Topic Thought and Action Groups Update August 2016 

Update by Jacqueline Reed, Knowledge Director

Well the summer arrived in the end – I hope you are all managing to enjoy the sunshine and have had, or will be taking, a well earned break from work.

I thought I would share with you some of the work going on across the Movement. There is lots of interesting and exciting work going on in our various Thought and Action Groups (TAGs), including the following:

The Social Media TAG

  • how to demonstrate 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). If anyone knows any companies that they think might be interested please let Cinthya or me know!.
  • Cross Cultures event for early November 2016

Transport TAG

Siobhan has been working with Juliette Alban-Metcalfe and Andy Wong (who now jointly lead this group) to complete a presentation/outline of a staff engagement workshop. They are hoping to meet with the new volunteers at the end of the summer to look at what comes next.

Not For Profit (NFP) TAG

Again Siobhan 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.

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 my Frazer Rendell, the first interviews have been undertaken and EFS has authorised sponsorship for transcription costs to progress this work (we are still looking for a sponsor).

WellBeing 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 event for September is well on track now and speakers have been secured and tickets are now on sale. Sneha, who leads this TAG, is looking for new members (recent advert in the bulletin to take other work forward).


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 next phase of interviews are taking place in September/October and we hoping to have the Ministry of Defense involved. Timescales have slipped slightly but Amy Armstrong hopes to have a progress update available for the EFS conference and a final report early in the new year.

Education TAG (1)

We have 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. We are still looking for additional members from teachers and Head teachers, if you know of any who might be interested please contact me or Justin Robbins, who leads this group.

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

I have recently included a call for additional construction companies to get involved via the weekly bulletin. If you have any contacts in the industry who may be interested please let me or Terry Grourk have their contact details.

Line Manager TAG

This new 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. The first phase is an event on September 22nd which is being sponsored by Nottingham Trent University (NTU). The event will involve around 40 senior leaders/HR managers to capture their views.

Although NTU are hosting us for free (accommodation and refreshments) we will be charging £75 per head which will go back into the budget for this research. I think this could be quite a good future model to fund research projects! The event has been advertised in the bulletin last week. If you know of any senior executive or HR professional who might be interested in attending please pass my contact details on or use the link in last week’s bulletin to register their interest and Sarah Pass, who is leading this TAG, will get in touch with them

We will then work with around 4 companies to collect case studies – aimed at line manager and team level. We 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 will be advertising for members shortly. If you know of anyone interested in joining this TAG, who is currently working in the banking, finance, legal, marketing or consultancy industries please let me know.

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 in September 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 employees 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.

If anyone is interested in getting involved with these new TAGs please give me a shout.

So, as you can see, lots of excellent work going on. As ever, I would like to say a huge thank you, on behalf of Engage for Success, for giving up your time to take forward these exciting pieces of work – it is amazing what a difference we can make together!!

Keep up the great work, let me know if there is anything I can do to move things forward if you encounter any barriers – and – enjoy the rest of the summer!

All the best.


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