Today, we’re excited to present a blog post from Benjamin Stanley and Jon Cooper, two of our resident Brits here at Sociabble. In this post, they tackle how to encourage employee advocacy in a culture traditionally known for its reticence, decorum, and preference for the public house.
The Challenge: Convincing Brits to Speak Their Minds Online
Employee Advocacy is an effective means of spreading brand awareness and enhancing a company’s reputation. We all know that. But it requires employees willing to let their voices be heard. And while this is a hurdle for many people, we’ve found that in no place is this more true than in the UK. Alas, we can’t all be Simon Cowell when it comes to offering our opinions. There’s simply something in the way we Brits carry ourselves that can cause us to flinch at the idea. In fact, there are a few problems that seem to crop up when it comes to promoting brand advocacy in British companies.
A Taboo on Self-Promotion & Lingering Hierarchies
Knowing you’re an expert is one thing. Telling the world about it . . . that’s another thing entirely. And what if you’re wrong and look ridiculous? For many of us, this is a nightmare worthy of “Britain’s Got Talent.” Simply speaking up and offering an opinion can be a bold act, indeed. And although the joust-filled days of feudalism may be long gone, there’s still a fair amount of deference to authority. Sometimes junior level staff are afraid of “speaking out of turn” around more senior staff members.
Resistance to Change and Newness
It’s not uncommon to encounter an initial reluctance among Brits to adopt new technologies, activities, and methods. We’re a tradition-loving people, after all. We know precisely how we like our tea, and we’re seldom inclined to have it any other way. The idea of mastering some new form of online communication, especially to talk about our place of work, can be a bit daunting.
Business Done in the Pub
It may be a bit of a cliché, but sometimes even clichés ring true. Much of modern business speak is still conducted over polished mahogany with a pint in hand. Doing so over social media instead strikes many as, well, a bit odd. Take us down to the Churchill Arms, however, and we’ll talk your ear off about what’s new in the office. Or the latest football match.
The Solution: A Platform that Makes it Easier
Not to boast—now, that wouldn’t be British, would it?—but Sociabble has a number of features we’ve found helpful in convincing Brits to use online resources for employee advocacy. Here are three ways we’ve used Sociabble to get employees on board.
Even Out the Playing Field
Sociabble encourages both company leaders and junior staff to participate. Even those who are on the frontlines and don’t have access to a desktop or company email. Because Sociabble is so mobile-friendly, all employees, regardless if they’re working on the production line or staffing the front office, can have their voices heard. And Sociabble’s intuitive, easy-to-use platform certainly helps. Even employees unaccustomed to the mobile world of social media will have no problem adopting the new technology. Company leadership and junior staff alike will get involved.
Minimize Disruption to the Routine
We designed Sociabble to work seamlessly with the communication tools you already have. This includes integrations with Workplace by Facebook, Office365, Slack, Yammer, not to mention features that make it easy to send out a good ol’ fashioned newsletter. Because of these integrations, disruption is kept to a minimum. Employees adopt a new communication channel without even realizing it.
Use Gamification to Increase Engagement
Here in the UK, we love our rugby and football. As topics, they can get even the most shy of staff members on board with an employee advocacy program. Sociabble has a built-in gamification feature that allows for the easy creation of challenges, quizzes, and user generated content. Create a football trivia challenge with a compelling prize (free tickets to a match?) and you’ll be surprised just how many employees begin to engage. It’s almost like an online pub challenge. Almost.