The Importance of Employee Advocacy & How to Win It

September 13, 20191:43 pm
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If you want your business to go viral in today’s ever-changing digital world, you need to use employee advocacy.

What is employee advocacy?

Employee advocacy is a term that refers to the condition where you promote your company’s brand by individuals who work for it a.k.a your employees. Then, together with employees, you can showcase the company’s solid corporate culture through social media, thus reaching more partnerships and customers. To illustrate, when you struggle with hiring new talents, you could ‘sell’ the company culture by action such as having lunch together with employees while discussing the challenges they face in the workplace. Then, ask employees to share the joy of this gathering in their social media. A Facebook post like “It was a great lunch with some colleagues and boss. We shared a lot. Thanks” counts as employee advocacy.

Yes, the lunch idea might sound informal. To enable more strategic and value-based employee advocacy, however, you need to create a more sustainable program. You need to encourage employees to share brand values and messages in an organic way by helping employees fulfil their career satisfaction and success in their work. There is no reason why employees won’t sing the praises over their great employers.

See also: Being A Manager Is Also Being A Teacher

Why using employee advocacy?

Who would not want to get more consumers and clients, right? By enabling employee advocacy within an organisation, you can create better employee engagement, increase social presence, boost leadership skills, humanise the brand, as well as foster thought leadership to the core of business. In the human resources area itself, employee advocacy can help increase employer brand, helping your business in terms of recruitment and retention rate.

According to Social Media Today, employee advocacy can give you 8 times more engagement than content shared by brand channels. Referrals are also one of the top sources of external hires and employee advocacy is perfect for this. A recruitment campaign driven entirely by advocacy will have an on-cost to almost zero, as written in the survey. Besides, giving a formal program of employee advocacy can give positive impact to one’s career, said 86 percent of respondents.

“An employee is one of the most powerful spokespeople for a company in the eyes of other stakeholders.” – Dawkins & Lewis

Creating a formal advocacy program

The journey to making sustainable employee advocacy, however, is not easy. If this is your first advocacy program, you need to follow these guides.

1. Educate your staff

We all know how to use social media, but little do your staff know how to use it for business purposes. Therefore, there is in need of education and training regarding social media for specific purposes – in this case company branding. You need to provide an understanding about future repercussions while amplifying content and brand using employee advocacy tools or inviting social media strategist partner.

2. Embrace open communication and transparency

Everyone needs a reason to do what they have to do. This means that unless you state clearly why employees should advocate your product and how it affects employees’ workflow, your advocacy program might not run well. In this case, you need to create open communication and give regular cadence to make sure that all questions are answered and employees can understand the reasons.

3. Set goals and objectives

Every project needs a clear objective to bring expected results – and this principle applies to employee advocacy as well. Whether you do employee advocacy for attracting a new business partner or new talents, you need to set clear which one you want to pursue at this time. In addition, you need to have prepared content (for more strategic purposes) such as pictures or quote for your employees to share.  

4. Launch time

When everything is set and employees understand the purposes, you can officially launch the program. At this step, you should reassure that you give the best content to employees. You should also encourage employees to express positive and constructive ideas regarding your products and services as well.

Lastly, maintain the program through email, internal messaging system, and constantly remind your team about the program. And don’t forget to give updates on new content to share.

Read also: Employee Monitoring: Ethics and Laws Employers Must Know