Employee advocacy has long been mistaken for an initiative mostly for the benefit of the company when actually the main beneficiaries are the employees themselves. In order for an Employee Advocacy program to be effective, employees need to want to participate and see the value in their participation on a personal level.
Employees understand they have a vested interest in the success of the company, but more importantly the company should also understand that they have a vested interest in the success of the employee. If employees are able to grow in the company and see the company supporting their careers, they are more likely to be highly engaged and thus more likely to achieve better results in their work. A successful Employee Advocacy program needs to function the same way by starting with the company supporting the employees in their goals and the business benefits come as an additional advantage.
Your employees need to be engaged
First and foremost your employees need to be engaged. If your employees are not your biggest fans, you are in trouble. An Employee Advocacy program with no participation is not worth anything no matter how much your company supports the initiative. So why do employees want to participate? It is usually not for the rewards or broad business goals, but instead since they see it as an opportunity to boost their own career. Furthermore, smart employees see the program as supporting their job and making their life easier. For example, a sales executive can see participation as an opportunity to get more leads and thus fill their quota faster. The same way a HR manager can get more and higher quality applicants and reach the goals set for them easier. When done correctly, employee advocacy empowers employees to be better at what they do.
By putting employees first the business will also see more benefits
By putting employees first we can focus first and foremost on the value we create for the individual employees. This includes creating an intuitive and easy to use platform that allows employees to measure the impact they have and provide them with the tools needed to increase this impact. Almost by definition, having a successful Employee Advocacy program will result in the business also getting greater value through increased reach, impact, and authenticity.
The business value of an employee advocacy program will come naturally when employees feel privileged to participate. Put your employees first and help them be known for what they do! The impact on your brand will be greater than you can ever imagine.