While conducting research for our upcoming Employee Advocacy report, we found that low adoption of employee advocacy tools, and the lack of targeted content were frequently identified as barriers to the success of employee advocacy programs.
To support adoption, employee advocacy vendors like Dynamic Signal, Social Chorus and Hootsuite’s new Amplify product use “gamification” features in their platforms. The assumption is that features like leaderboards and earning badges will motivate employees to share more. Vendors claim gamification features are key to success, but are they? Most brands we spoke to told us that it was a fairly rare motivator for their employees. Research by IBM and the University of Pittsburgh found that while gamification does initially drive engagement and sharing on social networks (in their study, it was an internal employee network), the benefit decreases over time to the point where it makes no difference. We heard the same result from a major brand that has deployed employee advocacy to tens of thousands of employees.
If you’re evaluating employee advocacy tools and considering gamification as a key feature, consider the following factors that could better influence its impact:
Bottom line: Even though the impact of employee advocacy tool gamification features may decline over time, if it gets employees to try it, you’re making progress. So while it’s worth considering vendors that include this feature, don’t count on gamification for long term, sustainable success.
In our upcoming research, we’ll be sharing what motivates employees to participate, what consumers think of work-related posts by friends, and why brands have made creating employee advocacy programs a priority. Watch for our upcoming report next month on this topic for more pragmatic advice.
Ed Terpening takes a look at the factors that influence the success employee advocacy programs.
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