Culture is not part of the equation; it is the equation: corporate culture and employee advocacy programs.

 

There is no question that culture is a critical part of any organization. But what is often overlooked is that culture is not just a part of the equation; it IS the equation. In order to create a successful company, you need to have a strong corporate culture and employee advocacy program in place.

Employee advocacy programs have become an essential part of many organizations’ employee engagement strategies.

This blog post will explore how corporate culture can impact employee advocacy and share some tips on creating a corporate culture that supports employee advocacy. We will also discuss key metrics to track to measure your success.

Who is an employee advocate?

An employee advocate speaks up on behalf of their company or organization, usually in a positive light. They are often passionate about their work and want to share their experiences with others. Employee advocates can help promote your brand and build trust with potential customers.

When used correctly, employee advocacy can be a powerful marketing tool. It can help you reach new audiences and create a connection with potential customers. If you’re looking to build a strong social media presence, encouraging employee advocacy is a great place to start.

What does a successful employee advocacy program mean?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the definition of success will vary from organization to organization. However, some key factors should be considered when determining whether an employee advocacy program is successful.

One key factor is whether employees are using and engaging with the platform. If employees are not using the platform, it is not fulfilling its purpose. Another critical factor is whether employees are sharing relevant and timely content.

If they are not, then the program is not meeting its goal of promoting the organization’s brand. Finally, it is essential to consider whether employees feel like they are part of the program and their voices are heard. If they do not, the program is not engaging employees and is not likely to succeed.

To sum up, a successful employee advocacy program should have high employee engagement, share relevant and timely content, and make employees feel like they are part of the program.

What is social media advocacy?

Social media advocacy uses social media to engage in activities that support or oppose a cause or issue. Advocacy can take many forms, including but not limited to posting about an issue on social media, sharing articles or petitions related to a cause, and participating in online discussions about contentious topics.

Advocacy through social media can be an incredibly effective way to raise awareness about an issue and mobilize people to take action. It can also be a powerful tool for building relationships with others who share your values and interests.

In the context of social media marketing strategy, employee advocacy is when employees use their personal accounts on social media channels to share content related to their company or industry. This can include sharing social media posts, articles, infographics, or other forms of content that they believe will be helpful or interesting to their followers. By doing this, employees can help increase the reach and visibility of their company’s content and credibility with potential customers or clients.

Employee advocacy benefits include improved employee engagement, increased brand awareness, and improved sales and lead generation. However, it’s important to note that employee advocacy can also come with some risks, such as damaging the company’s reputation if employees share inaccurate or inappropriate content.

As such, it’s important to have a clear social media policy in place for employees to follow and to provide training on how to use social media responsibly. This entire program is a great way to boost personal brand within the workplace culture.

Overall, employee advocacy can amplify the reach and impact of your company’s content. However, it’s essential to carefully consider the risks and benefits before implementing an employee advocacy program.

Why does culture matter?

Culture matters because it is the foundation of how an organization behaves. It influences the decisions made and shapes how employees interact with each other and with customers.

A strong culture can help an organization achieve its goals, while a weak culture can lead to dysfunction and chaos.

Many factors contribute to the strength or weakness of a company’s culture, including its values, management style, and how it communicates with employees.

It’s essential for companies to take a proactive approach to culture and to work to improve it continuously. By doing so, they can create a foundation that will help them achieve success.

Four Types of organizational culture

organizational culture

There are four types of corporate culture:

Clan

Clan cultures are based on personal relationships and a sense of loyalty to the group. Members are typically very committed to the organization and feel a strong sense of responsibility for its success. The focus is on collective achievement rather than individual accomplishment.

Adhocracy

Adhocracy cultures are characterized by flexibility and creativity. They encourage risk-taking and innovation to achieve results. Members of adhocracy cultures are often highly motivated and have a strong sense of ownership for their work.

Market

Market cultures work on competition and a focus on results. Members of these organizations are driven by a need to achieve and be successful. They are often very competitive and have a strong sense of self-interest.

Hierarchy

Hierarchy cultures are characterized by a clear chain of command and a focus on order and stability. Members of these organizations typically have a high level of loyalty to the organization and its leaders. There is a strong emphasis on rules and procedures.

Effect of culture on employee engaged workforce and performance

Organizational culture is a system of shared values, assumptions, and behaviors that unite people within an organization and guide their interactions with each other. It helps employees understand how things work in the organization and what is expected.

A strong organizational culture can help an organization achieve its objectives by fostering employee engagement and performance. Employee engagement is a state of mind in which employees are fully absorbed in their work and feel a strong emotional connection to their organization. Employee engagement is associated with higher productivity, lower turnover, and better customer satisfaction.

Organizational culture can be a powerful tool for boosting employee engagement and performance. However, it must be carefully crafted and tailored to the organization’s needs and its employees.

When organizational culture is strong, it can:

  • Foster employee engagement by uniting people within the organization and providing guidance on how to interact with each other
  • Improve performance by setting clear expectations for employees and motivating them to achieve results
  • Enhance customer satisfaction by creating a positive work environment that encourages employees to go the extra mile for customers.

