Implementing new software and business processes for large enterprises is typically a slower moving task with many unique obstacles.
An employee advocacy program and platform is no different. Some of these challenges include managing a large number of users in different regions around the globe, abiding by privacy policies, and continuously optimizing the program’s performance. Despite these challenges, there are many benefits that come out of working through them, said Sally-Anne Kaminski, Manager of Global Social Media Strategy at Zebra Technologies.
“Looking back, I’d say all of the hurdles we had to go through…it was all worth it,” Kaminski said during the webinar, Launching an Employee Advocacy Program to a Global Organization.
Zebra Technologies is a publicly-traded manufacturer and vendor of marking, tracking, and printing technologies including barcodes, RFID, and smart label printers. The Illinois-based organization has over 6,500 employees across 81 countries around the world.
Kaminski spearheaded the implementation of Zebra’s employee advocacy efforts with GaggleAMP. In less than five months, the company onboarded nearly 300 users to the platform and has seen almost 10 million social impressions and 19,000 social engagements.
“To see our messaging amplified in social media and see our employees get really excited about participating has been absolutely worth everything that we’ve gone through,” Kaminski said.
In the webinar, Kaminski went over many different challenges she faced in implementing the program and platform, and how she got through them.
Being a large global organization means managing hundreds of users all around the globe.
What if some of your users end up leaving your company? Could marketing just have HR periodically give them a list of names and email addresses of employees who’ve recently left the company and deactivate them from the platform?
The answer is no.
Due to data privacy laws, personal data can only be accessed by individuals who have a true business need for it. There is no reason people from marketing should need access to HR employment data.
What Zebra did instead was integrate single sign-on (SSO) with GaggleAMP. Employees log into the tool through a multi-factor authentication program and the IT department restricts access in the authentication tool to employees who leave the company. This took the onus off of marketing to make sure only the right users got access to the platform.
“That was really a huge weight off of my shoulders,” Kaminski said. “If you do have the opportunity to integrate with SSO, I would say absolutely go for it. Managing the deactivation of users is just one less thing that we need to worry about, especially with a program that has hundreds or thousands of employees.”
When it first launched GaggleAMP to the company, Zebra wasn’t sure how many Gaggles it should set up, or if it should just have one big Gaggle for the whole company.
It ended up rolling out four Gaggles in total – one Gaggle for each of the North America, Latin America, EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and APAC (Asia Pacific) regions. Setting up GaggleAMP this way brought many benefits as a global organization, including making a regionally-specific content strategy.
“That’s helped us refine and optimize the content we’re posting in each region,” Kaminski said.
In each of its Gaggles, Zebra shares content on news and trends specific to each of those regions in the appropriate languages for those areas. It also uses different data and insights in content that resonate better for each region. For example, trends on cloud and IoT might draw more interest in some regions than others.
Performance review and optimization
At first, Kaminski wasn’t sure how often regional managers would want feedback on their performance with the employee advocacy program, and was worried people would shy away from it if the feedback wasn’t initially positive.
What she did to get around this concern was to stress to these regional Gaggle Managers that realtime insight allows them to make adjustments faster to better their performance rather than let a problem get worse.
“We really felt that if we ignored the user feedback that we were getting, and we didn’t share it with the regions who are responsible for their own GaggleAMP content strategies, that we might lose users,” Kaminski said.
Using the data and analytics aspect of GaggleAMP, the marketing team at Zebra Technologies is able to analyze which types of content performed well, which didn’t, if content topics or tone of voice on posts needs to be adjusted, and more.
Zebra’s marketing team comes up with reports daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly to ensure the company continues to better its processes around employee advocacy. It takes into account what types of content it posted and if there were any anomalies such as current events that may have taken away from how a piece of content did.
It also reviews how often users have been active in the program. If a user hasn’t been active in a quarter, the marketing team will remove that use and replace them with an employee who will be active.
Zebra Technologies continues to increase its number of users throughout the company, and allow employees to volunteer to be part of the program. As its employee advocacy strategy gets stronger, the results continue to improve.
Ramin Edmond is the former Content Strategist for GaggleAMP. Outside of work, Ramin likes to run, hike, and take pictures of Boston's best views. You can get in touch with Ramin by connecting with him on LinkedIn.
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