Kevin Ruck


Internal Communication
“The strategic management of interactions and relationships between stakeholders within organisations across a number of interrelated dimensions including, internal line manager communication, internal team peer communication, internal project peer communication and internal corporate communication”
Welch and Jackson (2007)

Employee engagement “A workplace approach
designed to ensure that employees are committed to their organisation’s goals and values, motivated to contribute to organisational success, and are able at the same time to enhance their own sense of well-being”
MacLeod and Clarke (2009)

Cognitive polyphasia

Internal communication theory
Communication theory PR Theory Medium theory
• Transmission model dominates; little attention paid to content, upward feedback, involvement, uncertainty and employee engagement • Low adaptation of contemporary PR theory, for example, critical and rhetorical theory • Suitability of channel for message rarely assessed • Internal social media and collaboration rarely considered

Dimensions of internal communication
Welch and Jackson (2007)

Dimension Level 1. Internal line Line managers management / Supervisors communication

2. Internal team peer communication 3. Internal project peer communication 4. Internal corporate communication

Direction Participants Content Predominantly Line managers- Employees' roles two-way employees Personal impact e.g. appraisal discussions, team briefings Team Two-way EmployeeTeam information colleagues employee e.g. team task discussions Project group Two-way EmployeeProject colleagues employee information e.g. project issues Strategic Predominantly Strategic Organisational / managers / top one-way managers-all corporate issues management employees e.g. goals, objectives, new developments, activities and

Employee engagement theory
In his original study that outlines the basis for employee engagement, Kahn (1990, p. 693), defines it as, “…the harnessing of organization members’ selves to their work roles; in engagement, people employ and express themselves physically, cognitively and emotionally during role performances”.

Wave 1: 1990s Wave 2: 2000-5

• Characterised by the beginnings of practitioner interest and the term employee engagement came into use, widely credited as being coined by consultancy firm Gallup in 1999.

• Robinson et al., (2004) defined the concept as a positive employee attitude towards the organisation and its values, involving awareness of business context, and work to improve job and organisational effectiveness.
• Saks (2006) extended the employee engagement concept to encompass both job engagement and organisation engagement. Saks's work is significant because it tackles the question of the status of the concept.

Wave 3: 2006-10

Welch (2011)

Work engagement
A focus either on the individual role or the work activity with both approaches incorporating behavioural-energetic (vigor), emotional (dedication) and cognitive (absorption) dimensions.
Schaufeli and Bakker (2004)

In the academic literature [engagement] has been defined as a distinct and unique construct that consists of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral components that are associated with individual

role performance.
Saks (2006)

Organisational engagement
The amount of cognitive, emotional, and physical resources that an individual is prepared to devote in the performance of one's work roles is contingent on the economic and socioemotional resources received from the organization.
Saks (2006)

The academic argument for organisational engagement
Saks found (2006, p. 612) that, “…there is a meaningful distinction between job and organization engagement” and “organization engagement was a much stronger predictor of all the outcomes than job engagement”. Millward and Postmes (2010, p. 335) conclude from an academic study involving business managers in the UK that “The fact that identification with the superordinate grouping of “the organisation” was particularly relevant to performance is important for theoretical, empirical and pragmatic reasons”. Wieseke et al found (2009) that found the higher the level of organisational identity of sales managers the greater the sales quota achievement.


Provides a strong strategic narrative.



ENGAGING MANAGERS Facilitate and empower.

VOICE views are sought out; opinions count.

INTEGRITY Behaviour is consistent with stated values.

MacLeod and Clarke (2009)

Three components of employee engagement
Feeling well informed

Opportunities for upward feedback

Manager commitment

(Truss et al., 2006, p. xi)

Feeling really well informed.
Reinforced by managers who show commitment to the organisation.


Content is biased and does not reflect reality.

Timely, clear, accurate, pertinent, consistent, sincere, concise, business-like. Reinforces believable values and narrative.
Marques (2010)


Informed Doubters (1%) Fully/fairly well informed but lack of belief in information received

Informed Believers (47%) Fully/fairly well informed and believe information communicated

Feel informed

Fence sitters (28%)
Uninformed Doubters (11%) Uninformed Believers (13%)


Little/no information and lack of belief in information received

Little information but believe that received

Believe information communicated
Low/med High

Truss et al (2006)

Upward feedback
Reinforced by managers who are open to critical feedback.
Based on people feeling well informed in the first place, face to face, actions taken as a result or reasons why action not taken provided.

