appreciation for the company’s flexible work schedules strengthen the company’s reputation as an innovative workplace.
On their Instagram account, Life at Delta, Delta Airlines highlight their employees to promote their job openings.
This specific employee spotlight focuses on Delta’s commitment to diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI).
After retirement, Wee (Victor) H. was delighted to enter the workforce again by joining the company’s Res and Care team.
The post further establishes that Delta is the place to be, whether you are building a career in the aviation industry or searching for the next job after retirement.
The candidate’s picture while on duty provides a nice touch.
View this post on Instagram
3. E.J. Gallo Winery
This Instagram employee spotlight walks us on Siobhan’s career journey with E.J. Gallo Winery: from Production Engineer to Warehouse Analyst and Start-Up Manager to her current position as Product Owner.
It clearly shows how E.J. Gallo Winery goes the extra mile of employing people and believing and trusting in their employees’ abilities through promotion. Hence, improving their job satisfaction and employee retention.
The spotlight also ‘humanizes’ the employee by presenting personal information about them, like Siobhan’s family life and hobbies.
View this post on Instagram
4. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers featured a series of employee spotlight posts on their Facebook page in celebration of Women’s History Month.
In her employee spotlight, Teralyn Murray, P.E. Chief of Regulatory Branch, gave advice about never being intimidated.
Teralyn pursued a career in engineering despite the odds of her being female and Black.
She also promoted the Chicago District of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as an inclusive organization and encouraged everyone to apply.
Staples is another example of a company dedicated to the professional growth of their staff. In this employee spotlight example, Riley started her career as a manager to director and is currently in a Vice President role.
She says anyone can have a career in sales despite the lack of sales experience by having grit, determination, and the listening skills to hear customers’ problems.
The video also captured her excitement in developing associates and watching their careers advance, just like hers, by helping them grow personally or professionally.
This employee spotlight took a different turn by having the employee, or in this case, the intern, write her own experience working for SHL, a talent assessment and talent management platform.
According to Azraa, starting your career and finding that one stepping stone is not easy, but it is not impossible either.
The main takeaway from her experience was learning to be disciplined while working remotely. She advised those starting their careers to take the chance and be authentic.
Another employee spotlight idea is to highlight your new hires in your social media posts.
At AIHR, we welcome each new hire with a Linkedin post in which we introduce them and what they will do at our company. That way, our colleagues have an opportunity to connect with their new teammate and our followers see who the people behind AIHR are.
Over to you
Your employees are the main driver of your organization’s success. They are the people behind the scenes who work hard every day to reach goals, create new opportunities, and help those around them grow professionally. Employee spotlight is a great way to showcase their internal and external efforts.