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The Employee Engagement Report 2011, which explores global workplace attitudes, revealed that trust in executives has a stronger correlation to employee engagement than trust in immediate managers. Half of employees who trust senior leaders are engaged compared to 40% of those who trust their direct boss and 33% of the North American workforce overall.

These findings are consistent with pre-recession findings. Highlighting that trust in leadership is an important factor in achieving high levels of engagement.

It’s harder to build trust with people who you rarely see or have never met, explained Christopher Rice, CEO of BlessingWhite, the consultancy responsible for the survey. “Most immediate supervisors and managers can demonstrate trustworthiness in their daily actions and become known beyond their titles. Executives don’t have that luxury. The workforce scrutinizes what they do see and hear – and will draw the most unexpected, unfortunate conclusions if leaders do not communicate carefully.”

The authors of the report, urge business leaders to demonstrate consistency in words and actions, communicate often and with depth, and create a culture that drives results and engagement.

For more information, download a copy of the report >





As in this blog we have spoken a lot about Employee Engagement in the past, I found a new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit on the subject most enlightening. It clearly signposts a disconnect between the boardroom and the rest of the organisation when it comes to understanding and acting on engagement issues.

According to the report, more than 80% of top executives across Europe and the Middle East view disengagement as one of the three biggest threats to their business. Yet, during the survey, almost half of these executives (47%) admitted that they do not discuss staff engagement issues in the boardroom.

Perhaps even more worrying was the report’s finding that many senior executives appear to have a fundamentally flawed view of what – and who – influences the levels of engagement within their organisations. For example, just 13% of C-suite executives believe that line managers and middle managers are chiefly responsible for staff engagement – this despite the raft of evidence pointing to line managers as being the key to morale and productivity.

Perhaps the most enlightening statistic to emerge from the report is the fact that nearly half (47%) of the senior executives surveyed believe that they are personally responsible for generating the levels of employee engagement in their firm – a view that is shared by only 16% of senior directors outside the C-suite.

Paul Lewis from the EIU, who edited the report, said: “this research strongly suggests that many, though certainly not all, CEOs retain an unrealistic and over-optimistic view about their own impact when it comes to staff engagement.”

An important point to bear in mind when building a business case for engagement related campaigns.


On 30 November, Simply Communicate are offering you the chance to participate in a free webinar and learn more about Employee Engagement from three experts:

  • Marc Wright, who created the British Airways Putting People First Again programme that helped lift sales by 40% and double the share price
  • Brad Jennings, the former Head of Brand Experience at Vodafone UK, and
  • Gerard Brown, the creative director of simply experience, the engagement agency behind the hugely successful LiVE Tetra Pak campaign that went around the world.

The one hour webinar starts at 14:00 CET and is the latest in a series of virtual ‘lunch hour’ conferences that aim to bring prominant experts in internal communications directly to your desktop.

Register to take part in the webinar >



As communicators, we know the importance of understanding our audience – but how well do we really understand what motivates people?

A video called The surprising truth about what motivates us, blows away much conventional thinking about what motivates employees, with some interesting implications – especially for internal communications.

In addition, the video is a wonderful example of engaging communication in itself. Enjoy!


Companies that communicate with courage, innovation and discipline, especially during times of economic challenge and change, are more effective at engaging employees and achieving desired business results.

That is according to research by Towers Watson which has consistently found the firms that communicate effectively with employees are also the best financial performers.

In their 2009/2010 report titled: Capitalizing on Effective Communication, Towers Watson summarizes the findings of their 2009/2010 multiregional study and identify what companies with highly effective communication practices are doing to inform and engage their employees in challenging economic times, and shows how these practices vary around the world.

Key Findings:

  • Effective employee communication is a leading indicator of financial performance and a driver of employee engagement. Companies that are highly effective communicators had 47% higher total returns to shareholders over the last five years compared with firms that are the least effective communicators.
  • The best invest in helping leaders and managers communicate with employees. While only three out of 10 organizations are training managers to deal openly with resistance to change, highly effective communicators are more than three times as likely to do this as the least effective communicators.
  • Companies are struggling to measure the return on their investment in social media tools. Highly effective communicators are more likely than the least effective communicators to report their social media tools are cost-effective (37% vs. 14%).
  • Measurement is critical. Companies that are less-effective communicators are three times as likely as highly effective communicators to report having no formal measurements of communication effectiveness.

Download the full report via the Towers Watson website >


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