Today I discovered Erin Meyers model, The Culture Map.  Where have I been?!  First, what an incredible piece of research work.  Second, how smart to turn it into and interactive mapping tool.

This tool allows users to click on whichever countries they're working with and receive a cultural mapping of the selected countries/cultures, comparing how two (or more) cultures build trust, give negative feedback, and make decisions.

At Tribal, we work with international organisations and if there's one question I'm asked over and over, it's:

Should I expect different results in my advocacy program depending on where in the world the employee works?

It's a topic that has fascinated me for a while.  We often dig beyond the employee advocacy dashboards to understand what's going on in the data.  

The short answer is, yes.  When you look at the culture map below (based on just 7 countries) you see a huge difference in cultural behaviour.

Let's take India for example.  India has cemented its position as the second largest market for LinkedIn with a 24% jump in its user base in 2019, taking the membership total to over 62m members, second only to US.

According to The Culture map, India is a country that is hierarchical, driven by top-down decision making and very focused on relationships.  It's no surprise that it has embraced the B2B networking platform so rapidly.  

However, what I've noticed is that more often than not, employees in India (when it comes to advocacy programs) are often targeted with goals around networking, sharing content and driving engagements.

If we hop over to Europe or North America we see that cultures are less hierarchical and a little more confrontational.  Adoption of employee advocacy is very much more a gradual process, perhaps driven by the need to understand the benefit of participating and the direct impact on their role.  

Furthermore, and what I find most interesting, is the impact this has on employee advocacy program performance.  

It's not uncommon to see a dilution in results, where groups that are KPI'd on their activity within the advocacy platform receive less engagements per share

Likewise, those groups that share less often and perhaps more considerately, witness a higher engagement per share.

So, what can be done?

Consider your data in more detail, taking into account the cultural impact on your activity report.  

  • Who are your over-sharers?  
  • Where are they based?  
  • Is someone driving a certain behaviour as part of their goals? 
  • Are those members with higher engagements sharing less content and less often? 
  • Where are those social champions located?  
  • Perhaps showcase their stories to onboard those in cultures that are a little sceptical of the program.  

This is just a start.  If you'd like to discuss further, head on over to our website to learn more about our Employee Advocacy Optimisation Service.