13 tactics to encourage employee advocacy

Unmissable tips and strategies from talent acquisition leaders
tactics to encourage employee advocacy

Looking to boost employee advocacy in your company and not sure where to start? We asked 13 HR leaders and professionals to share their favorite tactics to encourage employee advocacy. From identifying people in the business who care to providing guidance for new staff members, here are the top tips they shared:

  • Identify people in the business who care
  • Celebrate examples
  • Make content for your employees to share
  • Make it simple to join and easy to do
  • Designate a competent advocacy board
  • Issue pulse surveys
  • Implement succession plan mentoring
  • Provide company gear
  • Allow employees to benefit from your product/service
  • Strive for a better understanding of your brand
  • Give motivated employees tools and direction
  • Make advocacy a part of your company culture
  • Provide guidance for new staff members

tactics encourage employee advocacy

Identify people in the business who care

“It’s counterintuitive, but the people who care the most may actually be those who are actively providing feedback about the company overall beyond their scope of responsibilities,” says Trendy Tan, Growth Marketing Manager of QuickHR.

“It’s hard to identify them because it may seem that they are being critical of the business when actually they sincerely desire improvements and further growth for the company. If you notice an employee with multiple passion projects that may not exactly sit within their department’s remit, take them out for a coffee and find out what drives them. You may just find your key advocates by simply connecting with them and showing you care.”

For more on this, see this article on how to identify top performers and future leaders.

Celebrate examples

“One way to encourage and boost employee advocacy is to celebrate these behaviors in the workplace,” says Tasia Duske, CEO & Owner of Museum Hack.

“For example, you can post a weekly ‘swag spotlight’ in a Slack channel or internal email where you share a photo of a team member rocking a piece of promotional clothing in public. Also, you can shout out stories about employees spreading the word about the organization’s work by making announcements in Slack, company meetings, or social media. Seeing peers engaging in this behavior regularly may inspire team members to act in ways that promote the organization.”

Looking for some inspiration on how to celebrate these examples? Check out these 37 ways to show employee appreciation and these examples of how to share employee appreciation on social media.

Make content for your employees to share

“Nowadays, I believe that most brands create content, whether it’s blog posts, eBooks, infographics, or videos, for their marketing and sales teams to use,” says Edward Mellett, Director of Wikijob. “One way to improve your employee advocacy program is to not only encourage but also make it easy for your employees to share this content.”

“Create a content repository with pre-written social copy that employees can access and share your branded content to their own social media channels with a few clicks. This is a win-win situation because you provide employee advocates with a well-crafted message to share with their followers while also getting more bang for your buck from the assets your content and design teams worked hard to create.”

For more on this–as well as other tips to boost employee engagement and advocacy–see here.

Make it simple to join and easy to do

“Most employee advocacy programs fail because of three reasons: content creation is too heavy of a burden, employee motivation wanes, and adoption is too low,” says Debora Roland, VP of People Operations at CareerArc. “To ensure its success you have to make employee advocacy dead simple.”

“One powerful way to do that is through technology. For example, our social recruiting platform is able to have our employees opt into our employee advocacy program and begin publishing unique and varied pre-approved content, job posts, employee referral links, and more on their individual social media feed. Our brand and employees get the benefit of heightened brand awareness and engagement without the heavy content lift and friction in adoption that grinds most advocacy programs to a halt.

Learn more about how CareerArc automates employee advocacy with 1 click.

Designate a competent advocacy board

“You can designate a competent advocacy board composed of leaders who are excellent drivers of employee advocacy initiatives,” says Jake Smith, Managing Director of Absolute Reg.

“Having a team that can identify employees’ desires helps implement the right policies and programs to make everyone happy and satisfied. The advocacy board may suggest special perks that employees appreciate, like a good health benefit, a decent retirement plan, or a competitive salary package. Once your employees feel valued, it is natural for them to speak about all the good things they experience and eventually become company advocates.”

Related: 5 stats that prove the importance of employee advocacy on social media

Issue pulse surveys

“By issuing short confidential surveys on a frequent and regular basis, you can learn about employees’ likes and dislikes, program implementation effectiveness, as well as their general opinions about workplace culture,” says Cody Candee, Co-Founder & CEO of Bounce.

“In addition, the regularity in which these surveys take place will make certain that your priorities change with theirs. By including them in this process, you are providing your team direct input into their workplace through a channel for employee advocacy, which will further enhance a positive culture.”

Not sure how to get started with pulse surveys? Check out The ultimate guide to employee pulse surveys here.

