If you’re wondering how to increase Employee Advocacy in your organization, you’re not alone.
Many companies are looking to increase their Employee Advocacy activity: nearly 50 % of companies face challenges in keeping employees motivated or participating at all. Weber Shandwick and KRC Research released a report of employee activism in 2014, and the report indicates that when encouraged, employees take more brand-strengthening actions in social media.
Empowering your employees internally is how you improve Employee Advocacy. Let me give you some tips for communicating Employee Advocacy in your organization.
What kind of internal communication supports Employee Advocacy?
Successful internal communication includes both staff and management. The management should set an example and the staff shouldn’t be afraid of giving feedback, either. Teach the employees and reward good dialogue.
What should this dialogue contain, then?
Remind employees of your joint performance
Employees tend to become somewhat blind to the magnificent things they are part of. Someone recently reminded me of this; employees need to be reminded too! After all, a lack of recognition and praise slumps employee commitment.
In addition to marketing your success to the public, you should use your internal communication tools — including Smarp — to share it to your employees. Show them what they and their colleagues have achieved, and show it often. Celebrate wins of all size on a weekly basis, and provide public links and photos to spread the word, whenever you can.
Arrange opportunities for sharing ideas and skills
Demonstrating new skills and ideas is a certain bet for becoming even more valuable in the eyes of one’s employer. By offering workshops and such, you not only teach employees, but you also have an opportunity to pick their brains. I have, for example, coached personal branding and headed blogging sessions at The Social Insurance Institution of Finland, and during those sessions, people have provided each other with support and ideas.
Listen carefully and query what sort of support your employees need. Express interest in them, get to know them and use these open conversations as Employee Advocacy improvement opportunities. Remember to share those ideas with Smarp’s Notes beyond those workshops.
Also ask your employees to propose helpful content to improve everyone’s skill set.
The important thing about competitive Employee Advocacy is that everyone should have a fair chance of winning. If I were you, I would try to make it about quality, not quantity – For example, who is able to improve their SmarpScore the most, not who has the biggest score or highest number of shares.
Treat it as an opportunity for learning and sharing ideas, not just as a feat to accomplish.
Mind your words
When you are pitching any Employee Advocacy activity to your employees, keep in mind that you are addressing humans, not marketing tools. Internal coaching is more agreeable when it’s about strengthening the employee, not the company.
I’m not saying that employees mind being spokespersons, but no one likes being used. Valuable Employee Advocacy results from a good working spirit and genuine engagement. Instead of communicating “Be a good employee advocate”, go for “grow stronger”, instead.
Remember, Employee Advocacy is an ongoing process, and both parties are needed to make it work.