More political tech ambassadors work on outreach to international online allies and creating programs to protect their netizens. They also create paths for people to bridge the gap between online and offline life while safely navigating online spaces. On a corporate level though, tech ambassadors are something else entirely.
Much like influencers who seem to exist to be copied, tech ambassadors are almost like role models for others in their workspace.
What does the tech ambassador do?
From testing new products and technology to providing valuable feedback, the tech ambassador will act as the face of technology for your company or property. Your tech ambassadors might also be the ones staffers come to with usage questions, complaints or valuable feedback.
When choosing a tech ambassador it’s important to pick someone who is comfortable behind the scenes and in a group if needed to train team members.
The team tech ambassador
Alexandra, an executive admin (who asked that we not share her last name in this story because of corporate privacy issues) is the tech ambassador at her office. When there’s new tech, Alexandra is the rep from her team to gain early access. As such, she tests products for any potential bugs, beta tests for the IT Team and later offers tips and tricks to ease her team into using the new technology.
Start with a help desk
If you’re considering implementing your own tech ambassador team, it might be wisest to start at a central point. For instance, is there a tech help desk at your office? If so, who uses it most often and who comes there for help? This will give you a better idea of how to move forward with your program. It will also help you understand how to tweak things as you move forward.
Get the word out internally
If you want to recruit people for your tech ambassador team, the first step is to let them know that it exists. Alexandra said the ambassador team at her company was started after significant input from the team. At quarterly meetings of the entire extended team, her boss would check in to see how things were going, opportunities, successes and things they needed to improve. Alexandra said the team was also informed of upcoming tech changes and how to be prepared. And that’s when the tech ambassador team was formed. Alexandra said the tech team ran the gamut from all areas of the corporate ladder and that their input was
“valued and heard.”
If you’re in the beginning stages of the process, now would be a great time to start sending out internal emails to the team inviting them to apply to become part of the tech team. Try to invite a diverse bunch ranging from tech power users to those who barely know how to text.
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Solicit as much feedback as possible
Whether you’re in the early stages of setting your staff up with associate alert devices, or are testing new software, it’s important to involve team members in the entire process. After all, your staff will be using the technology, so they’ll have a better idea if something is clumsy or buggy or needs to be updated.
Create a method of collecting feedback and following up if necessary. Consider a reward system is someone’s feedback ends up helping the entire team.
Consider creating a tech mentorship program
While your tech ambassadors will only be a few team members, the ultimate goal is to make everyone feel involved. Set aside a specific time each week for open connection with tech ambassadors. Maybe it’s an hour midweek, or free time during the work day. Inform your staff that there are one-on-one training available if needed.
Tech ambassador team checklist
Before you begin setting up your tech ambassador team, you should meet with any potentially involved staff to discuss:
- Will the tech ambassadors be paid or rewarded in any way or is this a strictly volunteer position?
- Is this more of a glorified position or will your ambassadors be responsible to produce results? You’ll have to be clear in advance since some staffers might not want the added responsibility if it comes with too much pressure.
- How often will they be expected to test out products? Is it once a year or whenever new technologies are introduced?
- Will they be an internal or external group of ambassadors? Some tech ambassadors are there strictly to support team efforts while others are used in marketing materials. Decide which of these ambassador relationships will best support your plans.
- Privacy issues. If needed, create non-disclosure agreements so that your ambassadors cannot reveal internal workings publicly.
- Titles, perks, etc. Even if your tech ambassadors are not paid for their role, you might want to offer them an additional title or job perk as an enhancement.
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