In social times, connections create value. What was once “networking” has emerged as an essential business activity – one powered by employees.
Today, your people are the lifeblood of an evolving process we recognise as “Employee Advocacy”. Organisations cultivate brand ambassadors who convey corporate messages to followers everywhere ... that’s business in a connected world.
Yet Employee Advocacy is not new. There have always been employees ready and willing to step beyond the traditional employer-employee relationship, people who go the extra mile to promote their organisation to friends, to colleagues and to those we know today as “connections”.
The emergence of social media has given new currency to these brand ambassadors; it is now beyond dispute that messages from employees of a company generate higher levels of trust than any other channel that company uses.
In Social Times
The social era takes Employee Advocacy to a new level. When people communicate with friends and colleagues en masse across all kinds of social network, the message spreads at light-speed. The nature of the message may dictate the choice of platform, but the effect is the same – a single message arrives almost instantaneously on hundreds of connected devices.
Switched-on employers realise the potential for communicating with this huge, receptive audience. I see three zones where employee advocacy scores highly:
- Awareness: employees share news about the organisation, raising their profiles and enhancing their reputations with followers
- Jobs: job opportunities arise and employee-advocate networks are perfect places to discover new, like-minded talent
- Campaigns or promotions: newsworthy events or product launches are readily promoted by employee advocates
Combine employee engagement with a platform loaded with company-related content and the benefits seem endless:
- A dedicated platform gives permanent visibility to content, people and promotions, attracts better talent and generates stronger sales.
- Employee involvement builds trust in a highly cost-effective way.
- Recognition motivates employees who become eligible to earn rewards.
- Comprehensive analytics measure results in real time, supporting immediate responses to changing events.
Where do you start?
There are four clearly deﬁned steps in the implementation of an Employee Advocacy program:
- State and quantify your objectives.
- Build a plan: find a Champion, plan a content-creation or -curation system and develop a reward scheme.
- Launch your program: communicate clearly, offer strong leadership and invest personal energy to support the launch.
- Stay involved; this not a process which will work without your individual commitment. Monitoring success and taking immediate action is essential to guarantee short-term results.
The benefits are there – taking Employee Advocacy to this new level unlocks the potential of your people, transforms your employees into brand ambassadors and opens up limitless opportunities for your organisation.