Basic Surveys, suggestion schemes, email boxes.


Informed Non-Communicators (6%) Fully/fairly well informed but little opportunity to feed information upwards

Informed Communicators (32%) Fully/fairly well informed and have opportunity for upward communication THIS GROUP IS HIGHLY ENGAGED

Feel informed

Fence sitters (39%)
Uninformed Non-Communicators (18%) Uninformed Believers (5%) Little information but have opportunity to feed information upwards


Little/no information and lack of opportunity for upward feedback

Have opportunity for upward communication
Low/med Truss et al (2006) High

Research to date
A review of twelve leading academic and consultancy studies representing 10,928 respondents.

Satisfaction with organisational information ranges from 53% to 64%.
However, questions about satisfaction with content are rarely asked and it is worth noting that employees do, naturally, expect channels to be used appropriately for the information provided.

60% of employees understand where the organisation is headed, though this is undermined by senior manager clarity (48%) and minimal senior management involvement in telling the story (54%).
Ruck and Welch (2012)

How internal communication resources are allocated

Emphasis on process and volume rather than understanding

Shortcomings in establishing theory in internal communication have often led to a predominance of the assessment of channels used, or volume of information generated (the what); essentially process explanations rather than the content of the communication itself, how well it is provided, or understanding.
Ruck and Welch (2012)

Ruck and Trainor (2011)

Conceptual model of employee questions to be addressed through line manager and corporate internal communication.
I am well informed about what is going on and what is planned and my line manager is committed to the organisation. I have regular opportunities to have a say and what I say is taken seriously.

My organisation provides plenty of support for people.



I know how I am doing and have good development opportunities.



I identify with the organisation’s values and am an advocate of what it does.

I know what my job responsibilities are and how they contribute to the team and organisation.

Ruck and Welch (2012)

Organisation Communication questionnaire combines internal communication questions and employee engagement questions First survey due to start in May at a UK government department shared services office with around 1200 employees Six further organisations to participate in June/July (a bank, an insurance company, a housing association, two local authorities, and a public sector organisation) Correlation analysis for transfer report in September

   

Communication content – graded questions and one open question Communication methods – graded questions and one open question Communication satisfaction – graded questions Leader and manager communication – graded questions Fellow employee communication – graded questions Employee engagement – graded questions

  

Regression analysis Multiple case study analysis, literal replication Focus groups Semi-structured interviews

(1990) Psychological conditions of personal engagement and disengagement at work. Academy of Management Journal. Vol. 33 No. 4 pp. 692-724. (2009) Engaging for Success: enhancing performance through employee engagement, A Report to Government, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Enhancing the quality of organisational communication: A presentation of reflection-based criteria. Journal of Communication Management, 14(1), 47–58. (2010). Who we are affects how we do: The financial benefits of organisational identification. British Journal of Management, 21, 327–339. (2004) The drivers of employee engagement. Brighton. Institute for Employment Studies. (2011) Communicating for Engagement, Report for Chartered Institute of Public Relations, Maidstone. PR Academy. (2012) Valuing Internal Communication: Management and Employee Perspectives, Public Relations Review, 38, 204-302 (2006) Antecedents and consequences of employee engagement, Journal Of Managerial Psychology, Vol.21. No. 7, pages 600-619.
(2010) Defining and measuring work engagement: Bringing clarity to the concept. In Bakker, A.B. and Leiter, M.P. eds. Work Engagement, A Handbook of Essential Theory and Research, Hove: Psychology Press

Kahn, W. A. MacLeod, D., and Clarke, N. Marques, J. (2010).

Millward, L., and Postmes, T. Robinson, D., Perryman, S., Hayday, S. Ruck. K. and Trainor, S. Ruck, K. and Welch, M. Saks, A.M.
Schaufeli, W. B. and Bakker, A. B.

Truss,C., Soane, E., Edwards, C., Wisdom, K., Croll, A., and Burnett,J. Welch, M . Welch, M., & Jackson, P. R. Wieseke, J., Ahearne, M., Lam, S., and Dick, R.

(2006) Working Life: Employee Attitudes and Engagement 2006, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. (2011) The evolution of the employee engagement concept: Communication implications. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 16(4), 328–346. (2007). Rethinking internal communication: A stakeholder approach. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 12(2), 177–198. (2009). The role of leaders in internal marketing. Journal of Marketing, 73(2), 123–145.

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