Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

6th Dec, 2023

Victoria Sartain
Victoria Sartain
Job Title
Senior Content Writer

How far do you think your employees would go to support your organisation of their own volition and on their own time? How much do you think they care about the business beyond pay and perks? Many employers are discovering the answers to these questions by introducing employee ambassadorship programmes and using them as a way to improve relations with their workforce.

What is an employee ambassadorship?

Employee ambassador programmes are initiatives employers use to amplify their brand with the help of staff brand ambassadors. Selected employees will have a genuine passion for sharing the positive aspects of a business, generally at events and on social media, to drive engagement and build the company’s reputation. This may mean out-of-hours work, which could be rewarded financially or via additional perks or benefits.

An employee ambassador programme often interests those who enjoy using social media and who are creative and confident on and offline. Ambassadors get the chance to showcase talents they may not have the opportunity to use in their daily work, revealing attributes that could even lift them to new career heights.

What’s involved in employee ambassadorship?

The first step is to identify employees who demonstrate a genuine passion for the company and its values. Consider factors such as communication skills, leadership qualities, and a positive attitude.

Let HR lead the project, from floating the idea with the workforce to running informal interviews with interested applicants.

Remember the importance of a diverse and inclusive pool of employee ambassadors, and also be ready to cater to the needs of those with additional requirements.

Employee screening: check online and offline activity

Check the prospective employee’s activity on social media to see if they are a suitable online ‘spokesperson’ for your brand: a very active user, with several hundreds of professional LinkedIn connections, could generate great interest in the company. But don’t discount someone less active with fewer connections, as a well-timed post can be just as valuable as one published in amongst a stream of consciousness.

If you think an individual would be better as a face-to-face ambassador rather than online promoter, ask them if that is something they would consider. This might mean covering their expenses, their workload and time for attendance at any number of company events each year.

The goal is to choose individuals who can authentically represent the organisation in a way that plays to their strengths and personality.

Offer training, establish ground rules and incentivise

Provide comprehensive training to ambassadors, ensuring their full understanding of the company’s history, values, and key messages. Equip them with effective communication skills and tools, and set regular ambassador meetings to keep everyone up to date on industry trends and company news/plans to ensure they are well-prepared to represent the organisation in various situations. Your internal communications/marketing team should always be kept in the loop to mitigate any potential for mixed messaging.

Establish clear opportunities and communication channels for ambassadors to share their experiences and insights with those outside and inside the business. This may include internal newsletters, company awards, trade events, social media platforms, and regular staff meetings. Encourage ambassadors to actively participate in relevant industry events and conferences.

Acknowledge the efforts of ambassadors through recognition programmes and incentives. This not only motivates current ambassadors but encourages other employees to aspire to the role, creating a positive cycle of engagement.

Integrating employee ambassadorship programmes

Ask for ambassadorship programme endorsement from senior leadership – this might involve managers or directors contributing or responding to ambassador activity on or offline. This sets a positive tone and reinforces the programme’s significance.

Define specific objectives for the programme, whether it’s improving employee morale, enhancing brand perception, or increasing social media engagement. Establish metrics to measure the programme’s effectiveness and adjust as needed.

Regularly gather feedback from ambassadors about their experiences to adapt the programme to evolving organisational needs and challenges. Also, welcome insight from employees on their perceptions of the ambassadorship work and how it might be improved.

Work closely with the HR department to align the programme with existing employee engagement initiatives. HR teams will also help set boundaries to manage the impact of an ambassador’s extra voluntary duties on their routine workload. In no way should the ambassador role impinge on the employee’s wellbeing – and an inability to blend duties, at any point in the programme, should have no bearing on their professional reputation.

What are the long-term benefits for employers?

As well as working wonders for workplace culture and potentially attracting future employees, ambassadorship programmes can be more cost effective than other marketing strategies and have the added bonus of priceless authenticity. So, whether you want your company to become a household name, attract more job applications, be a ‘green’ thought leader, or showcase how much fun was had at the latest charity challenge, you will stand a greater chance of success through the support of your workforce.

Looking to attract future employee ambassadors to your business, or want to join a forward-thinking organisation? Contact one of our specialist consultants today.