Author Kevin ThomsonICEmarq™ Benchmark DataConducted by Research NowHighlights from Full Report – Jan 2011 www.thearating.wordpress.com
The UKAR Advocacy ‘A Rating’ reflects those “make or break” attitudes of every workforcewhich go beyond engagement into active advocacy. For all organisations this has an impact on: •Our organisational reputation as advocated by our employees – inside and out •Our quality of customer service for those in direct and indirect contact •Our „word of mouth‟ messages that spread in person and in a Web 2.0 world •Existing and potential employee perceptions of our organisation as “an employer of choice” •The level of involvement in external activities among our communities •The predicted level of engagement and collaboration of our employees •Peer to peer motivation, or demotivation from the strong „dissenters‟ •Providing dialogue between leaders, managers and staff as to what makes strong advocacy •Productivity, profitability and contribution across all areas of activityFor the organisation•It assists the communication and HR functions in determining remedial intervention andcommunication strategy.•It leads into the development of a tactical plan to enhance engagement and advocacy in each ofthe core areas•It provides management with a single, simple set of measures (like NPS) against which tobenchmark other measures.
The UK A Rating™ – A New Benchmark of Employee Engagement: A 2010- 2011 survey.The 4 C’s – The benchmark provides 4 scores and one overall score covering advocacy for the key areas of anorganisations areas of operation; C1 - Customers, C2 - Company, C3 - Communities, C4 – Corporate and CollaborativeRelationships.Overall UK Rating – The „strongly agree‟ measure creating „The Advocates‟ is 29% i.e. less than 3 in 10 employeesare strong advocates for everything their organisation does.The Great Leadership Divide – From a high of 68% advocacy among leaders for their products and services, there ismassive advocacy gap between leaders and staff . This demonstrates a mismatch between levels of commitment - inall areas of an organisations activity. Most important is the divide from 68% Directors to 52% Managers and only 33%for staff for he Customer advocacy scores. A critical issue with significant implications for communication and out-dated„team briefing‟ processes in a Web 2.0 worldThe ‘Advocacy Slide’ – Advocacy for each of the 4 C‟s slides from a high of 43% for „Customer‟ advocacy for productsand services (Technology Sector) to 13% for „Collaboration‟ advocacy (Healthcare Sector)The C4 ‘Collaboration’ Score - The average score of only 18% for Collaboration centric advocacy represents an uphillbattle for organisations gaining support for external relationships amongst employees. The gap between the highestand lowest scores depicts a „Collaboration Advocacy Chasm‟.
Author’s NoteHow strongly do your employees advocate to others all your organisations core activities?In tough and challenging times, amid global concern over environmental issues, „positivity‟ is hard to find. The UK „A Rating‟(UKAR) is a new benchmark for employee advocacy going beyond employee „satisfaction‟ and „engagement‟. It‟s a „positivityindex‟ for your all your activities under the 4 C‟s - Customer activities, your Company inside, your Communities and yourCollaborative relationships with partners, press and investors. It‟s goal is to find the people who „Accentuate the positive‟ –your „Advocates‟. Stronger relationships, performance and word of mouth marketing can be built from there.With four key questions the word of mouth positivity index gauges employee advocacy across the core activities of anorganisation. The simple approach delivers a separate A Rating (advocacy) score for your employees who say „I talkpositively about…‟ each of the 4 C‟s. This creates one overall positivity score – The A Rating.Today‟s communicative, collaborative organisations - like Marks and Spencer, who demonstrate this with „Plan A‟ - recognisethat all an organisations relationships help build the reputation of the business and brand, from the inside out.The question is, do the people who matter most to an organisations success, its people, talk to others positively.The UK A Ratings for employee advocacy focus on the strongly positive advocacy answers . Why? Because strongly positiveis the true measure of an organisations communication, engagement and leadership. The „Minority Report‟ of those who„strongly disagree‟ with being positive creates a separate focus to „eliminate the negative‟.
A New Measure for a New Set of RelationshipsThe UKAR was devised, and launched to coincide with the launch of BS11000 Collaborative Business Relationships at theHouse of Lords Dec 7. UKAR can be run separately for any organisation or run as part of a new approach to employeemeasurement due out in Q1 2011 – ICEmarq™ Surveys. UKAR forms the basis for The Advocacy CommunicationProgramme.UKAR is a benchmark survey of employees for their organisation‟s key activities, representing the strongly held views ofpeople across the 4 C‟s.4 C’s - Core QuestionsC1 - The Customer Question – „I talk positively to people about the brands, services and products our organisation offers.‟C2 - The Company Question – „I talk positively to people about the fact that our organisation is a good place to work.‟C3 - The Communities Question – „I talk positively to people about the responsible way we act in our communities.‟C4 - The Corporate + Collaboration Question – „I talk positively to people about the way our organisation acts towardsinvestors, suppliers and the media.‟See Methodology - Appendix
1. Overall UK Employee Advocacy - Strong advocacy i.e. the word of mouth index overall amongst employees is 29% i.e. less than 3 out of 10 who talk positively about all aspect of their organisations activities. As advocacy is a tangible measure of employee engagement, which impacts customer service and performance (MacLeod Report), the UKAR demonstrates a lot needs to be done. See recommendations.2. The Great Leadership Divide - From a high of 68% advocacy among leaders for their products and services (why not 90%+) there is massive advocacy gap between leaders and staff which demonstrates a mismatch between levels of commitment - in all areas of an organisations activity. Most important is the divide from 68% Directors to 52% Managers and only 33% for staff for he Customer advocacy scores. A critical issue.3. High advocacy in the Technology sector Strong advocacy is highest in 3 out of four „A Ratings‟ in the technology sector. Whilst the figures diminish across the 4 C‟s (see Advocacy Slide) the word of mouth index is highest in the UK. This is good news for an economy looking to drive export in this sector.4. Low advocacy across all messages. Strong advocacy does not achieve a score of 50% or more in any sector. This reflects on how strongly people will talk positively about the core output of their organisation. All four C‟s demonstrate low strong advocacy. This is especially true of „Community‟ - a measure of advocacy for corporate responsibility and „Collaboration‟ - where organisations are looking for strong collaborative external relationships.5. The ‘Advocacy Slide’ The falling scores across the 4 C‟s shows how advocacy tails off across key areas of organisations activities i.e. advocacy for products and services; advocacy as a place to work; advocacy for responsibility in the community, and advocacy about external relationships.6. More…
