Seven part series on employee engagement communication

01 – What is engagement?

Employee engagement affects every business, now matter how big or small

At Better Communication Results we offer engagement communication services during times of great change, such as the introduction of artificial intelligence.

But what does that mean for an organisation?

In this series of articles to come, we look at employee engagement and communication and how they can affect the organisation, in good ways and bad.

Here’s what we’ll discuss:

Article 1 – employee engagement definition (this article)

Article 2 – the business case (to follow)

Article 3 – engagement strategy (to follow)

Article 4 – engagement culture (to follow)

Article 5 – employee involvement (to follow)

Article 6 – measuring engagement (to follow)

Article 7 – business results (to follow).

Employee engagement definition

There is no real consensus on what employee engagement is. But there are three widely-held views that overlap and offer insight into what a one-size-fits-all definition could be.


The first view was promoted by employee research consultancy ISR, who identified core issues influencing employee engagement:

  • Career development
    • opportunity for personal development
    • effective management of talent 
  • Leadership
    •  clarity of company values
    • company standards of financial behaviour
    •  respectful treatment of employees
  • Empowerment – employee involvement in decision-making
  • Image – endorsement of company products and services.

ISR defined employee engagement as “a process by which an organization increases commitment and contribution of its employees to achieve superior business results.”

Andrew Brown

Another view was espoused by Andrew Brown of Mercer Delta Consulting.

At the bottom of the pyramid, Satisfaction is what gets employees to show up for work. It’s the base level, and where employees have no real desire to go the extra mile.

At the next level, Motivation is the buzz employees feel about their work, and their desire to excel rather than just turn up. A Satisfied worker will be content doing just enough to get by. A Motivated employee wants to excel.

At the Commitment level, employees feel part of the wider company. Do they understand and support the corporate strategy? Do they feel part of the brand values? Do they want to contribute to the company’s success? Committed workers become positive ambassadors for the company.

Advocacy includes both the company itself and the company’s products and services.  How proactive are employees in speaking about these things? If a company achieves advocacy, they’ll reap the rewards in both sales and recruitment. It’s free advertising, and from the most credible of sources.

Engagement is a combination of all the preceding factors. An Engaged worker is satisfied, motivated, committed and is an advocate for both the company and what it produces.

Hewitt Associates

The third view from Hewitt Associates (now AON Hewitt) is a simple but powerful three-part model called ‘Say, Stay, Strive’.

  • Say – employee speaks positively about the organisation
  • Stay – employee has an intense desire to be a member of the organisation despite other opportunities
  • Strive – the employee exerts extra time, effort, and energy to contribute to business success.

As with the other models, engaged employees feel inspired to go ‘beyond the call of duty’ and are willing to partake in discretionary behaviour to ensure the company’s success. They are powerful and credible advocates for the company’s products and services, and the company itself.

So, what is it?

We’ve taken the view that employee engagement is a process, not an accident.

We believe that employee engagement is about translating employee potential into employee performance and business success.

At Better Communication Results, we are all about changing the way employees perform by utilising tools found in the armoury of internal communication professionals. Which is what we are.

If you would like to discuss employee engagement and business communication with us, we’d be very happy to sit down over a cup of coffee and see how we might be able to solve a management headache for you.

Call us on (08) 8120 0300 or email us at – we look forward to hearing from you.

We post updates about once or twice a week, usually at the beginning of the week.