Happy Anniversary Nita & David

Friday marked the first anniversary of the publication of “Engaging for Success” by David McLeod and Nita Clarke, a report to UK Government on the importance of employee engagement in enterprise.

A lot has happened since my first 4 blog posts on this 12 months ago. But not amongst the internal communications community it would appear. At the launch of Kevin Ruck’s brilliant new book that I chaired on Thursday, only half of the 100 strong audience of internal communicators admitted to having read the report.

I’m intrigued by this and can only conclude that the report is perceived as biased towards the HR community. I’d urge those that haven’t read it to take a closer look. mcleod report

The report gives all the evidence you need for the business case for employee engagment. By identifying poor employee communications as one of the most common barriers to employee engagement, the report therefore extends the business case for employee communications. And it goes further by identifying four enablers:

Leadership, Engaging Managers, Employee Voice, Integrity

If you think this is all abour HR, think again.
Leadership – having a strategic narrative and giving employees a line of sight to a compelling vision. Life in the day of an internal communicator?
Engaging managers – “people leave their boss,not their company” How much time do we spend upskilling and supporting line managers in having conversatios with their teams?
Employee voice – Do I need to make the link between the role of IC and facilitating dialogue?
Integrity – walking the talk, or closing the gap between what organisations say and what they do and more importantly, how we say it.

You could easily change the title of the report to
Communicating for success:
enhancing performance through employee communications

Would more of us have read it then?


  1. Interesting observation and questions Sean. I’ve had a sililar issue with Brand Engagement which is ostensibly about the internal audience but seems to be predominantly read by and sold to the marketing community.

    One of the themes of the discussions at Kevin’s book launch the other night was the “ownership” of internal comunication. We’re clearly still thinking in a linear fashion when the engagement agenda clearly needs collaboration between OD/HR/Mktg/Icomms and the CEO’s office!

    It needs “span breaking” thinking in pursuit of the wider engagement agenda. But until Icomms is elevated to director level, the influece of this sector is always going to depend upon influencing the influencers, whether they’re in HR/Marketing/Corp Comms or…………..

  2. Angela Mohtashemi says:

    I think IC really needs to be owned by the business. Engagement is not a separate initiative to be owned by a function; it’s part of what everyone does every day. And apart from engagement there’s the operational side that gets neglected. Until internal comims is seen as the essential oil that makes the business work it will be low priority. Too often it’s seens as broadcast comms with an opportunity to dialogue on strategic topics.

  3. Too true Angela, I suppose the same could be said of every function – stick it all in the line is what I say!

  4. We share the view that the first line manager is the most important communicator, Sean. This plays to Angela’s point about engagement being everyone’s responsibility.

    But just like process management is everyone’s responsibility, there needs to be a central strategy and an executive level owner.

    As far as the engagement agenda is concerned I still believe this needs to be owned at a strategic level by the triumvirate detailed above.

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