What is employee advocacy? When is it appropriate to use this strategy in a corporate culture? How do you get started? The following paragraphs will provide some thoughts on this and other issues to think about as you craft an internal culture policy, as part of your corporate strategy to support the best possible future for your company's growth.
Employee Advocacy is the advocacy of an employer by his employees. It can mean simply spreading information about a campaign or product. It can also mean they spread brand content that is helpful to just about anybody in your sphere of experience. There are many forms of employee advocacy and I have mentioned below the types of content most likely to be distributed and shared by your employees:
Blogging has exploded as one of the best ways to connect with employees and the outside community. Just about every mid sized corporation has a blog; often it is an important business voice blogging to provide insights and commentaries on their industry. Many companies have even gone so far as to hire professionals to write blog posts and distribute to their employees. If you plan to include employee advocacy program within your corporate strategy, then consider including blogging as part of your strategy to engage and support your employees.
Again, this is a very powerful tool when it comes to getting your employees involved in the advocacy process. Employee Advocacy leaders can create newsletters specifically to advocate for the employer. These newsletters should be sent out on a regular basis and be very engaging to help engage employees. You can provide any number of tips and advice on your newsletter and advocate for the employer. Employee Advocacy leaders are experts on issues and concerns facing their sector.
There are many different types of employee advocacy program that are designed to get employees engaged. These might include informational trainings, conferences, seminars and roundtable discussions. Most are either held offsite or at an onsite location such as the office or a facility where employees congregate. Offsite events tend to be more expensive but tend to reach more people and create a larger impact. If your organization has the resources to hold an annual event then you may want to consider getting involved with an employee advocacy program.
It is imperative that employee advocates are consistent in sharing relevant information with employees throughout the year. Employees must know that their leaders and their company stand behind their efforts. It is also important for these employees to understand that their leaders and company will not support their efforts unless they are willing to put forth the work to do so. This includes being active participants in employee affairs discussions, posting social content on employee social sites such as Twitter and Facebook as well as participating in group discussions and forums online as well as within the workplace.
Social Media Strategy
Employees must understand that the advocate inside of them wants to make a difference and that the best strategy for doing so is by engaging the community and providing authentic social content. It is also important for employees to stay connected internally as well as externally to ensure that all avenues of communication are utilized. It is also key that employees are willing to use internal and external communication tools to promote social media engagement. For example, if you have a twitter account and a Facebook page then you should be active within both avenues and be prepared to share any news or announcements that may be of interest to your followers and fans. Employees should also participate in internal and external social media initiatives to create content and post in various outlets including YouTube, LinkedIn, FourSquare and others.
Employee Advocacy Programs
The most successful employee advocate program is one that is consistent in its message delivery. If employees feel like their organization is missing something, it is because the information is not being disseminated internally and externally in a way that will engage the community and provide content that the public wants to see. Therefore, it is important that every employee be vocal about their concerns and issues whether it is on the job online or with community engagements. As a result, employees who are passionate about the business they work for will share insightful information and content. The result will be a vibrant and cohesive internal and external social media strategy and employee advocacy program that engage the community and deliver the information employees want to share.