This is how you make ambassadors of enthusiastic employees

There are many marketing strategies for turning your customers into ambassadors. They are experts by experience of your product and/or service and can make credible advertising for you. But why would you only look for this from your customers? Organizations often overlook a very important and valuable group: their own employees. Yes, because you can also use this group as ambassadors! How do you do this? I’ll tell you in this article.

Ever heard of employee advocacy? That is the expensive term of employee ambassadorship. It is the way to break through the cutthroat competition and market your organization from a different angle. Because if you think about it logically: your employees are fans of your organization. They have consciously chosen to come and work for you and they know the products and services like no other. In short: an opportunity that you must seize!

Who are my ambassadors then?

Ambassadorship is not for everyone and probably not everyone is waiting for it. It is important that these ambassadors know, understand and live up to the working method of your organization. This does not have to be at the top of your organization, but these people can be in any layer.

You are actually looking for the enthusiastic employees within your organization, whatever their job is. Research shows that enthusiastic employees work harder, act more effectively, work more efficiently and with a more customer-oriented approach and deliver higher quality. Why that is? They are passionate about their business and love their job. You must have these people. Can’t you point out such a person who could act as an ambassador? Then it is important to first work on the involvement of your employees.

How do I create enthusiastic employees?

This is not a question that can be answered with one answer, because it varies from situation to situation. However, I can give you some handles to increase the overall involvement.

  1. talk to them. Yes, an open communication culture works wonders. Do you have many conversations behind closed doors within your organization without feedback to the layers below? Then there is still much to be achieved. It is very important that you communicate with the entire organization and everyone involved in current affairs. Of course we understand that you cannot immediately share everything with everyone, but try to do it immediately as soon as the plans become more concrete. Employees like to think along and give their input. This way they feel heard more and this results in a higher involvement.
  2. Give them space. Organisatiedeskundige Margaret Wheatley states that it is important to trust your employees and give them space. She says about this: “By distancing themselves, their creativity is stimulated. Employees are eager to do their best and make a positive contribution. I’m convinced of that.” In other words: don’t go for the standard checklists and pre-filled agendas, but be open to your own initiative. Guaranteed that new and fresh ideas will come out that you may never have thought of yourself!
  3. Show them what their effort yields. Be open about the organizational goals and the associated results. If employees can work in a more goal-oriented way, it stimulates their willpower. When they also gain insight into what their effort has yielded, they will try as hard next time or perhaps take an extra step. You could do this, for example, with a weekly or monthly update in which you include your employees in the figures of the past period. To make it complete, you could also give managers a place in this and let them tell you something about the performance of his/her team. This stimulates a bit of pride and subconsciously this will contribute to the involvement of your employees.

Engaged employees in practice

Let me reinforce it with a practical example. For that we go back about two years: my graduation period. I did an internship with an office designer who wanted to make the switch from ‘selling office supplies’ to ‘selling happiness at work’.

Internally there was still a lot of uncertainty, because: how should I do this and what exactly does the management mean by this? It is my job to create more internal involvement regarding this new strategy. After extensive research, I came to the conclusion that an interactive workshop would be the solution to more involvement.

This is where the workshop and also my graduation project came into being: Winning with happiness at work. The involvement grew through interactive sessions, exercises and a lot of talking with each other. The employees felt heard and were allowed to actively contribute ideas about the new sales style. This gave rise to many new ideas, so my goal was completely achieved!

How do I convert inspired employees into ambassadors?

There is still a difference between enthusiastic employees and ambassadors. Perhaps that one enthusiastic employee is not a talker at all. Then that employee is not immediately suitable. You could skip someone like that, but that’s a shame. You can also train your employees in ambassadorship. This way they know better what exactly is expected and you can indicate how you see it.

Provide resources

For example, you can make it easier for them by providing some topics every once in a while about which they can post something on their social media channels. This includes developments within the company, vacancies or fun trends from the field. You can also agree to meet with the ambassadors once in a while to exchange experiences. At such a moment they tell their story to you, which makes it easier to get this story out. They have been able to practice and get inspiration from the rest.

Okay, one last idea then: have the communication department/employee organize a knowledge session in which you tell the ambassadors how best to get their story out. After all, they are the experts when it comes to telling stories. In combination with a toolkit that includes all corporate identity elements and visual material, you already have a strong foundation and your employees know how to approach it.

Make room for experiments

Give your ambassadors the space to experiment. Trumping around a standard story is also not the solution, because the employee must personally feel good about it. Everyone can get that good feeling in a different way, so let them experiment. It is, however, useful to keep an eye on the marketing and communication department. You must of course prevent employees from using the house style elements incorrectly or from adopting a certain tone that is not desired. It is also new for the ambassadors themselves, so they probably don’t mind being sent here and where.

Ambassadors do more than send

Make your employees/ambassadors aware that it is not just about broadcasting. It is just as important to respond actively and professionally to a comment from someone or to respond to a post from another organization yourself. So it’s not just about spreading information. Monitoring it is just as important!

Reward your ambassadors

Your ambassadors may be very happy to work for your organization, but you have to make sure that they stay that way. How do you do that? Reward your employees for their ambassadorship. This doesn’t necessarily have to be in something tangible, but you could also do it by proclaiming an ambassador of the month every month. People often benefit from a little competition. This also triggers other employees who are not yet ambassadors. They might think: Oh, that’s a nice position, I would like that too. Et voilà, more and more ambassadors are added. Of course, all this can also be filled in in many forms, so use your creative brain for this.

Are you ready to turn your employees into true ambassadors? I hope that I have provided you with sufficient tools and that you are enthusiastic about recruiting ambassadors. Now I’m very curious: to what extent are you already working on this? And are there things you run into? Feel free to let us know in the comments.

Source: Frankwatching by

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