Employee Advocacy and Internal Comms: a Powerful Collaboration
If you think of employee advocacy and internal comms systems, they may seem like conflicting tools to you. Truth is, they’re not at all. Their relationship is actually one of collaboration and interaction: internal comms you would use to build a strong relationship with your employees, which you can then take advantage of to implement advocacy, obtain business results and enhance your employer brand.
Keep reading for more details on this powerful collab!
Now, if you’ve heard about advocacy and you have a grasp of it, you may still be wondering how that will interact with an organization’s internal comms system exactly.
Well, you’re in the right place, ‘cause I’m about to give an answer to those very questions.
Let’s start by saying that advocacy and internal comms are two different things, and as such, they are meant to tackle different issues and answer different needs.
What is internal comms?
When you think of internal comms, you think of productivity and efficiency.
What do I mean? Well, your internal comms will be the go-to place when news have to be shared with the staff; when team members have to sync on a project; when team-leads share achievements, and all that.
Let's see some examples...
If you're wondering for what kind of day-to-day use your internal comms is suitable for, here are some practical examples of communication you can use it for:
- Communicate a mental-health day: you decide to close the company for one day and let your employees have an extra day off to wind down — internal comms is perfect to communicate this news to your employees.
- Announce a team event: it’s time for a team-building day and you want to communicate the date and the plan for the day to your team — the best way to do that is through your internal comms channel.
- Introduce a new company policy: there's a new company policy and all members of the staff need to be informed and updated about it — internal comms will easily help you do that.
- Statement by a team leader: as a team leader you want to let everybody in your team know about the successful completion of a project you were working on — your internal comms is the perfect tool to share that news.
- New customer notification: when the CEO wishes to announce to the team the signing of a new customer.
- Distribution of company reports: company reports need to be sent out to all employees — if you use your internal channels it'll be quicker and more efficient.
- Feedback collection: as a manager, you need to collect feedback from your team or your employees — you can send out a survey through your internal comms and everyone will be instantly notified.
- Feedback communication: contrarily, you might want to give out individual feedback on a project one of your team members is working on.
- Onboarding and individual guidance: a new hire will be onboarded and needs tailored guidance and one-to-one interaction — internal comms in the tool to support this kind of day-to-day communication.
Internal comms will make any sort of day-to-day communication among the staff smoother and your days more productive.
What is advocacy?
Employee advocacy, on the contrary, is meant to connect your employees with the outside world. Advocacy is meant to aid clever content distribution and sharing with employees’ networks outside of the workplace to amplify and promote your brand.
Advocacy helps you build a stronger employer brand and generate engagement in your workforce to find trusted advocates who can promote your brand.
Let's see some examples...
Now, on the other hand, here are a bunch of examples of advocacy:
- Advertise a mental-health day: remember that extra day off we mentioned above? Advocacy is a great tool to let the outside world on social media know about it — it’s a good way to show what kind of relationship you have with your employees.
- Employees sharing photos: encouraging employees to share the photos they took during your team-building event is a way to use advocacy to show off your work culture and generate genuine content.
- Promote a company event: any sort of way to use social media your employees can do to spread the word about a conference, webinar, or another company event is a great example of advocacy.
- Partnership public announcement: you or your employees may push on socials the announcement of a new partnership — it shows how involved they are in the company's business.
- Publication of new company content: when you have new content, articles, or blog posts for the company, having your employees share it on socials and apply their own angle to it, is a way in which you can promote your branded content through advocacy.
- Sharing of company news: another example of advocacy is when you use social media to talk about any kind of company news such as new policies, new hires, new partnerships, etc.
- Social sharing of company content: when your employees tweet or make a post on LinkedIn about your work culture.
- Employees talking about work projects: when employees share pictures and details about a cool project they're working on and they are passionate about.
- Employees displaying company swag: when employees share photos of themselves covered in company swag and company-branded clothing, accessories, and all that fun stuff.
Goals you can achieve with advocacy and internal comms
Like we already said, your internal comms system will interact with employee advocacy for several purposes. But let’s give some examples.
Here are a few things advocacy can directly benefit from your running internal comms system:
Improved flow of information within your organization, which will keep your employees up-to-date with everything that’s happening in the company
Increased employee contribution, productivity, and engagement across all levels
It’s a way to nurture a supportive and positive company culture and familiarize your employees with shared goals and objectives
In turn, here are some enhanced benefits that advocacy will bring to your company that can make your internal comms even better:
Reach out to the disconnected workforce and bring it back into the loop by providing content that motivates and inspires employees
Publicly praise and reward achievements, thus fostering collaboration and connection within and among different teams
Improve communication outwards and enhance brand perception on social media by sharing your employees’ experiences
They are different in scope and goal, but their core is one: communication.
Basically, if your internal comms facilitates interactions with and among your organization, advocacy takes advantage of that interaction to direct communication towards the outside and generate engagement in the process.
A powerful collaboration
In other words, internal comms is an alignment and streamlining system that companies use to increase productivity and efficiency in the workforce. Advocacy is a business tool: it enhances employer branding and generates meaningful engagement.
If employee advocacy is all about accomplishing business goals and building a strong employer brand, while internal comms is a tool for you to improve internal interactions with your people.
And that’s the gist of it, the basis of how this interaction works.
The way you communicate with your people through your internal comms will impact the level of engagement of your employees and, thus, the success of your advocacy program.
If you build a strong relationship with them and spread a positive work culture, your employees will be more willing and eager to broadcast company messaging and share it with their social networks.