Update from the Thought and Action Groups – November 2016 

Here is Jacqueline Reed’s last Thought and Action Group (TAG) update as Director of Research before the end of her secondment.

The Social Media TAG

  • how to demonstrate the Return On Investment (ROI) of social media
  • how to use social media (focusing on the business problem and then searching for the right tools)
  • dispelling myths around Enterprise Social Networks/corporate social media
  • holding conversations ‘with’ employees as an alternative to messaging ‘at’ employees
  • developing a diagnostic tool to help organisations assess their social media maturity
  • rough guide to social media
  • social media hub of hub for ESF website
  • making strategy social – case studies showing organisations that have used social media to originate & execute strategy
  • research into how social media/Enterprise Social is changing behaviour at work
  • mini conference to promote this work in early 2017

The Cross Cultures TAG

  • Strategy Group. The team are interviewing leaders in a range of organisations who have been directly involved with strategy implementation and engagement. The output will be detailed and practical summaries from a cross cultural perspective showing models for engagement and business strategy, the role of language and translation in engagement (language used by consultancies and leaders versus the language that resonates with engaged employees) and methods for enhancing cross cultural understanding in global organisations.
  • Research Group who are examining staff engagement data from companies with employees in eastern and western countries to identify the differences in staff engagement (collectivism versus individualism).
  • Cross Cultures event for early November 2016

Transport TAG

Juliette Alban-Metcalfe and Andy Wong jointly lead this group. Current work includes activities to complete a presentation/outline of a staff engagement workshop. They are planning to meet with new volunteers shortly to look at what comes next.

Not For Profit (NFP) TAG

Siobhan, from the core team, is co-ordinating this group under the leadership of Martyn Dicker. They are looking to produce a report on staff engagement in the NFP sector by the end of the year. The TAG also has plans for a new piece of work examining what motivates a voluntary workforce.

Performance Management TAG

This TAG is undertaking research to understand what is happening during the performance management process of highly engaged teams compared to less engaged teams in the same organisation with the same performance management process.

The aim of the research is to develop some practical tools that will help to deliver a more engaging performance management process, no matter which process companies use.

The TAG is supported by Cranfield University on the analytics and is working in collaboration with CIPD. Led by Frazer Rendell, the first interviews have been undertaken and EFS is still looking for a sponsor to pay for transcription costs.

Well-Being TAG

We have more interest from volunteers to get involved with the Well-being TAG than any other TAG. David Crossman and the team are producing regular content for the EFS website and is considering a specific Well-being event to be held in the near future.

Diversity and Inclusion TAG

The D&I team held a very successful event in September. Sneha, who leads this TAG, has recently secured a few new members but is still looking for new members.


This is now moving at pace. The first phase of the research has taken place and as a result we have slightly amended the research questions. The second phase of interviews took place in September/October. Timescales have slipped slightly, but Dr Amy Armstrong hopes to have the final report ready early in the new year.

Education TAG (1)

The team has met a few times (including one-face-to face meeting. David Macleod provided a contact with Teach First (David Rose) who helped to better shape the TOR for the group, which are much more focused on SE in the teaching profession. Justin Robbins, who leads this TAG is still looking for additional members from teachers and Head teachers.

Education TAG (2)

Cathy is looking to kick this off very shortly, looking at influencing the curriculum and to better prepare young adults for the world of work She has had a great response to the advert in the bulletin for members to join this TAG.

Leadership and Engagement in the Construction Industry

This research is supported by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). It involves working with 10 companies in the sector looking at the links between leadership and engagement:

  • how organisations identify their engaging leaders
  • how successful they are at retaining engaging leaders
  • how potential leaders are developed
  • identifying levels of engagement and linkages to leadership
  • impact of distributed leadership
  • identifying opportunities for improvement

Line Manager TAG

This TAG is examining the tri-part relationship between senior leaders, HR and line managers. Looking at how staff engagement strategy is translated into operations (via line managers), where it works and what hampers progress.

For the first phase we held an event on September 22nd which was sponsored by Nottingham Trent University (NTU). The event involved around 50 senior leaders/HR managers from more then 40 organisations to capture their views.

Phase two will involve working with a number of companies to collect case studies – aimed at line manager and team level. Sarah Pass, who leads this TAG, will produce a report with our outcomes, showing good practice converting strategy into operational excellence in staff engagement and hopefully contribute to one of our priority areas of increasing our line management audience.

Profession TAG

Another new TAG – this will look at what motivates employees working in professional roles to be engaged employees. We now have a firm proposal for this work from the lead, John Hamilton from Leeds Beckett University.

We are now seeking funding for the work and looking for more participants for this TAG, in particular those currently working in the banking, finance, legal, marketing or consultancy industries.

Public Sector TAG

This is a new piece of work with the Cabinet Office and involving the Civil Service, Local Authorities, Police, Fire and Health to gather good practice around the enablers to good staff engagement. The Cabinet Office has agreed to host the first meeting and we are planning to hold a conference with the resultant outcomes in 9/12 months time.
4 Enablers

Another new venture looking at good examples of how companies in the private sector have used the 4 enablers to secure better staff engagement. A report and an event showing case studies under each enabler will pull this work together.

Proposed new TAGs

We are considering the following new TAGs to add to our current portfolio of research:

BREXIT – tracking a few companies through the uncertainty brought about by the BREXIT vote. Hopefully to demonstrate that, with good staff engagement, companies can still succeed.

The Arts – looking at how the Arts can contribute and enhance staff engagement (Art, dancing, singing etc.)
Apprenticeships – topical due the the Apprentice Levy on large companies. Looking at how best to engage apprentices, often involving an employee’s first steps into the world of work. Looking to provide a report to demonstrate good practice in this important area.

Corporate Social Responsibility – Kevin Hard is putting together a proposal to take this work forward in the near future.

Trade Union role in Staff Engagement – recognising the hugely valuable role Trade Unions play in reacting to problems encountered by members, this TAG will explore the potential for a more proactive role to seek an improved, more engaging environment/culture in the workplace.

Healthcare – There is a strong body of evidence that engaged staff deliver better healthcare; Trusts with more engaged staff tend to have higher levels of patient satisfaction and lower levels of patient mortality (Kings Fund, 2015).

The exact nature of the relationship between the staff experience and the quality of the patient experience needs to be explored further through a study of best practice within the sector. What are the key staff-related drivers in terms of enhanced patient outcomes? What is the impact of local culture on any causal relationship? What do the patients notice in terms of levels of staff engagement? This new TAG aims to collate best practice, look at the data connecting staff and patient experience, explore the patient perspective on engagement and develop and pilot innovative approaches.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to get the latest news, events, podcasts and more!