How can you improve organizational culture with an employee advocacy solution?

There are several ways to improve your organizational culture with an employee advocacy solution. One way is to encourage employees to share positive reviews and feedback about the company with their social networks. This can help create a more positive image of the company and make potential customers and employees more likely to want to work with or for the company. Another way to use employee advocacy to improve organizational culture is to regularly share company news and updates with employees to feel more informed and involved in the company. This can help create a sense of ownership and pride in the company, leading to more productive and motivated employees.

Finally, you can also use employee advocates’ drive to create social media groups or communities where employees can interact with each other and share ideas, information, and support. This can help build a sense of camaraderie and teamwork within the company, making employees feel more satisfied with their work and more likely to stay with the company in the long term. These factors can contribute to a more positive and productive organizational culture.

Functions of the corporate culture

The functions of corporate culture are many and varied. One of the most important is providing a sense of identity and belonging for employees. It can also help regulate behavior and ensure that people work towards the same goals. Corporate culture can also be a source of competitive advantage, helping a company stand out from its rivals. Finally, it can be a source of comfort and security for employees, providing them with a sense of stability in an uncertain world.

What are some of the benefits of employee advocacy?

Employee advocacy can be a powerful tool when it comes to organizational culture. Employee advocacy is when employees use their personal social media networks to promote their employer’s brand or product. In other words, it’s employees voluntarily becoming walking (and talking) billboards for your company.

Numerous benefits can come from implementing an employee advocacy successful program. First and foremost, it can help improve your company’s culture. When employees are engaged and feel like they’re a part of something larger than themselves, their work ethic and productivity will typically increase. Additionally, employee advocacy can help create a more positive image for your company – one that is authentic and coming straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.

It can also help with recruiting top talent. When prospective employees see that your current employees are happy and engaged with their work, it can be a major selling point. Moreover, employee advocacy can lead to increased sales and ROI. Studies have shown that companies with employee advocacy programs typically see a 2x higher return on investment than those without.

Employee advocacy examples

 

There are many ways to get employees involved in advocating for your brand. One way is to provide them with tools and resources that make it easy for them to share your content. You can also create specific programs or campaigns that encourage employees to get involved. Some companies even offer incentives for the employees who create the most Advocacy Content. Here are a few examples of employee advocacy campaigns that have been successful:

1. Dell’s “Dell Champions” program motivates employees to share content on social media and rewards them with points for every post that generates engagement. The champions then have the opportunity to redeem their points for prizes like laptops and gift cards.

2. GE’s “What’s the Matter with Owen” campaign uses a comic book character to teach employees about the company and how to share content on social media. The campaign includes a website, blog, and video series that employees can use to learn more about GE and how to share content.

3. Adobe’s “Adobe Voices” program gives employees a platform to share their stories and experiences with the company. Adobe also provides employees with training and resources on effectively sharing content on social media.

4. IBM’s “IBM Social Business” program encourages employees to use social media to connect with customers, partners, and prospects. The program includes training, resources, and guidelines on using social media for business purposes.

5. Starbucks’ “Starbucks Social Media Guidelines” provides employees with a set of guidelines for sharing content on social media. The guidelines include information on what is and isn’t acceptable to share and tips on how to be an effective advocate for the brand.

6. T-Mobile’s “T-Mobile Employee Advocacy” program motivates employees to share content on social media and provides them with training, resources, and guidelines on how to do so. The program also offers prizes for employees who generate the most engagement with their posts.

7. Microsoft’s “Microsoft Voices” program gives employees a platform to share their stories and experiences with the company. Microsoft also provides employees with training and resources on effectively sharing content on social media.

Ten principles to incorporate employee advocacy into your social media strategy

An employee advocacy program makes it effective to recognize employees and educate people on social media best practices.

It also takes part in empowering employees on specific tasks for internal incentives. Let’s take a look at the top ten principles:

1. Define your goals and objectives for employee advocacy. What do you hope to achieve by implementing an employee advocacy program?

2. Draft a social media policy for your company that outlines what is acceptable for employees to share online and what isn’t.

3. Create content that is worthy of being shared by employees. This could include blog posts, articles, images, infographics, or videos.

4. Train your employees on using social media responsibly and effectively.

5. Encourage employees to share content relevant to their personal networks.

6. Monitor employee activity on social media and provide feedback where necessary.

7. Reward employees for their advocacy efforts.

8. Measure the results of your employee advocacy program and adjust accordingly.

9. Keep up with the latest trends in social media and employee advocacy. Whether you use an internal messaging system or email, it is essential to create guidelines or senior management for the entire workforce.

10. CONTINUE! An effective employee advocacy program is an ongoing process that requires continuous effort and maintenance.

How can you make a well-performing workforce?

It all starts with attracting the right employees. Once you have a strong team in place, you need to keep them motivated and engaged.

Regular communication and feedback are important and provide opportunities for growth and development. Recognizing and rewarding good performance is also key to maintaining a high-performing workforce.

