Employees who really are ambassadors

At one large division of HP, an official —Ambassador Program’ uses social media tools to keep the two-way communication flowing.

But at IPG, the approximately 20,000-employee printing division of HP, it’s not just a truism. It’s a fact. That’s because IPG has created an official “Ambassador” program, where more than 600 employees worldwide serve as walking, talking two-way communication channels between leadership and employees.

Caron Kushner, the IPG communicator who runs the Ambassador program, says the program’s biggest benefit is that it creates a legitimate two-way dialogue that is open, honest and relevant.

“It’s a chance for regular employees to provide feedback on top-of-mind issues in a safe space with no repercussions or negative consequences,” says Kushner. “The program has really elevated the level of honesty and openness in internal communications, and it’s also a great opportunity for non-managers to step up and develop themselves as leaders, and get access to senior leaders.”

There are several elements to the Ambassador program. The upward feedback is provided via an online feedback tool that can only be accessed by Ambassadors, says Kushner. She monitors the tool and pushes the content up to senior leaders.

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