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Communicating for Engagement, presented at Bledcom 2012


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Research into internal communication - are practitioners able to do the type of communication that leads to employee engagement? Full report is on the PR Academy website

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Communicating for Engagement, presented at Bledcom 2012

  1. 1. Developing internalcommunication practice thatsupports employee engagementKEVIN RUCK, UNIVERSITY OF CENTRALLANCASHIRESEAN TRAINOR, UBER ENGAGEMENT
  2. 2. An exploration of current internalcommunication practice to understand:- What proportion of time is spent on activitiesthat support the four enablers of engagementhighlighted by MacLeod and Clarke (2009)- How much time practitioners would ideallyspend on these activities and, from theirperspective- The different levels of understanding ofinternal communication within organisations.Aim
  3. 3. Research DesignSurveyAn online survey was conducted between July and August 2011that combined a range of graded questions and open-endedquestions. The key questions for the survey were:Enabler One: Strategic NarrativeEnabler Two: Engaging managersEnabler Three: Employee VoiceEnabler Four: IntegrityA total of 357 internal communications practitioners based in theUK completed the survey.Respondents were more likely to be in a senior role working in ateam of less than 10 and located in London and the South-East ofEngland. There was an equal balance of respondents from thepublic and private sector and across small, medium and largeenterprise.
  4. 4. Organisational engagementA social and communicativeapproach whereby employees areinformed, have a voice that is heardand acknowledged, and wheremanagers show commitmentconsistent with organisational values.
  5. 5. Saks found (2006, p. 612) that, “…there is a meaningful distinctionbetween job and organization engagement” and “organizationengagement was a much stronger predictor of all the outcomesthan job engagement”.Leiter and Bakker (2010, p. 2) affirm that “Employees’ responses toorganizational policies, practices and structures affect theirpotential to experience engagement”.Millward and Postmes (2010, p. 335) conclude from an academicstudy involving business managers in the UK that “The fact thatidentification with the superordinate grouping of “the organisation”was particularly relevant to performance is important for theoretical,empirical and pragmatic reasons”.Wieseke et al found (2009) that found the higher the level oforganisational identity of sales managers the greater thesales quota achievement.The academic case for organisationalengagement
  6. 6. Practice is improving
  7. 7. Reasons for improvement
  8. 8. Employee understanding ofstrategy
  9. 9. Allocation of resources toenablers
  10. 10. Changing practice
  11. 11. Senior managementunderstanding
  12. 12. Line managers
  13. 13. SummaryInternal communication practitioners believe that the board, theexecutive team, senior managers and line managers generallysee internal communication only as “quite important”, withsignificant numbers reporting that it is no more important thanany other function or not very important at all.Practitioners expressed an overwhelming desire to give moreattention to employee research and feedback and onstrengthening line manager and team communication.In terms of employee voice, there appears to some resistance tothis from senior managers and this represents a significantbarrier to better performance through higher levels ofengagement.
  14. 14. Contact Kevin