Read Part 1, 4 Employee-First Principles Cerner Follows to Empower Brand Advocates

Cerner has long had a culture of creating and sharing information, which makes our mission to activate brand advocates that much easier. And since “86% of employees participating in an employee advocacy program credited their involvement on social media as having a positive impact on their career,” our program is something we’re very proud of. Before you can expect employee advocacy to work, you must first cultivate a strong sharing culture and an environment of trust. We accomplish this foundation through uCern Connect, our social business platform built on Jive. Associates have created more than 225,000 pieces of content so far in 2016, and this platform centers around how associates actually work, which includes:

To activate our associates, we have implemented three employee advocacy tactics to ensure our messages are aligned and that associates have the tools they need to be successful.

Tactic #1: Start from the top to build from the bottom

Our approach to internal communication is simultaneously grassroots, while starting from the top down. In order to build a culture of communicators, we engaged our senior executive stakeholders early. By increasing the frequency of their internal communications, we began establishing a culture of frequent communicators among all associates. Since increasing our senior executives’ engagement in uCern, we have seen a 250% increase in executive-generated communication. In addition, that content is being viewed by more associates across separate organizations, resulting in greater internal organization interaction.

Tactic #2: Rally the troops

As simple as it sounds, the forming of an Internal Communicators Group, consisting of all associates who touch associate communications, has been a valuable tool for making connections across the company and sharing messaging. Through uCern, dozens of communicators across the company share messaging, resources and best practices.

Tactic #3: Equip your associates to be advocates

In order to scale our communications efforts across nearly 1,000 executives, we utilized our Wiki platform to create a toolkit that empowers our executives to build their personal brand and improve their internal communications. The Wiki contains resources like communication plan templates, blogging best practices, social media tips, messaging on key brand topics, personal branding examples, and information on industry engagements, among others. While targeted for executives, this toolkit is open to all associates who are interested in building their personal brands or improving internal communications.

In the past year, as a result of increased focus on the four core content areas, we have seen a 47% increase in engagement with internal Cerner business news content, and a 116% increase in engagement in executive communications.

Regarding executive content, in just the first half of 2016 associates have already viewed executive blogs more than 60,000 times, representing a 6-fold increase over views on executive content in 2015. Associates have shared, liked, bookmarked, or commented on blog posts more than 600 times, which represents a 300% increase in social interactions with executive content when compared to the same time frame in 2015.

As our teams continue to collaborate and build and refine the tools needed for our associates to advocate on behalf of our brand, we expect these numbers to continue to increase. As Cerner continues to grow, the cultivation of an impassioned and empowered associate base will become an increasingly powerful tool for our brand.

Be sure to read Cerner’s other employee advocacy article, 4 Employee-First Principles Cerner Follow to Empower Brand Advocates.

The Authors

Lance Yoder is a Sr. Team Lead, CTS uCern, with Cerner Corporation in Kansas City, Mo. He manages a team of consultants for uCern, Cerner’s social business platform for engaging employees, clients and partners, as well as creating the content strategy for additional public-facing applications. In his 10 years at Cerner, he has also worked in marketing communications, solutions marketing and internal communications roles.


Mallory Murray leads the internal communications and executive presence teams at Cerner, where she is responsible for leading the strategy for creating brand ambassadors of more than 22,000 global associates located in 30 countries, and for positioning senior executive brand ambassadors internally and externally. Prior to her position with Cerner, Mallory managed PR and marketing teams at two regional universities. Mallory graduated from Pittsburg State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in News-Editorial Journalism and a Minor in Graphic Design, and her Master’s Degree in Communication.

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