Digital Transformation is a hot topic. And so is Employee Advocacy. Yet as companies across the globe move towards creating a digital transformation strategy; few actually know which initiatives to invest in and how to make them truly transformational. In a recent article, Forbes discusses the major signs that point to an unsuccessful digital transformation strategy (Find the full article here. ). We decided to put employee advocacy as an initiative to the Forbes’ test, to identify the factors of success to create a truly transformative employee advocacy program.
When discussing an employee advocacy program as a method to evolve the way companies communicate with their own employees and the outside world, many consider the concept an increasingly important component of digital transformation. In fact, the two can go hand-in-hand. The beauty of employee advocacy is that, if done correctly, it passes Forbes’ three-point test with flying colours:
Sign 1- Your digital transformation initiative doesn’t touch the customer
According to Forbes, a digital transformation is not complete unless it changes or effects your target audience’s experience with your brand. Changing the way customers interact with the brand is one of the main objectives of employee advocacy. It is the reason it exists. And it addresses this need by changing the types touch points that end audiences make with brand messages. Employee advocates are, by design, the voice of the company, packaged in personalized human to human communication that possesses the same virality and spreadability of digital communication in general. These advocates are able to convey experience, affinity and trust online; three conditions that have been previously very difficult to meet with traditional digital communication methods. But with an employee advocacy program, they become second nature.
The Key: Employee advocacy programs that change the customer experience and interaction with the brand qualify as transformative initiatives.
Sign 2- Your existing IT team is leading your digital transformation
The usual infrastructure of IT departments and their approval processes are often a hindrance when it comes to transformation. Having IT departments leading digital transformation initiatives without the participation of key stakeholders, or the right talent to play the liaison between IT and other department’s needs, slow the company’s efforts to a virtual standstill.
Employee advocacy programs, when properly implemented, must address this issue from conception. This is because generally they require the participation of a wide scope of stakeholders throughout the company. From managers to departmental and regional leads, to IT and HR; employee advocacy programs should, in a real transformation initiative, involve all employees and therefore require involvement by their management. Leadership roles are assigned to more than one stakeholder so that ownership of the initiative is not just one imposed by the IT department; but one that concerns all those participating in its launch, from top to bottom.
The Key: An employee advocacy program that involves stakeholders beyond your IT team increases involvement and ownership; and the overall success of your roll out.
Sign- 3. Your budget isn’t changing to accomodate your initiative
To implement a successful digital transformation strategy, you need to be willing to reallocate capital to new talent, new assets, and new initiatives. This may seem obvious; but that doesn’t change the fact that many organisations fail to actually relocate the necessary capital to drive a successful transformation. A strong program requires financial commitment.
Employee advocacy programs that are limited to specific groups or regions because of budget constraints will limit the transformational quality of the program. Employee advocacy programs should be invested in as any other digital transformation initiative. So, the budget must be there to incorporate all of your employees. After all, it wouldn’t make any sense to purchase the latest work collaboration software or change your email systems and make them available only to one select group of employees. It would defeat the whole purpose. An advocacy program must be wide in scope just like any other digital transformation investment. Just like software and data storage; investments that affect the whole company and the way it manages its day to day operations.
The Key: If you are serious about employee advocacy, or implementing an employee advocacy program as a part of your digital transformation strategy; there must be a budget commitment.
Companies must continually improve to maintain a competitive edge when a transformational technology arrives; and this generally means investing the right amount of resources and scope to make it truly transformational.
Sociabble is the leading provider of social selling and employee advocacy software. Our unique platform organizes brand, third-party, and user-generated content onto themed channels. From these channels, users can share on social media and track subsequent traffic and lead generation.
Available natively for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone, Sociabble features include gamification, newsletters, calls-to-action, advanced analytics, lead tracking, and individual performance dashboards. The platform also integrates with a number of CRM, curation, listening and retargeting tools, including Office 365, Salesforce, and RadiumOne. Used in over 60 countries, Sociabble’s client base includes companies from multiple sectors including industry leaders like Coca-Cola, Walt Disney, BNP Paribas, Groupe Renault, and L’Oreal.
Contact us to find out more about Sociabble, the social selling and employee advocacy platform, or to arrange a demo.