Saturday, 23 April 2011

Why Employee Engagement is Key

The longer I am in my job, the more I see that managing the reputation of a large organisation is about much, much more than external communications - in fact, the key is employee engagement. As a former journalist and PR consultant, my focus has predominantly been media relations and customer communications.

Understanding the link between effectively managing reputation and strong employee engagement was a light bulb moment for me. Engaged staff are not only ambassadors for the brand, but they're the best way to get your message out there - to customers and stakeholders.

Ask yourself, if you read something in a newspaper about John Lewis or you spoke to somebody who worked there, who would you be more likely to believe? I think most people would trust the person above the newspaper, particularly if it was someone they knew. In addition, engaged employees = happy customers so the organisation's reputation is doubly boosted if you can crack employee engagement.

Essentially, without effective employee engagement, reputation management will always be on the back foot, responding to external situations rather than leading the agenda.

I've developed the reputation model above for Wolverhampton Homes. It's based on a brand management model developed by Manchester Business School and I think is probably relevant for most housing organisations. It shows that employee engagement represents about 25% of our reputation, with the other quarters being customer experience, image and identity.

Feel free to use it/adapt it for your organisation or to challenge it if you don't agree.

1 comment:

  1. I had this reply from Irwell Valley HA on Twitter but I thought it might be useful to re-post it here:
    "Hi Kate, I enjoyed your blog, I see a similarity at Irwell Valley. We also have an excellent 4 Tier benefit package which is in synergy with our Gold Service philosophy for customers & we have one of our 5 Key priorities as 0% Sickness absence. For year end 2010/11 it was 1.2%."


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