Author(s), Title and Publication
Verčič, A. T., & Vokić, N. P. (2017). Engaging employees through internal communication. Public Relations Review, 43(5), 885-893.

Engagement is increasing in popularity as a mechanism to describe the ways organizations connect and collaborate with their stakeholders. Key drivers of employee engagement include nature of the job and work environment, recognition of one’s work, social climate, personality traits, and internal communication satisfaction, as an integral part of internal communication. Despite the importance of the relationship between internal communication and employee engagement, and the overall popularity of the term, disengaged employees outnumber those who are engaged 2-1. Also troubling, engagement suffers from a clear definition. Even in public relations, engagement is used as the umbrella term that includes a wide array of organizational attempts to involve stakeholders in its activities and decisions. A survey of 104 participants investigated relationship between internal communication satisfaction (e.g., feedback, communication with superiors, horizontal communication, informal communication, corporate information, communication climate, communication media, and communication during meetings) and employee engagement (specifically work engagement; vigor, dedication and absorption).

Results showed that overall internal communication satisfaction as well as individual communication dimensions were positively related to employee engagement. Three aspects demonstrated a greater importance: satisfaction with feedback, informal communication, and communication during meetings, and thus are the most relevant internal communication satisfaction dimensions for employee engagement. The study confirmed that feedback, open channels of communication, communication between supervisors and employees, and sharing information with employees are vital enablers of engagement.

Implications for Practice
Organizations should (1) consider recognizing internal communication as a strategic partner to help organizations create and sustain high levels of employee engagement, which leads to higher levels of performance, (2) communicate the importance of the broad set of drivers for enhancing employee engagement, namely satisfaction with feedback, informal communication, and communication during meetings, and (3) incorporate engagement into strategic planning to encourage organizational support and belief in the importance of engagement as an organizational value rather than a short-term initiative.

Location of Article
This article is available online at: (abstract free, purchase full article)

Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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