[Episode Thirteen of ‘The Employee Advocacy and Influence Podcast] 🎧👇
Empower your employees like NEVER before!
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.
Employee Advocacy Is Your Career Launch Pad
So in the last five, six years since we’ve been running as a business, we have some of our Administrators who have run programs who are now on their third iteration of building an Employee Advocacy program. because what tends to happen is they build a program inside one organization and when they leave their organizations to go to a new company, it becomes a little bit bittersweet because on one hand, we lose a great admin user for our platform but we know that it’s a potential sales opportunity for us because they’re probably going to want to essentially repeat the success that they saw the first time they launched a program so that really got me on this idea of thinking about, can Employee Advocacy be a career launchpad?
In the process of doing that I started to reflect on my own career and really thinking about I guess, sliding doors moments in my career and how that essentially shaped the direction that my career took because in my very first job, I worked as what was known as a Fax boy, which essentially us somebody who works inside an office and this is obviously pre everybody having email and people would send faxes into the company that I worked in and I would print those faxes off and go around the five-story building and deliver them to people in person and while that may seem like insanity to some people that listen to this podcast. I guess a lot of people would never have even sent a fax, let alone comprehend that you could hand deliver them to an entire company. But while that was somewhat of a tedious job, one of the really good things about it was that I got to meet and talk with people all over the organization in different departments and more importantly, different seniority.
So I could be delivering a fax to the most senior person in the organization and not the most that the least senior, because that was actually me. But people at similar levels to myself and in the process of doing this role I quickly got recognized as somebody who worked hard and was able to hold a conversation with people so which led to me changing my role and moving more into a customer-facing role and actually doing customer support. Customer support led me into sales. Sales led me into entrepreneurship and 22 years later I’m running a business.
So had I have been working 100% remote at that point. It would be difficult for other people outside my direct department to see how I worked and how I communicated with people.
The Network Effect of Employee Advocacy
So with Employee Advocacy it’s somewhat unique because it often sits inside marketing and marketing yes, do communicate with people outside of their department, but it’s certainly not every single day. Often the first time somebody sees the work that marketing produce is actually when it’s out in the public domain and that includes social. You know, you put out a social post, the employee see the social post when it goes on LinkedIn, just like a prospective customer does.
Now, of course, you’ve got internal communications platforms and stuff and content will be shared on there as well. But really you’re isolated into your department. Now if you have an amazing boss or let’s say you report to the CMO and you’ve got a really good relationship with them. They will go out of their way to share the work that you do and show other people in the organization how hard you work. But let’s be honest not every boss is a great person to work for and quite frequently they’re not, so you can be stuck in a position where you fulfill a role but actually there’s somebody else taking all of the credit for your work. They don’t proactively try to introduce you to others in the organization and that can be quite isolating and essentially limit your career. So there’s an impact the Employee Advocacy has, because you need to onboard people within your organization and that might involve running training programs, offering support, or even just providing metrics back to advocates to tell them how the program is actually running and in the process of doing that you put yourself in a situation where you’re able to communicate just like I did in my first role, where you can communicate with different people in the organization and essentially it has a network effect.
The Purpose of Employee Advocacy
So that’s a way of being, I guess spotted internally.
But that’s only part of the journey because the whole purpose of having an Employee Advocacy Program is to raise awareness of your content and essentially create a new channel to push content out to prospective clients and trade peers and potential employees.
THIS is How You Increase Impact by 300%
So when you start your Employee Advocacy Program it’s probable that there’s only really, let’s say 5% of the organization sharing content.
Now if you move the needle from 5% of the organization to let’s say 20% of the Organization, which would be more than achievable. You’ve essentially increased the amount that your content is shared by your employees by 300%.
So that’s a huge number to use to demonstrate the effectiveness of the work that you’ve you’ve put in so that will help you internally because then you’re seen as somebody who delivers results inside the organization.
Your Career Differentiator is THIS!
But, externally building that knowledge of how to run an Employee Advocacy program and to understand what works and what doesn’t work gives you quite a unique skill set that not all people in marketing and employer branding in nature have.
So it’s something that you can put on your resumé that actually offers huge value to a potential or new company to work for. So when we receive a resumé, obviously resumes are full of the successes that somebody has done in their previous organization.
But one of the challenges as somebody who hires people is very difficult to quantify whether that is true or not because if a salesperson’s applying for a role and they say that they’ve hit quota for every quarter this year they hit quota and they did president’s club. Of course, when you do your due diligence and your references, you may be able to check that information. But often you can’t.
With running an Employee Advocacy program it’s out there, it’s in the public domain. So by building a program and getting employees active on social, it’s clear to everybody and the statistics essentially are the evidence to show that that was a huge success.
Build Your Personal Business Case
So as you’re thinking about launching your program, obviously, I’m not trying to encourage everybody to try and change their job as soon as launching a program. But make sure you document where things are at now and build a business case not only for you personally but also for the organization because in a year from now everybody’s going to be looking back and saying was this successful? And really, you want to demonstrate that you moved the needle.
So yes, that benefits the company.
Yes, it benefits you personally as well.
So I hope that gave you something to think about and as always, I will put some resources in the footnotes of the show. But please do connect with me on LinkedIn. Any feedback you have regarding the podcast is always really, really welcome So thanks for tuning in and I look forward to doing this again same time next week.