Here’s a quote from a company you need to pay attention to if you’re thinking about starting your own employee advocacy program:
“Employee advocacy programs that are fully supported by executive leadership (most notably CEOs and presidents) are far more successful than those where leadership is not fully onboard.”
You might think, ‘That’s easy. Our CEO signs off on every new program.’ Well, that’s the catch. When it comes to employee advocacy programs, signing off on them isn’t enough. If you want your program to survive, leadership buy-in has to take the form of full-throttle involvement from the moment the program launches.
Here are a few of the reasons why:
1. Employee advocacy programs work best when it’s part of the culture
Have you ever worked for a company where they say something is a part of the company culture, but those in leadership positions don’t follow it? For example, your company says they care about the planet and are big on recycling. Great. Now, imagine coming in every day and seeing your CEO take their paper takeout coffee cup, look at the recycling bin, and throw it straight into the trash can. Then they do the same with their can of soda water at lunch. Are you going to believe the company really cares about the planet? Probably not.
Employee advocacy programs are the same. If you want it to be a part of your company culture (which you should if you plan to scale it and want successful uptake by future employees), it must be embedded in the company from the top down.
2. Employees look up to and want their company leaders to notice them.
Ambitious employees that like their jobs and work for a company with great leadership will look up to their CEOs and want them to notice their work. Especially if you incentivize your employee advocacy program, seeing the organization leaders lean in, it signals them that participating in the program is worthwhile.
3. Starting the program out with clear goals and a roadmap requires leadership.
Company leadership often comes in when new programs launch or when establishing new measurements and goals. The same goes for employee advocacy programs. If you want the KPIs taken seriously, having leadership buy-in will let employees know these goals are essential, not just to the marketing department but to the entire company. How often do colleagues tell you to do something, and you brush it off? Now, what if your CEO came by to explain why something was important and lay out the steps to do it successfully? One of those scenarios will significantly impact uptake more than the other.
4. Leadership involvement signals importance.
As we said, leadership buy-in helps establish the employee advocacy program as part of the company values, helps motivate ambitious employees, and helps guide your team as to what success looks like and how to get there. If you aren’t starting your company at the same time you’re beginning your advocacy program, then leadership involvement will signal to employees that this change is important. While it may become part of the company values over time as the program grows, having executive buy-in from launch day will ensure it gets there by letting employees know that this isn’t just posting fun things on social media —this matters to every role in the organization and is being taken seriously.
If you want your employee advocacy program to thrive from day one, ensure you have executive buy-in visible to your employees before the launch day. Nothing will kill the program uptake and momentum more than having your company leadership yawn at the prospect of sharing posts on social media. If you’re having trouble getting them involved, remind them of the considerable company benefits that come with a program. Plus, involvement helps them establish themselves as thought leaders in the industry, too.
So you’ve established an employee advocacy program… Do you need the content to keep up with the demands? Reach out to us at Ghostit today! We provide plenty of accurate, engaging, and effective branded social media content on time that your team will love to share.