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How to Build an Employee Ambassador Program

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Ever wonder how some organizations have the coolest employer branding content? There is spirit, fun, and personality…so what makes it so interesting? It’s the authenticity shared through images and video that depict the organizational energy. This can’t be manufactured. So how do they do it? Enter the employee ambassador program…

Employee ambassador programs have become increasingly popular in recent years as companies recognize the value of having their team capture the real deal. By empowering your employees to be social scouts and brand ambassadors, one is better able to provide what we like to call “a window into the employee experience”. This can ignite employee pride, connect distributed teams, and magnetize prospective talent to the organization.

Here are 8 steps to help you get started in launching your very own employee ambassador program:

1) Determine your goals

You are a busy HR/TA pro. No one has time for “busy work” that doesn’t move the needle. Before you start designing your program, define your objectives. Determine what you want to achieve by launching an employee ambassador program. Are you looking to increase brand awareness, drive engagement, grow candidate leads or increase team connection? Once you have a clear understanding of your goals, you can tailor your program to meet your specific needs.

2) Design the program

Next up is designing how the program will work. Is it an annual program where ambassadors sign up for a year term or will it be more free-flowing? How many ambassadors will your organization need? Will ambassadors submit content for curation and publication or will they also be mobilizing their networks to share the company’s story? There is not a one-size-fits-all answer here. Either approach can work. Should you wish the team to share on their social channels, will they be using their personal social handles or creating branded company ones, for example: @SeemaForXYZCompany?

Will ambassadors be trained and if so, how and by whom? How will ambassadors be selected? Will is be a sign-up process or will individuals be invited to participate (still kept voluntary)? What volume of content do you require and in what geographic locations? Will the program be enterprise-wide or business unit specific? How will you manage consent for content? These are just some of the parameters that you’ll want to think through as you design your program.

3) Select your tool/s of choice

Now it’s time to talk tools! There are several ways to collect the content. You can designate an EB lead and have content emailed in, set up a shared file and provide access to ambassadors to upload, or use a content management tool to capture content, curate, caption, and schedule all in one place! At Powerhouse, we love the simplicity of the latter.

After using Later for years, we are thrilled to be an Official Later Partner. Later is a social content scheduling tool with several other superpowers. When using Later for ambassador work, we add each ambassador as a contributor for them to have the ability to upload content into Later’s backend interface. You can also set up a custom content submission e-mail where one does not need a Later account. This works great for employee-generated content contests independent of an ambassador program. These are just a few of the reasons we love Later and are so happy to be partnering with them. Later has a ton of social platforms that it publishes to including LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, and more.

To learn more about Later, click here.

* We are a proud Later partner which means not only do we use Later but we may receive a commission from them at NO additional cost to you. Later does this as a thank you to us for helping to share their awesomeness with the world.

4) Promote the program

Now that we have our program designed and tools ready to go it’s time to spread the word. Here’s where you can unleash your creativity to design compelling posters, splash pages, and other graphics that invite your team to become an ambassador. You could even connect with your marketing department and pick their brain on suggested approaches to broaden reach and inspire employees to become an ambassador.

5) Select your ambassadors

The success of your employee ambassador program hinges on having the right people on the team and their commitment to sharing the “window into the employee experience”.  Look for employees who understand the vision of this work, want to broaden their skills, and who are committed to sharing your organization’s story.

6) Provide training and get the team pumped

To be effective ambassadors, your employees need to understand your consumer and employer brand’s key messages, values, and objectives. Providing training and resources will help your ambassadors to be confident and effective advocates for your brand. Consider creating a brand ambassador playbook or cheat sheet that outlines your program’s objectives and provides tips.

7) Shout out, recognize, and gamify

One of the best ways to incentivize your employee ambassadors is to establish a leaderboard or rewards and recognition program. By recognizing your ambassadors’ efforts, you can encourage them to continue promoting your brand. Rewards can include things like exclusive access to company events, gift cards, or other incentives.

8) Measure progress 

Like any initiative, it’s essential to measure your employee ambassador program’s success. Define what success looks like from the outset. Does it mean increased employee engagement, team recognition (as perceived by employees), content consumption in the form of impressions, candidate research (as noted by candidates, thus serving as a conversion tool), etc. Like with any program, it’s an evolution and you will need to tweak as you go.

Launching an employee ambassador program is not only a great way to kick off your employer branding efforts, but it is also a fantastic way to bring your team into this work — supporting a co-created people philosophy. This can lead to much more interesting content, employees who feel part of the journey, and a team that celebrates all sites, roles, and levels…not simply the executive ranks.  It’s time to power up your content and empower your team to share the ride internally and externally. Now go on out there and make some noise!!!

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