Last week we brought together a group of our all-star WeSpire customers on one call to discuss the importance of employee ambassador programs and how to implement one. Every customer experiences unique challenges and opportunities at their organization, which meant that participants heard about a variety experiences and got an idea of what may work for their organization.
Here’s what our customers had to say about employee ambassador programs and how they are leveraged to help their organizations achieve their corporate social responsibility initiatives.
Recruiting for Your Ambassador Program
All of our roundtable participants agreed it’s important to determine guidelines early on. Some of our customers use their ambassador programs to develop and promote volunteer events, others are focused on sustainability and many keep the program broadly focused on corporate social responsibility efforts. You want to make every potential ambassador aware of the time commitment and responsibilities you expect from them.
Once you have set your guidelines and decided how you will vet individuals for your program, you can start identifying ambassador champions. Ambassadors should come from a wide range of roles and bring different interests to your program. Utilizing an application process can be an effective way to ensure you are building a program of highly engaged and passionate individuals. Once ambassadors are identified, utilize them to help you identify and recruit other passionate ambassadors in their departments/regions.
WeSpire Best Practice: We suggest implementing a mandatory monthly call for your ambassadors. These calls should be used to discuss company happenings, new social responsibility campaigns, and share ideas for improving engagement and involvement in your campaigns and events.
Ambassador Program Benefits
Ambassadors are your on-the-ground eyes and ears who can help you identify local events and interests. They can also help you scale down corporate messaging and communications to a local level, making campaigns and events more relevant and engaging for employees.
A lot of our champions have also experienced unexpected benefits of their ambassador program. They have become close friends with their ambassadors, finding shared passions and other interest groups and social activities to engage in.
WeSpire Best Practice: Localize campaigns and events to ensure your content and messaging is relevant and resonates with each employee for optimal involvement.
Motivating Ambassadors to be Involved and Engaged
Ambassadors can and should be recognized for their involvement and accomplishments in your ambassador program. During your monthly phone calls, recognize or share success stories about specific ambassadors. Providing this recongition is a powerful intrinsic reward that will help keep ambassadors active and involved in your programs.
The ambassador program also acts as an exciting and unique opportunity for employees to be a part of something that isn’t inherently biased towards ‘headquarters’. The role can provide leadership opportunities as well as an opportunity for them to contribute to the organization outside of their day-to-day responsibilities.
WeSpire Best Practice: Because Ambassador programs are normally voluntary it is important to recognize and appreciate your team on a regular basis. Engaged and passionate Ambassadors can be a huge asset, but if they don’t feel valued and appreciated for their work, your program will have trouble succeeding.
What challenges did you experience when first implementing your ambassador program, and how did you overcome them. Have there been any unforeseen benefits you’ve experienced from your employee ambassador program?