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Jailbreak for Old HR Structures - Employee Advocacy is the Way Out

EA_HR.jpg August 25, 2016 / Mikko Koskinen

HR can break free from old traditions and unconditional structures. Employee Advocacy is a good first step.


Human resources is a function that constantly needs to be redefined. HR has been in the midst of change for a while now, with new generations taking over and a new definition of work life being established.

There are roughly two types of HR departments currently out there:

  1. Those that define the structure of and administrate everything from measuring the time people use in the toilet, lunch or office to deciding how sales should do their work.
  2. Those that create the employee experience by first thinking about sources for motivation and then delivering the best possible framework for employees to achieve goals aligned with the company strategy.

The first type dates back to somewhere around the industrial revolution, when company structures were about as agile as an elephant in a department store and employees’ freedom was next to nothing. Trusting employees and tearing down structures that might be totally unnecessary today is always an important step.

The second type of department is more focused on the modern way of working and building on the mutual trust between the company and employees. It’s not only small companies that are able to do this, but any company that realizes the benefits of the working environment for both parties. We spend about a third of our life working, so the experience does count!


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Making A Change

I am a strong advocate for the second type of organization, and I strongly recommend a more open type of working culture. Good approaches for starting the change for type 1 organizations include

  #1 transparency

  #2 open internal communications and

  #3 collaboration with employees

It should be very high on a company’s list of priorities to make every employee proud of what they do and enable them to do their best. Employee Advocacy as a concept is based on employees branding their employers, while at the same time branding themselves. This concept helps with all three steps mentioned above and will move the culture towards a more open working environment.

Imagine that you had a SaaS platform where you can collect all the interesting content, enable your employees to read and share it, inform your personnel of what is happening within the company and measure the impact of your employees on social media. And in addition to these obvious benefits, you are also engaging your employees with your business like never before.


Benefits of Employee Advocacy on the Company

I will list some factors to define the second type of organizations, and how your company culture, employee experience and the very existence of your human resources will be impacted when you start an Employee Advocacy program:

1. Employee engagement will be higher than ever!

  • You can gather all the shareable and internal content to one place, while keeping everyone informed and engaged with the business
  • It’s an easy way to communicate what information can be shared and provides the most simple way to do it
  • You allow everyone to be proud of their work and to show it to the world

2. HR’s focus is on better work, not on dictating how and what to           do

  • HR can let employees be influencers among their networks and this way enrich their career and work
  • HR’s goal is to have employees reach their own professional targets


3. Giving more freedom to mix up                   personal and professional life

  • The work-life balance is something that will define your company and HR. It is increasingly common to be able to work from everywhere and mix professional with personal. Reading professional content and sharing it to personal networks is right on top of modern ways of working

4. Talent acquisition and employer branding made better and                   more agile than before

  • A well working talent acquisition is at the core of HR, and it can be even more targeted and efficient with employees spreading the message of open positions and company content
  • Everyone cares about who they work with! Through Employee Advocacy, your employees get to influence who they work with, as they are the ones creating the employer brand

5. Giving professional recognition a new definition through                     simple knowledge sharing

  • Rewards and recognition are something that HR should use to combine the company’s strategy with employee motivation. An Employee Advocacy SaaS platform will give employees recognition from both outside and inside the organization, as they read, share and propose useful content.
  • Through Employee Advocacy, employees will not only read more content but also search and share it actively inside and outside the organization because they get recognized for doing it. From the HR’s perspective, this is a goldmine. Employees will become professional influencers. What could be better than that?

Moving Away from the Industrial Age

If you want to embrace the traditions of the industrial revolution and keep your employees’ freedom at a minimum, Employee Advocacy might not be your thing. But from the bottom of my HR-loving heart, I wish for all organizations to steer towards the second type of thinking. If you decide to embark on that journey, Employee Advocacy will help you to tear down old and stiff structures and establish a more modern working environment with a better employee experience!

Reach more talent with the help of employee advocacy and social recruiting

Mikko Koskinen
August 25, 2016

by Mikko Koskinen