How can we still imagine that it’s possible to have a real imprint on social networks with only a handful of engaged employees taking part in an Employee Advocacy initiative?
All of our feedback from the last five years proves the opposite. Employee Advocacy only has an impact externally if it is already impactful internally. And with only one percent of employees actively engaged as ambassadors, it’s difficult to even have an effect within the company—forget about on the outside.
Small efforts yield small results.
So why do so many experts suggest starting an Employee Advocacy program with only a few select people? Simply because companies do not see the strategic importance of such a project. Too often, Employee Advocacy is a project that does not involve top management, nor HR, nor the internal communication team, but instead is carried out under the radar by external communications. So as providers, we often simply try to secure some training sessions, some management seminars, or a delivery of smart curation techniques, rather than tell the truth: with only one percent of employees involved, we have no ROI.
“Too often . . . as providers, we simply try to secure some training sessions, some management seminars, or a delivery of smart curation techniques, rather than tell the truth: with only one percent of employees involved, we have no ROI.”
You can’t learn without a big enough sample.
Often the argument is “test and learn.” But what do we learn about the commitment potential of all employees, when we launch a pilot with just a few people that we pamper individually—especially when we often choose those most willing to join the program in the first place? Of course, we do not learn much.
Another argument is to rethink the content strategy before embarking on an employee engagement campaign. Again, it will be difficult to know if the new content will be adopted by your employees without a proper launch… and there is a good chance that the work will have to be redone.
A true Employee Advocacy initiative must take a strategic approach, one that starts by creating commitment among the employees to the company’s larger strategy.
It begins with Internal Communication.
The first issue is that of internal communication. When the company communicates via text content posted on the Intranet, the first thing to do is rethink the way we communicate internally. If the company has already successfully deployed a corporate social network, it should be ensured that the sheer number of social networks (newsfeeds clogged up with funny cat pictures, etc.) is not likely to prevent the visibility of important information. The ideal scenario involves a channel dedicated to strategic information, available on mobile, to maximize the use of video and engagement tools. And above all, you have to open the information channel! How can employees feel encouraged to express themselves outside the company, if they cannot do it internally?
A large pilot is more likely to succeed, but it’s important to make sure there is a channel dedicated to strategic content, otherwise, you never know what distractions could pop up!
Conclusion: If you start big, you win big.
If these steps are taken, employees will stay informed and up-to-date on important topics that are often overlooked: corporate social responsibility initiatives, employer brand initiatives, innovation initiatives, and even strategic positioning. You will then be able to win support for your company’s values, your strategy, and a common, collective goal. All employees will naturally become ambassadors. Then the values of your company, your expertise, and your initiatives will truly shine on social networks.
To learn more about how Sociabble can help your company launch an Employee Advocacy initiative, click here and receive a free demo.