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Dec 23, 2021 Vanessa Baker

How Employee Advocacy Can Improve Learning Within Your Organisation

How Employee Advocacy Can Improve Learning Within Your Organisation compressed

One of the best ways we can learn is from other people. But businesses don’t always consider this when implementing an advocacy programme. They either don’t see the value of learning, or they don’t realise that social media is one of the best ways for employees to learn from their peers. 

Very few organisations see social media as a place for learning, even though our CEO, Sarah Goodall, learns something new from LinkedIn every day!  

All the interviews and research we’ve done suggests that employees love social media because they learn from their peers and what their network is sharing. 

Learning is a top reason to be on social media and connect with the right people. It can also help you find the right content, and participate in the learning experience yourself by giving back to others. 

It’s also a vital resource that helps employees become the best that they can be in their role. It’s a breeding ground for great ideas, innovation and inspiration! 

Why? Because, in the twenty-first century, things move fast. If you wait for a book to come out on a new topic, it may be out of date by the time it’s in print, particularly if it’s traditionally published, which can take a year or two to publish a new book. 

When things develop this fast, the best and most effective way to learn is from people ahead of the curve. That means finding and identifying peers who are ahead of everyone else in the discipline(s) you’re in. 

Where do you do that? 

Social media. 

When you put your opinion out there, you’ll attract other innovators in your industry. You’ll then be able to learn new ideas – that aren’t in a book you can read yet – to help you further your career. 

 

Sharing Your Expertise 

Social media is your opportunity to build your brand and expertise.  

But sometimes, people with knowledge don’t have the goal of becoming a thought leader. Or maybe they don’t even realise what they’re doing is thought leadership, because they’re just happy to share their knowledge around something they’re interested in. 

Sometimes, you may even find the best sellers aren’t selling because they don’t realise that’s where their strengths lie. 

People can also feel uncomfortable when you use buzzwords like ‘selling’ and ‘thought leadership’. Terms like those can immediately get people’s backs up and make them panic, causing them to treat social media differently and maybe even see it as something they really don’t want to be involved with. 

If you focus on how it can help and educate people, it can make it feel more meaningful than the endless self-promotion that’s often associated with social media. 

 

Repositioning Social Media As A Learning Opportunity 

Instead of focusing on change management, or employee advocacy, is it time we repositioned social media usage at work as a learning opportunity for employees? 

One of the top priorities is learning from others and through your network. Which is why we might start to see more HR and L&D professionals embracing advocacy as an always-on learning platform. 

Change management, growth culture, and growth mindset are all connected. For organisations which aren’t embracing a growth mindset yet, they’re going to struggle to implement any sort of advocacy programme. 

If they do try, it’ll be a lot harder, and they may have to focus more on lower threshold parts of the journey to get people’s feet wet and allow them to experience the feelings of success that can influence culture and lead to the next steps on the advocacy journey. 

To move things forwards, you could consider bringing in L&D and HR earlier, as they may be better able to convince employees of how it can benefit their learning experience. 

 

Conclusion 

Social media is one of the best learning resources we have. Its fast pace means it’s the best place to get the latest news and insights for any industry. And, compared to other learning methods, it can be cheaper, too. 

When struggling to get employees on board with anything to do with social media, it can help to reposition it to focus on how social media can help employees to grow their skills and give back to their community.  

Switching the focus from self-promotion to education encourages employees to see it in a way where they’re making the world a better place, instead of demanding attention. And sometimes that’s all they need to see to get involved. 

 

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Published by Vanessa Baker December 23, 2021
Vanessa Baker