Finally, it’s important to have a clear vision and strategy that everyone can buy into. You can create a well-performing workforce that will help your business thrive by following these tips.

Creating an effective employee advocacy program on the internet and social media

Both the company culture and employee retention are essential factors that aim to provide high website traffic and internal communication. Let’s discuss this in detail!

Re-imagine your HR function as a content machine

To begin with, culture will only become a priority at your organization when CEOs, Human resources, and leaders across the organization view it as a priority.

Begin by elevating HR. How you do this is up to you – this could mean treating your CHRO as a true commercial partner (or forming a core team wherein the CEO, CFO, and CHRO work in tandem) or completely re-defining the CHRO’s responsibilities and mandates if needed. Building a thriving culture requires your HR leaders to deploy talent well, get to the root of people problems at the company, and suggest creative ways to unleash the full potential of your workforce.

Further, HR is a marketing function that can become a powerful content machine when fully leveraged.

Your employees could be the primary channel for talent acquisition; they simply need the content to share with their network.

If you’re able to identify talent, establish key channels that can be utilized to market your company to this talent and provide a support system, such as a robust content calendar publishing meaningful content, employees can share this with their networks and elevate your firm’s positioning by leaps and bounds.

HR communication that consistently communicates content around a company’s culture, diversity, and benefits can help build a strong reputation.

Five simple steps (following content creation) can help you level up your ‘HR content machine’:

  • Promote your content: Use emailers, digital ad campaigns, and social media to build awareness of your content assets. Zendesk does a great job of using Instagram to show the world their corporate culture.  
  • Update your content: Re-use / adjust your content as needed
  • Help your employees carve out time: Support your colleagues to go above and beyond their day jobs to make time to promote content 
  • Audit your campaigns: Track the impact of your campaigns and channels to improve. Content intelligence tools such as Knotch can help you collate and analyze feedback and sentiment on newsletters and articles.
  • Measure your results: Use a content dashboard to actively track important metrics and KPIs aligned with your HR goals. Explore popular KPI-based dashboard tools such as Cyfe and Datapine [10].

Make employee well-being a priority

If your organization is like the others out there, your employees may be working about three hours more each day than before the pandemic.

We’ve all seen our peers struggle at work as we settle into a new future, whether it be social, mental, or emotional anxiety or financial impacts.

Leaders need to take employee wellbeing seriously if they truly want to design future businesses. There is no business without healthy, happy, motivated people; there is no bottom line.

It’s heartening to hear that almost 80% of organizations worldwide are investing in employee well-being, whether through creatively designing remote work arrangements or hosting workshops to battle social isolation. Ensure you don’t fall behind in looking after your people.

  Unleash the power of teamwork

Organizations with thriving cultures understand and unlock the latent power of their teams. When talented people connect in a nurturing environment, extraordinary and unforeseeable results are made.

You must remember that your employees might need a nudge from you now and then. You can always encourage them to voice their concerns and needs, look away from their screens and engage in meaningful and consistent contact with their colleagues, and participate in your vision of a strong culture. You could take a page out of the Salesforce handbook; the company launched a ranch in the California redwoods to help its employees return to a post-pandemic world of work.

Salesforce used a beautiful setting amidst nature to encourage a return from Zoom meetings to physical ones. It hosted workshops and networking programs at the venue.

We may or may not go back to a complete physical work environment, but you can certainly help make both physical and virtual/hybrid work structures easier.

Making virtual work better might mean leveraging new technology and apps for better productivity, mindfulness, and mental health for your employees.

Or it could mean encouraging small breaks or making video mandatory only for specific meetings for a better sense of connection.

Adapt your workforce design for a post-pandemic world

Depending on what your business is, you may benefit from a complete revamp of the structure of your workforce. You may choose to make an entire chunk of your workforce flexible by teaming up with remote gig workers.

You could re-write job descriptions earmarking a need for adaptability and innovation. In your annual recruitment, you could plan for an additional handson deck on demand.

You could choose to empower workers and give them a free hand, with their goals written in ink but their paths drafted in pencil.

And, you could re-design incentives to really reward talent that goes above and beyond what’s expected of them.

 Hire for better culture fit

Far too many organizations still hire only for technical aptitude, relevant experience, and soft skills such as communication.

While this is good, it’s insufficient in the experience economy. Now, you also need to factor in the ability of a potential colleague to design or support the experiences you need to offer as a business.

Conversely, remember that many potential employees will evaluate you and your firm based not just on compensation and perks but also on your competitive advantage in the experience economy.

As far as recruitment goes, you may have often heard you need to ‘hire for culture fit’ but may not know exactly what it means.

Hiring for cultural fit is essentially hiring people that align with your values, no matter how diverse their backgrounds.

A talented team committed to doing extraordinary work, bound by the same beliefs, and led towards a clear set of goals is what you need to get right if you intend to blaze a trail.

The best businesses globally have clear missions, with their vision executed on the backbone of a thriving culture.

Know what values matter most for your mission, bring together the right talent aligned with those values – and you’ll be unstoppable.