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Mar 29, 2016

Approx. 5 min. read

Scaling An Employee Advocacy Program: How to Influence Globally & Manage Locally

Launching an Employee Advocacy program can be challenging in large enterprises, where content creation, curation, and distribution is often...

Launching an Employee Advocacy program can be challenging in large enterprises, where content creation, curation, and distribution is often decentralized. In addition, large organizations also often work with content in multiple languages and cultures.


Basically, organizations have two routes to choose from when launching a large scale Employee Advocacy program:

  1. Start with a smaller scale pilot and scale up over time (usually starting with about 100 employees and scaling up to a minimum of 500 within 6 months)
  2. Plan and execute a large-scale launch right away (starting with over 500 employees)

Starting Small & Scaling Up

For businesses that opt to launch on a smaller scale initially, it can be slightly more difficult to establish structure later on. However, it is easier to educate and communicate with a smaller group of people in the beginning, and get management buy-in when you already have proven results. Starting small is also a way to learn what resonates with your employees and their networks before launching the program on a larger scale, which in turn makes a large-scale launch more likely to succeed.

Starting small is very easy, as it means starting with all content in a single feed, without needing much segmentation. The setup takes minutes and you can be up and running right away. If your organization has not yet fully bought into employee advocacy, this provides a very low barrier to prove what can be accomplished.

When the organization chooses to scale up the program, we simply add the structure needed and make sure that the right employees are in the right segments.


Launching Big Right Away

Those who choose to launch on a larger scale right away will need to have an established plan in place for the launch. This includes training, communication, and assigned responsibilities.

The upside with this type of launch is that everyone will have an equal opportunity to participate and people are less likely to  feel left out. The structure will also be built before launching, which means that the program is likely to be better organized and the content will be more relevant for the employees, as it will be segmented to them specifically.

One of the most important parts of a large-scale launch is to communicate effectively the benefits for individual employees and the reasons for launching the program. Employees need to understand that the program is, first and foremost, to their benefit and will help them grow as professionals and reinforce their personal brand.


Running A Large-Scale Employee Advocacy Program

In order to overcome the challenges of running a large-scale program, organizations need to be able to mirror their organizational and content distribution structure with their employee advocacy platform. It is not enough to simply segment your employees into target groups, as that will not allow local management of content, which is often required by organizations operating in multiple markets.

We make both segmenting and managing easy with our unique “Hub & Spoke” model which allows companies to influence, support, and measure the program on a global scale, while also allowing local program management. This ensures that the right employees will get the right content at the right time, and each manager gets the tools and information they need to run the program successfully.


What is Hub & Spoke?



Hub = A global management center for supporting and analyzing the overall employee advocacy program. Hubs only have admins whose role is to suggest or post content to spokes. Hub admins also have access to all spokes and are able to view all the different spokes by navigating between them using the “use Smarp as” feature.


Spoke = Spokes are divisions of the program that often mirror the organizational structure. For example, a spoke could be a specific country, organization or a specific department. Spokes have their own admins who are able to fully manage the spoke as if it were a completely independent program. Spoke users are employees who belong to that specific spoke and are able to discover and share all the content in that spoke as well as see and claim possible rewards/participate in polls.


Our Hub & Spoke structure allows organizations to mirror their organizational structure into the platform by creating “spokes” for each department.

Each of these spokes can have their own managers and participants (employees) that are able to operate independently as if they were smaller scale programs. This means that running a large-scale program is as simple as running a smaller one and employees or spoke managers will barely notice the difference. The spoke admins will have access to all the tools they need, such as editable settings and analytics, to effectively manage their spoke. It is also possible to segment employees further within each spoke with the grouping functionality that allows even more targeting and more relevant content for each employee. The main difference with Hub & Spoke to a smaller scale program is that the spoke will also receive content from the Hub and be able to suggest content to other spokes in the program.

The Hub allows the organization to support the spokes with content by pushing it down to all or specific spokes. Hub administrators are also able to view analytics on a global scale and see how all spokes are performing using built-in filters.


Smarp Hub&Spoke Visualization


This unique structure allows programs to scale to any size without adding any complexity to content (spoke) managers or employees, as the program will run the same way as a smaller scale program does. With Hub & Spoke you can truly scale a program without having to make compromises, as it is not just a segmenting feature but a structure to support the needs of a complex enterprise.


Download the text as a pdf and get more insights on the Hub & Spoke Capabilities:  

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Written by

Roope Heinilä

Roope Heinilä

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