Implement succession plan mentoring

“Over 90% of companies that have these types of succession programs report positive impacts on workplace culture, and nearly 80% of top-performing companies have implemented them,” Adelle Archer, CEO & Co-Founder of Eterneva.

“Initiating shadowing programs, professional co-worker training, and mentoring programs have shown dramatic effects not only in performance but on employee retention, even with the effects of the Great Resignation. By implementing a succession program with mentoring, you can dramatically boost your employee advocacy, enhance company culture, and maintain and attract talent.”

For more on this, see this article on how to be an effective mentor.

Provide company gear

“Company branded gear or swag is a great way to encourage employee advocacy,” says Joe Spector, Founder & CEO of Dutch. “Comfortable shirts or hoodies can be awesome for any company employee personally, but can also be a channel for your employees to talk about your organization outside of the workplace. You can also encourage your employees to share on social media the cool new swag they got from you on Instagram or LinkedIn.”

Allow employees to benefit from your product/service

“Our teams advocate for our service because they also benefit from it,” says Laura Berg of Kong Club. “We include veterinary services and coaching for our staff for their own pets at home. How well we do as a company reflects our teams’ professional abilities and expertise, and vice versa. In other words, make sure your employees benefit from your product or service to encourage them to advocate for it. When everyone is on board with the quality of your service, it’s easy to advocate for and refer others to use.”

Strive for a better understanding of your brand

“Employee advocacy starts with building your team’s in-depth understanding of your brand,” says Samuel Devyver, Co-Founder & CEO of EasyLlama. “Unfortunately, with 74% of employees feeling out of date on company information and news, we see that one of the biggest roadblocks to advocacy is misunderstanding and a lack of communication.”

“Work with your team by using surveys to find out what they already know about your brand and identifying areas of confusion. Create a formal definition of the brand through mission statements and core values, sharing the literature with your team regularly. Release monthly company-wide newsletters that engage the team and reinforce the mission, naturally boosting employee advocacy through better understanding.”

Struggling to figure out who your brand even is? This piece on How to build a people brand might help.

Give motivated employees tools and direction

“Social media is a powerful, wide-reaching way to promote an employer brand, but without direction, people can fail to post their experiences or thoughts because they lack a prompt to do so,” says Scott Hitchins, Chief Marketing Officer at Interact Software.

“It’s important to give your teams direction and materials they can use to do this in an organized way. If you want employees to promote a particular event, for example, run external branding campaigns that explain what you hope to achieve and provide employees with digital materials or wording to share on their own channels.”

Giving your employees the right tools for success is an essential strategy. For more on this, see here.

Make advocacy a part of your company culture

“We’ve spent a good part of last year formalizing our vision and values, built a detailed strategic plan that the whole organization knows about, and implemented a compensation policy that shares the financial success with the entire company,” says Mark Whitman, CEO & Co-Founder at Contentellect.

“When your employees feel part of the company’s actualization with financial incentives to boost their participation and promotion, advocacy becomes part of your holistic corporate culture. This in turn helps attract the talent needed to grow.”

Looking for inspiration? Here’s an example of a company that transformed its talent acquisition challenges through employee advocacy at scale.

Provide guidance for new staff members

“One of the most valuable ways to boost employee advocacy is to provide mentorship to the new staff members, especially those in junior or entry-level positions with little to no experience,” says Agnieszka Goulin, Head of People at Spacelift.

“The newbies are most thirsty for knowledge and experience, and it provides the perfect chance to spot the most aspiring, talented professionals who need guidance. Being their guide will also strengthen your overall authority and employee perception. But most importantly, developing trustworthy and respectful relationships with your junior employees is the basis for authentic employee advocacy.”

For more on this topic, see this piece about Dos and don’ts of new employee training.

Embrace employee advocacy at scale

Employee advocacy is a powerful and effective talent acquisition strategy. That should come as no surprise.

But it’s also an incredibly difficult one.

The sheer amount of manual labor required to encourage employees to be advocates, cheer on your current advocates, set up guidelines, craft content for them to share, and oversee the entire program is a huge part of why so many employee advocacy programs fail.

But it doesn’t have to be like that. With CareerArc, you can easily and effortlessly automate your employee advocacy so we’re not just managing but scaling your employee advocacy for you, freeing you up to focus on other things.

Sounds interesting? Read more about how we work here, or click here to check out a free demo.

This post was graciously contributed by Terkel. Terkel creates community-driven content featuring expert insights. Sign up at terkel.io to answer questions and get published.

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