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Three reasons companies fail at employee advocacy


Three reasons companies fail at employee advocacy


Employees have a genuine appetite to act as ambassadors for their brands, but employers have much room for improvement in making the most of staff engagement.

‘Three Reasons Why Companies Fail at Employee Advocacy,’ a new research report form Lewis, shows employees lack support and need structural programs to best harness their potential as powerful brand ambassadors.

The three main reasons as highlighted in the study are:

1. Companies don’t have employee advocacy programs in place

Half of the surveyed companies do not have employee advocacy programs in place. However, benefits of employee advocacy programs were largely agreed upon by employees in the study.

  • 60% believe advocacy programs increase employee engagement,
  • 40% mention programs increase sales,
  • half of employee respondents said they would like to take part in a program, and
  • 52% said they would create content for their employer (such as social media posts or blogs).

2. Companies fail to make use of social media

Despite its demonstrated benefits, half of the surveyed companies still forbid their staff from using social media during work hours.

  • 73% of employees said their companies should be more active on social media,
  • 40% say their companies are active on social, and
  • 73% share company content on one or more social media channels, while 54% say it’s because they’re proud of the organisation they work for and 37% say it’s because they have a desire to be an advocate for their organisation.

3. Companies fail to create common values among employees

Six out of 10 employees have separate social media accounts for personal and business uses.

The primary reason why employees create separate accounts is because they think their personal beliefs are different to those of the company they work for.

In the report, Lewis says, “This indicates that companies are failing to cultivate common values among their employees.”


News related content is the most popular when it comes to sharing corporate content. Of the employees surveyed, 59% prefer sharing news related content, followed by video and photographic content (56%) and HR updates (31%).

Further relevant staff opinions and recommendations include advice on how to improve social media campaigns and engagement:

  • 60% say their companies should develop better photographic content,
  • 46% recommend more videos,
  • 46% suggest a reward for staff who share content, and
  • 41% would appreciate social media training for all staff.


“Engaged employees are a great asset for any brand,” says Michael Brito, head of US digital at Lewis.

“Mobilising employees to participate in industry conversation feeds your brand’s content engine and simultaneously raises brand awareness.

“However, based on this research, it seems brands are missing a big opportunity. The employee willingness is there. Therefore, smart brands should tap into that willingness and activate employees to help them reach new audiences online, extend the reach of organic content and humanise their message,” concludes Brito.

The study surveyed 1000 knowledge workers worldwide.


Further reading

Image copyright: dotshock / 123RF Stock Photo

Ben Ice

Ben Ice was MarketingMag editor from August 2017 - February 2020

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