6. The C4 Score and ‘Collaboration Chasm’ The low Collaboration C4 score creates the gap between the highest ratingwith „Customers‟ and lowest rating of all in „Collaboration‟ i.e. the critical area where good investor relationships and interest ofthe media are vital, especially in a Web2.0 connected world, and where partnering and collaboration are the key to „more withless‟. Employee advocacy can be vital in all of theses areas.7. A great place to work? - The efforts of organisations to create „a great place to work‟ have failed to gain strong advocatesfor the UK as a whole, with only a 25% UKAR in government and retail, and an overall UKAR average of only 32% - only justover 3 in 10 employees. That leaves 7 in 10 needed as strong advocates for what they, and their organisation represent.8. The younger generation Younger advocates demonstrate stronger advocacy for an organisations products and services butexhibit a similar Advocacy Slide across all four areas; with a noticeable lowering of advocacy for Community issues – half thatof Customer advocacy.9. Community Advocacy i.e. corporate responsibility comes a poor third in advocacy except in the Public Sector10. What chance „The UK Big Society‟ when strong advocacy overall at work is low – even for products and services butespecially other activities outside the workplace.11 The Negativity Rating – The constant 3% of those who „strongly disagree‟ that they are positive about their organisation isgood news, which needs to be tempered by the negativity index multiplier where people who are disassociated from theorganisation are more likely to tell more people and will more strongly influence those they tell. This can be assessed infollow-up qualitative surveys12. Highest & Lowest UKAR The highest strong advocacy scores across all areas are in technology and leisure at 43%. Thelowest strong advocacy scores rest in healthcare, retail and leisure at 13-14%. Apart from „Community‟ the public sectorscores lowest in each category.
The Advocacy Slide - When measured against the 4 C‟s every metric shows the „slide‟ in advocacy for the coreactivities of an organisation.The Implications – For Customers, The Company, The Community, Collaborative Relationships From a lowaverage base of 29% the Advocacy Slide demonstrates the level of willingness of employees to be an advocate in eachof the critical areas that impact the organisation its customers, its staff, its communities and its collaborativerelationships with investors, suppliers and the media.Employee Communication. It is clear that internal communication is failing to convey and/or convince employeeseither simply as advocates for what the organisation delivers or for all the key areas of an organisations activities.
The Impact on Relationships – Inside and Out – The implications of low employee advocacy ratings are clear: notonly around low advocacy for „Customer‟ issues around products and services, or for internal issues „Company‟ issueslike „Visions, Missions and Values, but also for „Community‟ issues like Corporate Responsibility.The Biggest Issue for low advocacy in an era where external relationships become critical are around the area wehave defined as „Collaboration‟The Collaborative Technology Chasm - The Cisco Chaired Collaboration Consortium have defined the „CollaborationChasm‟ as between the technology trial period and the adoption phase. This A Rating UK survey clearly shows thewidest gap for employee advocacy between the top rated Customer area and Collaboration.BS11000 - Critically in an age of collaboration, where more with less‟ is vital, where relationships with suppliers andpartners is key, low advocacy with suppliers and partnering relations implies a difficult uphill battle for joint ventures andstandards like BS11000.
• Accentuate the positive • Conduct full A Rating Qualitative and Qualitative Surveys – Asking open questions „Why have you given this score?‟ • A Groups – Focus Groups on Strongly Agree ratings and answers. Use the information to build a „Next Practice‟ communication strategy and plan.• Eliminate the negative • In-depth interviews to discover the strongly held negative views, held by people i.e. the „Detractors‟ and/or expressed by others the „Disseminators‟. • Build a communication and action plan to eliminate the negative and improve on low scores across the 4 C‟s.• Create a Team Listening Face2Face Programme • Use the „Collaboration Matrix‟ to build communication strategy – see Full Report – Q1 2011. • Build a unified communication and learning programme with a „Blended Communication‟ approach covering the 4 C‟s i.e. information, knowledge share, e-learning, assessments, certification and communication training.• Regularly monitor • Use the A Rating as an on-going process • Benchmark with UKAR and industry sector • Benchmark against internal communication and engagement measures‟
About The A Rating UK and ICEmarq™The A Rating UK UKAR forms part of ICEmarq™ Benchmark data. This is a soon-to-be launchedinternal communication and engagement measurement service available by subscription. It allowssubscribers to build and run their own surveys using ready-to-use survey templates or the ICEmarq™question bank and to compare results against a UK benchmark. The service launches in the UK inearly 2011.All ICEmarq™ data comes from a survey of 2,100 UK-based people conducted online in November2011 by Research Now™. The sample included only those who work for organisations employing atleast 50 people and used quotas for industry sector, organisation size, seniority and age to ensure itproperly represents the UK working population. The confidence interval (margin of error) is +/- 2.14%at a 95% level of confidence.