Employee advocacy goes under the microscope

Do you use the phrase employee advocacy in your organisation? What does it mean to you? Are you, like me, noticing it becoming an increasingly noisy topic?

PSheldrakeThis week I was contacted by Philip Sheldrake @sheldrake (pictured), as he was writing about employee advocacy for his blog and wanted to know my thoughts.

Philip is one of my fellow co-authors of Share This and Share This Too books and is one of the smartest people I have the pleasure of knowing.

I recommend reading his blog for a whole range of information and articles that will get your brain sparking.

I particularly like his social business design magazine, and I wrote about his social business book Attenzi when it launched last year. 

I’m not going to re-blog his whole article – you can read it in full here – however I want to share the image on this page with you and ask for your thoughts on it. You’re welcome to comment below or Tweet me @AllthingsIC.

Philip says: “I described the relatively recent concept of employee advocacy in my last post as rather uncomfortable and somewhat forced, and I’ve been asked to qualify this description.

“Firstly, it’s worth stating the obvious – the aspiration that employees might advocate the employer is hardly a new idea. But this relatively new desire to go about it more systematically is prompted by employees’ increasing social media activity.

“While recommending an employer down the pub leaves no discernible trace, doing so online does, and that appears to have internal comms, HR professionals and social media types hot under the collar.

But here’s the rub. Genuine employee advocacy remains a consequence. That’s always been the case and will always remain so.

“You can’t insist. You can’t take control of employee social media profiles. You can’t pick out people for failing to advocate, not without creating the kind of culture that’s counter to employee advocacy.

“I’ll leave you to ponder whether you’re ready for a systematic approach to employee advocacy with the following diagrammatic polemic. It’s short on detail if only because I believe you’ll know in your gut, in your heart and in your mind whether you’re about to do something that’s “rather uncomfortable and somewhat forced”. Or not.” 

What do you think of the image on this page? Does it resonate with you?

See the article on Philip’s blog to read my thoughts on the topic.
















Author: Rachel Miller.

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Founder of All Things IC communication consultancy. Chartered PR Practitioner and CIPR Fellow.

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