[Episode Twenty Two of ‘The Employee Advocacy and Influence Podcast] 🎧👇
Don’t Force Employee Advocacy + Exciting Announcement!
Organizations all over the world in every sector are driving strategic competitive advantage by scaling the impact of their employees’ voices… and now YOU can too! As we delve beyond the why and get straight to the how so that you can put employee-driven growth at the heart of your organization.
Hosted by employee advocacy practitioner and CEO of DSMN8, Bradley Keenan.
And today’s episode, actually the next 4 episodes, we’re going to try something new. So I’m hoping this is going to work.
But before we launch into how this is going to work, I just want to give a little bit of an update and I guess an announcement really, which is relevant to these 4 episodes of the podcast.
We've Got a Book Coming Out! Want a Free Copy?
So we as a company have decided to create a book.
And the book is essentially themed around 101 ways to improve your Employee Advocacy program.
Essentially, it’s 101 tips and we obviously wanted to create a book because we can use it as marketing collateral, lots of businesses do this.
But when we started thinking about the idea of creating a book, we realized that there are so many business books out there and to be honest, I sometimes find if I read a book, a business book, I find that it’s the same message just repeated over and over and over again.
So we had this idea of creating a short book, but designed with a view that you can pick up this book and flick to any page in it and essentially get a tip about how to successfully run an Employee Advocacy program.
And we are essentially at the point that the book is finished in draft form. It still needs to go through all of the processes of having the checks and balances, cover design, publishing, and that takes months and months.
So in the next 4 episodes, what I’m going to do is I’m going to try and test some of the content that’s in the book and kind of just give a flavor as to the types
of things we’ll be speaking about.
So the way that I’m going to do this is I have the content of the book in front of me.
I have the title, essentially the tips that are included and I’m going to pick one at random and talk about it for 5 to 7 minutes as we do most of the podcasts.
And the the idea of the podcast is really similar to the idea of the book. In that, we want it to be nice and short, straight to the point. No B.S. No waffle, hopefully not too much waffle. I know, I do waffle sometimes, but essentially get straight to the point and give you the value without making you sit through an hour of me saying the same thing over and over again.
So and before I do that, if anybody wants to be on the list for the distribution of the book, so when we first create it, we’re going to send it out to people with the kind of quid pro quo that if we’re going to send you the book, we’d like you to give us a review on Amazon.
Just drop me a LinkedIn request and say I’d like a copy of the book and then give me your address. And as soon as it’s ready, which I think will be Q1 of 2023, we’ll send out to you and they’ll be at no cost as well.
So let’s do this.
An Employee Advocacy Red Flag 🚩
I have 101 tips in front of me and I am going to ask my Alexa to give me a number.
So let’s do that now.
Alexa, give me a number between 1 and 101.
The number that she gave me was number 30.
And that tip is to encourage sign ups but don’t force it.
And then the hashtag is red flag. 🚩
Now, what we’re saying in this point, is that Employee Advocacy is something that
when you originally think about it, actually, I don’t think as many companies
do this now, but they certainly used to.
They used to think of it as a company wide tool that everybody would use.
And in reality, it’s not.
It’s for a strategic group of people.
The people who want to participate and the people that it makes sense to.
So what we say by encouraging sign ups is taking the time to sell people on the idea of why this is valuable to them as an individual and that value can’t be, that this will help the business.
It has to be framed around the view that this is going to help this individual in their career, whether that’s internally or their long term career, just within the wider industry.
How To Encourage Advocacy Program Sign-Ups
So when we talk about encouraging sign ups, there’s 2 components to that.
The first is, like I just said, it’s giving people the why and giving them the reason
that they would want to sign up.
And then the other side of it is actually just reminding people that this is there.
So a big mistake that people make is when they first invite somebody,
they send one invite, it’s an email, a random time of the week that may not land with everybody.
It’s about a new initiative, the employee is busy, they’re in a meeting, maybe they’re not even in business that week.
It passes and then they never hear about it again.
So we find that when we send invites through our platform, it can sometimes be on the 5th or 6th reminder that the person actually says, okay I think I understand this now and I’m going to take the action and join.
And that process means that you need that invitation system running so that it’s sending reminders.
Now, there’s no point in sending a reminder if the reminder is literally just the same message over and over again.
It has to be a new message every single time.
So the first message may be that we’re launching an Employee Advocacy program, this is why we’re doing it. This is the value to you.
The second message may be something, let’s say they’re in sales as an example.
The second message could be more focused around the benefits of social selling
and so on.
So you build that communication model and process that takes somebody through anywhere up to 7 steps.
Re-invite Employees Every Quarter
In addition to that I would always encourage people to automatically re-invite people every quarter.
So somebody sending somebody an invite now, just like we talk about repurposing content, I could share something on LinkedIn that I shared 6 months ago and nobody would remember what I shared 6 months ago.
So I can repurpose content, but you can also repurpose the invitation because if I didn’t accept the invitation 3 months ago, okay, that might be for the reason that I don’t want to do it.
But things may have changed in 3 months.
So for instance, my boss may have said to me, hey Brad, it’d be really good if you could be more active on social. Certainly if I’m in a sales function. And now I get the invite 3 months later, I’m more inclined to do it.
Or it could just simply that I was having a particularly busy time 3 months ago and now is a better time.
So that’s the side of encouraging sign ups.
Don't Force It!
As far as not forcing it.
That’s something that we’re really, really passionate about.
So sometimes when we do onboarding calls, you may get somebody on there.
You know, we’ve all been in meetings and there’ll always be the token naysayer, the pragmatist, or the devil’s advocate. Whatever you want to call them.
But there’ll always be someone saying, I don’t want to do this.
I don’t think I should be part of an Employee Advocacy program.
Why should I share content?
The answer to that is really simple.
Is that, ok don’t participate.
Because if you force it on people, it sets a tone that this is a mandated tool.
And naturally it creates resistance from people who are participating.
Because the moment you’re forced into doing something, you push back and say, actually, this isn’t something I wanted to do.
So encourage sign ups, but don’t force them.