November 30, 2010, 2:50 PM — Employees are more likely to advocate for their companies if they're optimistic about technology, though IT pros themselves aren't especially big corporate boosters according to a new Forrester Research study.
Employees outfitted with smartphones and social network tools for work - as well as those who use the Internet after hours for work - are more likely to promote their company, according to Matt Brown, a Forrester VP who is research director in the content and collaboration field.
Taking a page from marketers who use something called the Net Promotor method of measuring customer loyalty, Forrester posed two questions to 5,519 information workers in North America, the U.K., France and Germany:
*How likely are you to recommend your company's products or services to a friend or family member?
* How likely are you to recommend a job at your company to a friend or family member?
Overall, the numbers show that workers aren't huge advocates for their companies, something that's not surprising in this economy but that also can't be helping companies overcome the tough market.
"It's entirely possible that the struggling economy has kept disgruntled workers in their jobs longer than normal, artificially depressing scores at the time we did this study (July/August)," writes Brown.
About a quarter of respondents were deemed promoters (those who marked down 9 or 10 on a scale of 0-10) and almost half were deemed detractors, with the rest neutral on the matter of product/service recommendations. On job recommendations, the numbers were about the same, though there were a few less detractors.
The numbers vary based on location and job level: North American workers are three times as likely to advocate as European ones. Senior managers are the strongest advocates and customer service employees are among the greatest detractors - obviously not a good thing for people interacting directly with customers.