How to increase intranet engagement right now

What is employee advocacy?

Keep internal comms fresh with 101 Employee Engagement Ideas

How is employee advocacy different from employee engagement?

What are the benefits of employee advocacy?

  • Building a shared sense of purpose internally and externally
  • Promoting a company as an employer and business partner
  • Improving customer perception
  • Driving employee creativity and connection
  • Establishing the employee as a thought leader and the brand as a destination employer

Keep internal comms fresh with 101 Employee Engagement Ideas

How to build an employee advocacy program and improve intranet engagement

#1 Begin with a POC

  • Identify and select a proportion of employees (2–5% may be a good start) you wish to include. Inevitably, not all employees will join the EA program, so the POC is about working with a smaller group of the group who will eventually participate. If your future plan is to have 100 employee advocates out of 1,000 total workers, start your POC group with between 20 and 50. Identifying these people will depend on your workplace, but the key thing is to ensure diversity. To avoid creating a bubble effect, seek out voices from right across the organization, in every team. Don’t forget to include those who don’t typically post or advocate. The goal of the POC is to see whether the program will succeed when people have the right tools and incentives, so there is no point in only utilizing those people who are already active.
  • Define your goals. The POC gives you a chance to look at a small group of people and decide what success looks like and how achievable it is. If you provide 20 people with social media training and three months’ worth of content, how many times will they advocate during that time? Knowing what success is in a small group means you can scale upwards and predict eventual adoption.
  • Provide training and guidelines. Having a small group of participants should make it easy to offer training and guidance on how you’d like marketing and advocacy to work together.
  • Plan to scale your efforts. EA requires a continual effort because you need to provide fresh content, stimulate a community of advocates, offer new training, and keep people engaged. As your program grows from 20 to 100 or more, who will do what as it grows? How and when will you roll out the plan to more people? Will the marketing department provide everything or will a point of contact in each team provide more specific material that’s relevant for their people? It’s important to plan the structure of your EA community in advance.

Intranet engagement pro tip:

#2 Create a community

Keep internal comms fresh with 101 Employee Engagement Ideas

Intranet engagement pro tip:

#3 Reward and recognize

Intranet engagement pro tip:

#4 Training and guidelines can make a difference

  • There are lots of platforms and you want employees to use those most aligned with their interests. If they don’t use LinkedIn then only giving them training and content for that channel will be largely pointless. Meet them where they live and provide actionable tips on how to create good company-referencing content. How would you like them to use company hashtags or logos? Is there a specific URL they need to use if they’re sharing blogs or guides? Treating EA as an extension of marketing strategy means that you want their actions to be trackable in the same way as conventional marketing.
  • Platforms change and develop, which means training needs to change too. Assuming that you can write your training guide and rely on it indefinitely is a sure-fire way to create content that looks out-of-date or inauthentic when the platform changes.
  • Social media guidelines should be just that, not hard and fast rules. Employee advocacy is about empowering people to be creative and to interpret some of the company content you provide. It can be good to suggest that you like to use a certain tone or specific words, but limiting people to ultra-specific rules will mean they never voluntarily get involved.
  • The time your co-workers spend learning and then communicating on behalf of the company is still a form of work and should be understood as such. To guarantee full engagement you may need to liaise with managers and work out how much time EA activities will take. Your ambassadors can then be supported to post creatively in a way that benefits everyone. If EA posts are seen as an add-on that people should perform in their own time then this may alienate people and make them reluctant to act.

Intranet engagement pro tip:

#5 Provide relevant, shareable content

Keep internal comms fresh with 101 Employee Engagement Ideas

  • As with other marketing content, you need a timeline. Combine your editorial and social media calendars with an EA calendar to ensure that you are creating integrated content that reflects the business as a whole. If you are already producing external communications around Pride Month, for example, then it’s important to let your employee ambassadors know that in advance and to give them ideas and resources to create their own social posts too.
  • Discover what your people are most interested in. Pulse surveys can be a quick way to ask about topics people like or dislike, and your intranet communities (or Slack/Teams channels) can be an ideal discussion forum. Use forms to gauge the popularity of certain topics and then work to provide greater resources around them. Experience suggests that people are interested in other people. Consider communicating well on internal promotions, community action, recent hires, product launches that relied on teamwork, get-togethers and socials, team events, DE&I, or other topics that connect people with your organization’s purpose.
  • Global content is interesting but local content is even better. What’s going on in individual offices and at different locations? Tap into the knowledge of your dispersed teams and ensure that everyone is represented. If your local admin contacts can add some color to your global content plans then you should be equipped to provide more highly targeted communication.
  • Give people lots of choices and cater to all platforms. Not everyone is interested in making high-level business commentary on company strategy, so having a wider variety of material can serve more people. Infographics, images of colleagues, and logo-stamped videos can all be highly interesting and highly shareable for people across your organization. If they can use these elements to create new social posts then even better.

Intranet engagement pro tip:

Apply employee advocacy to your intranet engagement

  • Relevant, authentic content
  • Social media guidelines and training
  • Time and recognition
  • Connection with the business
  • A chance to use their voices

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store