Employees who use technologies at work such as smartphones, social media, and the Internet after hours tend to be stronger advocates for their employers, and those who use social media are among the most positive promoters of their companies' products and services, according to a report by Forrester Research.
Information workers—those who use a PC or smartphone for at least one hour a day—were asked to rate their likelihood to recommend their company's products or services to a friend or family member.
Similar to the 10-point scale used in Net Promoter methodology, people were counted as promoters if they rated that likelihood a 9 or 10, neutral if they rated it a 7 or 8, and detractors for 0 through 6.
Overall, companies have more detractors than promoters: 49% of workers are detractors for their company, 24% are neutral, and 27% are promoters. That's a net score (promoters minus detractors) of -23%.
Interestingly, there is little variation with age, income, or size of company. Directors, VPs, and executives are more likely to be net promoters, but individual workers, managers, and supervisors are more likely to be net detractors.
Below, other findings from the Forrester report titled Do Your Employees Advocate For Your Company?
Advocacy and Technology
In contrast to the generally negative results, workers who are both optimistic about technology and readily equipped by their employers to use modern communications tools are more likely to be advocates. In particular, the adoption of three tech behaviors—social media, smartphones, and Internet use after hours—correlates with high levels of employee advocacy.
For example, 48% of employees who use social media are promoters (would strongly recommend their companies' products and services) and only 22% are detractors. That's a net score of 26%, compared with the -14% score among those who don't use social media.
Similarly, 42% of employees who use a smartphone are promoters, while 30% are detractors, yielding a 12% advocacy score.
Marketers Likely To Be Detractors
Workers in design professions, human resources, and sales are most likely to be net promoters. Interestingly, marketers (with a net -10% score) are more likely to be detractors than promoters for their own products.
Meanwhile, employees in customer services professions, the military services, and government and civil services are the least likely to be promoters.
About the data: As part of its Forrsights for Business Technology research, Forrester Research surveyed 5,519 information workers (2,782 in North America and 2,737 in Europe) from SMB and enterprise companies with 20 or more employees during July and August 2010.