If you are considering rolling out an employee advocacy program, there are a few critical core elements that need to be in place to be successful. According to Christopher Hannegan, Edelman’s executive vice president, U.S. Practice Chair, Employee Engagement, it boils down to four areas:
- The content and information that you want employees to share.
- The technology to enable the sharing. “There are many tools available, but when assessing platforms, it’s important to be clear about what you’re trying to accomplish with your program before selecting the technology,” he notes, adding that, many times, companies will choose the platform before they’ve figured out why they’re launching an advocacy program.
- Cultural expectation setting. Make sure that employees not only understand that it is OK to share the content, but that it is view by the company as a positive activity. Importantly, they need to understand that it is optional and not a requirement. “If, for some reason, they’re not comfortable advocating for your company, they don’t have to,” Hannegan stresses. “That is especially important if you have a workforce represented by unions.”
- A way to measure the results. How will you know if your employee advocacy efforts are making a difference? Understand how you are going to measure what you’re trying to accomplish—whether that is increased sales of a certain product, more job applications from top talent or higher engagement with a particular blog post or other online content.
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