This article was written by Rani Mani, Head of Employee Advocacy at Adobe on why and how employee advocacy programs foster and promote workplace community. Adobe – one of the world’s top performing and most innovative software companies – is an EveryoneSocial customer.
 
At the heart of employee advocacy programs is the company’s desire for its employees to actively share company news and expand reach.

But just as important (if not more) is to encourage the sharing of relevant third party content for a myriad of traditional reasons such as increasing brand awareness, humanizing its products and services, garnering more trust, etc.

However, one valuable reason that is often overlooked is the case for building a strong culture of workplace community.
 

Workplace Community

Increased workplace morale makes your organization more willing to give extra effort during normal business operations, but also with other company initiatives as well.

Work becomes more meaningful, communication inside the entire organization becomes streamlined, and everyone feels like they belong and matter to their company. This also helps motivation of tasks and work.

It’s also a topic you don’t hear companies discussing as much, even though many are focused on creating and strengthening their workplace community.
 
 
Workplace Communities
 

Employee Advocacy and Workplace Community

Co-workers liking, commenting, sharing, and otherwise regularly engaging on your posts makes you feel good. And by posts this could mean articles you specifically wrote, shared, or content that you had thoughts on.

There’s a sense of belonging, a shared sense of purpose, a feeling of being appreciated, and making an impact.

This good feeling boosts your desire to put out more content and to add value to the posts of others and herein starts a virtuous cycle of workplace community and simultaneously employee advocacy.

You can’t but help grow your personal network because people crave connecting and relating to other like-minded people who have fresh POVs to share, not to mention who will add to and make better what you are putting out in the world.

Naturally you form groups with these people who have shared interests.

You exchange ideas, cheer each other on, offer advice and support, make warm introductions of others in your networks who should know one another and before you know it, a strong workplace community has emerged across the company.
 

Workplace Community Starts With An Employee Advocacy Program

The employee advocacy program with its curated content and centralized platform serves as the rallying point to bring your employees together and gives them an online meeting spot to engage, deepen, and strengthen relationships.

You are no longer limited by networks that are organized by gender, ethnicity, or hobbies.

Instead, you can fluidly move from group to group based on those types of specialization as well as an unending number of other interests.

Connecting online across a variety of topics gives us permission to be the multi-passionate employees we are intended to be without feeling boxed into a few areas of focus.

We always have the ability to go deep on a select few things but shouldn’t feel obligated to do only that. Scaling your connections far and wide across the company is so much more achievable when centered on the mechanics of your employee advocacy program.

At the same time, attracting, activating, and retaining employee advocates is exponentially easier when you have established a strong workplace community.

They are indeed two sides of the same coin, each making the other stronger. Employees take pride in being seen as a thought leader trusted by their peers. They take pride in being a source of knowledge and insight and relish being sought out for their expertise.

Seeing what others are saying in general and especially in response to what you have said is a great intrinsic motivator to keep coming back into your employee advocacy platform. The more you come back the more you end up doing while there and the more you’ll be missed when you aren’t.

The intended consequence of all of this is a passionate army of employees who feel more connected to one another and by default their employer. Employees who are staying on top of company news and industry trends.

Employees who want to work for their employer longer because they feel trusted, valued, and appreciated.
 
Related: Employee advocacy programs can kick-start dialogue and drive results in our increasingly connected economy. Download our guide to learn how to build an effective program.
 

Final Thoughts

At Adobe, we are blessed to enjoy an extremely passionate and engaged external community clamoring to be a part of our iconic brand. It would be a miss not to facilitate the same sort of cult following with our employees.

Now that EveryoneSocial is moving in the direction of putting even more power in the hands of its users, our admins are freed up to be bonafide community managers intentionally stoking the fire and making connections among our employees.

We are planning to open up “Community Liaison” roles to formalize the importance we are placing on cultivating and nurturing a thriving community. Our goal is to create value for our ambassadors while the brand receives value in exchange. We don’t want to measure our success merely by shares and reach.

Equally important to us are trust and the closeness of our employee base with long term brand-engagement being the holy grail. To create long-lasting loyalty, we need to shift our thinking from one-directional, transactional asks of our advocates and instead think through what you can do for them.

More specifically, invest in building a community that connects them to one another. Offer your advocates education, spotlight them, listen to them all of which amounts to making it known that you value them and couldn’t do it without them.
 

Interested in running an employee advocacy program and building a workplace community at your organization? Request your demo of EveryoneSocial to learn more.