In an article published by Medium, Lol Morrison of GameChanger asks what makes a great company culture, and explores what companies can do to create a culture that works for them. Recommended steps include listening to employees, customers and others who have a stake in the company, and creating a set of values. But once companies have established their own culture, how can they maintain it in the long run? How can they express an identity not only internally among employees, but also externally among relevant audiences?
Employee advocacy is a highly effective way of involving everybody within an organization in company culture, through streamlined communication and evangelization. By aggregating all brand communication – both internal and external – , an employee advocacy platform makes it easy for businesses to engage their people in the latest company activity and, through sharing content with their own social media connections, to be a part of how that culture is portrayed externally on social media. Here are a few key examples of how an employee advocacy program provides additional impetus for the creation and development of a great company culture.
Unity and Engagement
As highlighted by Lol Morrison, cultures that work well are “inclusive, less hierarchical, and much more open”. Employee advocacy embraces this mindset by involving everybody in brand communication, regardless of their role or seniority, and driving transparency both internally (through the aggregation of all company content and announcements) and externally (by communicating through the voice of individual employees). Empowering employees to share company content on their own social network accounts increases their sense of involvement, and drives a culture based on ownership and open communication.
A great company culture is, explains Lol Morrison, linked to a “clear identity”, which is something employee advocacy helps to impart. How companies are perceived is influenced not only by official brand communication, but also by the people who relay such communication. For example, when an employee shares a white paper published by their company, audience perceptions are influenced by the tone of the white paper, as well as that of the introduction provided by the individual employee.
In this regard, employee advocacy helps in two key ways. Firstly, by empowering all employees to share company content, it enables companies to promote the identity that is presented in brand communication. And secondly, through the provision of training focused on key brand messages, an employee advocacy program puts individual employees in a position to convey the company identity in their own words, while at the same time incorporating their own insights and expertise.
Leading by Example
“Great culture requires great leadership”, points out Lol Morrison. Employee advocacy is the perfect opportunity for top management to promote company culture through their own actions. When those in senior positions regularly share company content on social media, it sends the message to others that communicating about company culture is a priority. In other words, spreading the word about company culture on social networks begins with managers taking the lead.
When a company launches an employee advocacy initiative, there is an increased sense of involvement in the company as a whole, while individual employees have a real stake in brand communication. In this way it is a key way of investing in company culture, and showcasing the latter externally on social media.