Why companies need employee advocacy
There’s obviously internal and external goals for the company regarding employee advocacy and it’s something that they probably have already done without knowing. So the term is really new but for example a lot of companies that we talked to, they’re already sending emails to their employees asking them to share, for example, open positions or if there’s some industry news. But in the end it all boils down from the company side, how can they reach more people in a more relatable fashion?
And if you ask companies what their goals are on digital nowadays, it’s usually all about increasing the reach. But I think more importantly, there are soft values and internal values for the company about showing they trust their employees, they’re okay with them going on social media, actually trying to help them gain their own personal benefits and achieve their own personal business goals on social media. So I think those kinds of internal engagement and empowerment gains are more important in employee advocacy.
The key elements of an employee advocacy strategy
I think first of all the most important thing is to get the positioning right, and the internal communication. So they should position it as a tool really for employees and how can these employees become better at what they do to reach some of their KPIs or their personal business objectives. And then only through that correct positioning that it’s a tool really for the employees, then the company can also reach some of the goals that they have put forth regarding their employee advocacy program.
Obviously another step is identifying the user group that they want to roll out with. So sometimes we’ve had clients that want to roll out right away for everybody. Sometimes they have identified that they might have a brand ambassador program going on and then it’s natural that those people are the first ones that are going to get a crack at it, so to speak. But, yeah, have the positioning right, then identify the target group and carefully do the internal communication and hopefully also include the leadership in that and show some examples.
And obviously then have a program manager as well, somebody who’s responsible, looking after the program. Not necessarily doing everything themselves but making sure that everything works well, and that there’s good communication also between us and the company. And then eventually the program hopefully starts growing organically but obviously doesn’t stop with sending out the invitations. It needs fresh content updating and taking care that it gets off to a good start and then after that hopefully grows organically.