Recharging Employee Engagement

Recharging Employee Engagement

Earlier this year, our students from Masters of Media and Communication worked with Ferdinand de Bakker and his research associate, Amanda Huan, to examine a trend in involvement in employee engagement. Edelman, one of the world’s leading public relations consultancies, its research arm Edelman Data and Intelligence, as well as Mercer, the eminent HR consulting firm, and Marsh and McLennan Advantage, supported the study.

In this study, 50 senior professionals from around the world and across different industries were interviewed to find out their opinions and their companies’ approach towards employee engagement. The study was aimed at developing a better understanding of the subject with a particular focus on the roles of HR, communication and C-suite executives in promoting employee engagement practices. The interviews covered a range of topics including conceptual definitions, engagement measurements and evaluation. Business leaders were asked about their views on ownership, communication, drivers and challenges of employee engagement. They were also asked to share their perspectives on the future of the workforce and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on employee engagement.

Among the 50 interviewed, 15 were C-suite executives including both CEO- and CCO-equivalents, 13 held leadership positions in human resources, and 22 were senior communication directors. Most of the interviewees (31) were based in the Asia-Pacific region; 10 were based in Europe and the remaining were in North America. There was diversity in the geographies of company headquarters with 17 based in Asia-Pacific, 18 in North America, and 15 in Europe. The interviewees came from a broad range of industries, including pharma, FMCG, financial and professional services, industrial, technology, and education.

It is hoped that the insights from this study will help companies and C-suite executives recognise the role of effective communication in engaging employees and developing strategic plans to involve both HR and communications departments in taking employee engagement to the next level.