Recruiting the Right Employee Ambassadors
Sure, most organizations think carefully about their approach to hiring employees. How many organizations consider how they will recruit employees as ambassadors during times of organizational change?
Officially, the CEO and other decision-makers drive change. In practice, however, who is really the influencer in how this change plays out? Whether they are appointed or informal, certain employees are your real ambassadors of change. They are the eyes, ears, and heart of your organization. They are the respected peers, leaders, and confidants who understand how people really think and act.
When chosen properly, these ambassadors can help decision-makers act on what is really happening, not just what the decision-makers think is happening.
The Link between Employee Engagement and Organizational Change
Employee engagement in a business is often very low. According to Gallup, only about 30 to 35 per cent of employees are engaged. This means that there’s usually a weak connection between the official leadership and the employees who will be impacted by change. Consequently, it’s important to find influential employees and engage them as your change ambassadors. These ambassadors will help explain the organization’s story in ways that will resonate.
What is the profile of an ideal employee ambassador?
Ideally, the hiring process has gained appropriate employees to choose from when selecting change ambassadors. Important criteria to consider:
- Effective communication and interpersonal skills so that they can explain the path forward in a credible and compelling way.
- Leadership ability – regardless of job title.
- Problem-solving ability, often in real-time. Ambassadors need to be able to think on their feet and deal with issues immediately.
- They should be trustworthy peers and confidantes, it’s worth making great efforts to support ambassadors’ well-intentioned efforts and avoid asking them to do or say things that compromise others’ trust in them.
Experience and Knowledge:
- To have credibility, your ambassadors need to have credible experience in and awareness of the organization.
- Ideally, you should include individual contributors and leaders/executives.
Is your internal communications plan built to maximise employee engagement? Find out with this free, quick online quiz.
As a Thornley Fallis associate, Dr. Ofosu brings her skills and experience as an industrial psychologist to internal communications and employee engagement projects.