2015 was a good year for Employee Advocacy and for Smarp. The industry took giant leaps as companies became more aware of the concept of Employee Advocacy and what a game changer it is for individuals and organizations alike.
One thing we were very pleased to witness was the conversations moving away from just amplifying the impact of communications with the help of your employees to actually empowering employees and inspiring them to become influencers and thought leaders. This welcome paradigm shift convinced us to go back to our roots with our own branding as well as we dropped the word share from our product name and the same product our clients and users learned to love is now simply called Smarp. Sharing is only a small part of what we are helping our clients achieve and we do not want to be tied down by the name.
Year 2015 saw us more than triple our headcount, quintuple (it’s a word) our monthly revenues, open up new offices in New York, London, and Stockholm, and introduce several innovative capabilities to our Employee Advocacy platform that support our vision of inspiring every professional to be an influencer. It was a great year of growth for us, which was made possible by an amazing international team working hard towards a common goal.
Based on what we learned in 2015, I wanted to make a couple predictions about Employee Advocacy in 2016:
1. More unexpected industries will figure out their own angle to Employee Advocacy
One of the best things about Employee Advocacy is that it is not tied to any particular industry. Year 2015 taught us that it is not tied to employees either. There were some interesting new use cases and industries jumping on the Employee Advocacy bandwagon. Perhaps my favourite one was teaming up with cities and municipalities to help them launch their “resident advocacy” programs. I suspect several other unexpected and/or conservative industries will start waving the Employee Advocacy flag.
2. The focus of Employee Advocacy programs will shift to individual benefits instead of companies
As companies become more familiar with Employee Advocacy, they will become better at communicating the benefits of Employee Advocacy to the individuals instead of concentrating on their own goals on digital and/or social. The focus of Employee Advocacy will thus shift to helping employees be more influential and productive at what they do.
3. Employee Advocacy will help tackle declining employee engagement
Employee Advocacy has a strong positive impact on employee engagement. When employees are being involved in externally facing communications, they feel more strongly connected to the brand and rightfully feel like they can impact and shape the brand. In addition, Employee Advocacy can greatly improve the efficiency of internal communications and take down internal silos as employees can easily see what is going on in different departments and regions and can be constantly reminded of the company’s vision and values.
These are my predictions for Employee Advocacy in 2016. I am eager to hear your comments and what sort of predictions you have for Employee Advocacy in 2016 and beyond. I am really looking forward to this year and all it has in store for us and the entire industry. Have a great 2016 everyone!