How to Incentivize You Employee Advocacy Program

The need for employee advocacy

 Employee advocacy is a great tool which when done right can skyrocket your social media reach, engagement, brand awareness as well as traffic to your website. People are more likely to be influenced by their friends as opposed to the social media page of a company. Edelman’s Consumer Trust Research has proven every single year.

brand advocacy

Employee advocacy lets you have a ton of people marketing your brand. Companies are able to promote products, notify people about upcoming events and build great online reputations via brand advocacy. However, there are still a lot of companies struggling with employee advocacy and usually, the reason seems to be the fact that employees aren’t motivated enough to advocate for their brand.

However, if there was “something in it for them”, a.k.a incentives, they would most likely be better motivated to do a great job.

7 ideas that you can implement as the best advocacy incentives

Take for example an eCommerce retail company which has had a great run in every area of its business, but the fact that its understaffed is hindering its growth. The company would naturally want to hire the appropriate workforce to boost their results, however, they are unable to do so because they cannot find the right candidates for the job.

The employees, though are connected to a lot of talent over social media. This is where the employee advocacy program comes in to broadcast the fact that they are hiring. In most cases, employees will be willing to share company content, but you can expedite this process just by simply incentivizing your employee advocacy activity.

  1. Tap into employee’s passions and hobbies via incentives

One should know his employees and what their passions are. If a majority of your employees are gamers, hand out a gaming accessory as the first month’s prize. If you work for a big company, you can afford to distribute prices for different groups of employees. January could be about gamers, February about athletes and so on. That way, employees get a chance to win something they genuinely want which makes them better motivated to win.

You must also take into account the employees passions like fitness and relationships. Some may enjoy a monthly subscription to the gym whereas others may enjoy a candlelight dinner with the spouse. Use your creativity to come up with exciting prizes.

  1. Use of incentives for employees to be more enthusiastic about their workplace

Incentives provide opportunities to rekindle his relationship with his workplace. One great incentive would be letting an employee pick a workstation of his choice in the office or letting him decide what to do with the forthcoming month’s leisure fund. Another fun incentive would be getting to decide the AC temperature for a week.

  1. Handle an employee’s monthly purchase via vouchers or coupons

Sometimes, something as simple as Amazon vouchers or movie tickets can be all it takes to make a great incentive idea. Anything that contributes to an employee’s monthly expenses counts as an incentive. Daily transport is included too.

  1. Investing in the employee’s growth can be a great incentive too

A motivated focused employee would be more than willing to learn a new skillset and skyrocket their career. A great example of using employee growth as an incentive would be a Coursera MOOC subscription or even free passes to a highly sought-after seminar. Different courses are applicable for different departments. If your targets are mostly managers and executives, you could invest in their MBA.

  1. Recognition-based incentives

Employees whose efforts in delivering on a project or task are given recognition have been observed to perform better. This is applicable to employee advocacy as well. One way of implementing this is by having award ceremonies and if you already have them, great. You just have to introduce additional awards for employee advocates. Another great idea is to have a rotating trophy for every different employee advocate. Employees also will appreciate small things liked mentions and recognition.

  1. Product discounts and giveaways

If your company is into retail, you may be able to use some of your products as incentives for your employee advocates. Electronics, apparel, accessories, all are amazing giveaways. Offering access to new product lines or limited edition products is a great incentive.

  1. Project related incentives

Another incentive for extremely passionate employees could be working on a big project that may add some substance to their work experience. For example, you could offer a highly motivated team of Java developers, a chance to market their own product in return for the chance to lead the development of the next one.

Building and Sustaining Employee Advocacy

5 Practices for Building and Sustaining Employee Advocacy

Building up an employee advocacy program and implementing is a very difficult task. Ensuring that the employees of the organization are excited and pumped about sharing the organization’s posts is another ball game. Taking care of an employee advocacy tool is not a cake-walk.

Employees are the most important and powerful resource. Their inputs and efforts can make any program successful. They are an integral part of the organization.

Below mentioned are five best practices for maintaining and sustaining an effective employee advocacy program.

1. Gather Feedback

Feedback, though it is the last on the list of any program but is the most important on that list. Feedback is an essential practice as the organization can then work on the flaws or the requirements of the employees that they feel are necessary. Their valuable words give the organization insights about what content clicks and what can generate engagement.

2. Make Sure It Lasts Long

The programs hype shouldn’t just be for the hype of it. It must sustain itself and that is only if the employees find the content relatable and boosted to share. They need to be connected with the program throughout its journey.

3. Encourage Internal Advocacy

The organization must encourage people to share more content internally;  Group chats. This only shows that the fellow employee advocates are appreciating the content the employee shares, which helps him sure more of it. This develops a habit of sharing company related news and getting them more involved. Eventually, the employees of the company started sharing content about the company.

4. Include Non-Company Content

While internal advocacy is encouraged the  organization must not disregard any outside content on the chat. Knowledge is good. But this knowledge should be in and around the organization’s framework. It could be from any other source. This only helps them develop a liking and understanding of what the world has to say as well. Giving them more insights to grow knowledge and implement it while working. While sharing non-company content the employees feel a sense of thought leadership and that’s how to like being.

5. Encourage Two-Way Dialogue

Employees would love to see their ideas coming to life and when someone is there to listen, they’re more engaged. Having an opinion on what content could go out gives them a sense of trust and respect. They feel more involved and get more into the advocacy program.  

These five practices can certainly sustain a company’s employee advocacy program. It’s about giving and taking. The company needs to be there for the employees and that’s when the employees will reward them by standing strong with the organization.