Turn employees into Collaborative learning is your ticket to employee advocacy, writes Michelle Yandre
Age is no longer a barrier to leadership ambition. Even our youngest employees crave opportunities to lead, to feel accountable and to be successful. Pair this enthusiasm with a yearning to be part of a larger mission, and you have the perfect recipe for employee advocacy. In a general sense, employee advocacy means leveraging a company’s greatest asset – its employees – to promote the company using both online and offline channels. If implemented successfully, employee advocacy efforts can lead to some impressive, and perhaps surprising, results. Research from MSLGroup says brand messages go 561% further when shared by employees, as compared to sharing via an organization’s social media channels. This statistic – though initially staggering – is not, on reflection, far-fetched. As human beings, we are much more likely to put our trust in other people than in brands or corporations, at least to start with. Further, we put even more trust in those we know. Nielsen reports that 84% of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations from family members, friends or colleagues about products and services. With this percentage in mind, think of the power behind leveraging your employees to tap
into their own social following, which likely comprises friends, family and likeminded professionals – people who could be your next client, customer, investor or partner. Aside from potentially reaching an untapped market through your employees’ networks, your employees are also your best bet for securing new business leads outside of their close-knit groups. In general, new business leads developed through employee social marketing convert seven times more frequently than other leads, according to IBM. Now, what would happen if employees begin to leverage marketing in a way that goes beyond simply explaining what your organization brings to the table, using standard ‘marketing fluff’? What if they start to demonstrate their knowledge – and therefore your organization’s capabilities – through employee advocacy initiatives?
Some employees are more eager to lead than others, but every employee wants the opportunity to learn and climb the corporate ladder
The key driver behind employee advocacy success is having you employees deliver messages of contextual relevance to target audiences. Teach your prospects something, showcase in-depth knowledge of industry challenges, and allude to innovative solutions your team can deliver. Show, don’t tell – but how? The answer lies within collaborative learning.
Leveraging collaborative learning to fuel employee advocacy
Consider your current workforce. Some employees are more eager to lead than others, but if statistics prove true, every employee wants the opportunity to grow, learn and climb the corporate ladder. Collaborative learning-fuelled employee advocacy gives each employee the opportunity to do just that, while helping the overall business grow at the same time. Below are a few steps to help employees get started:
Understand industry challenges by conducting research
The best way to understand what types of messages will resonate among your specific target audiences is to conduct research by consuming expert
Dialogue Q3 2017