An Evening of Engagement


We hosted ‘An Evening of Engagement’ on 3rdOctober, to celebrate the launch of Emma’s new book ‘Employee Engagement: A Practical Guide’. There was wine, there were nibbles and there were plenty of practitioners and experts, all eager to hear from our excellent speakers.

For those of you who couldn’t make it (and those who did and want a recap), here are just a few of our takeaways from the night:

Making an emotional connection will improve engagement

Emma started the evening, talking about what she sees for the future of engagement (and what she’d like to see). We heard how organisations are now becoming more comfortable when talking about ‘emotions’, partly as a result of the continued rise in focus on wellbeing, and subsequently we should now consider how our practices (whether through HR, Internal Comms or Employee Engagement) can impact this.

Our next speaker, Christine (Chris) Crofts (Diageo) really reinforced the importance of emotions is in her talk about ‘Why we need a purpose uprising’. Chris was tasked with ‘re-writing the purpose’ as many of us are, but after further research she soon realised that the words aren’t enough.  A successful and meaningful purpose should:

  • Make an emotional connection
  • Be Humanistic
  • Articulate how you are improving your customers lives (the Why)
  • Use positive language

Once you’ve got this right, you then need to create a compelling narrative, build your purpose into your systems and processes (make the actions match the words) and make it part of your culture.

Both Emma and Chris recommended further reading:

Craig Smith (Big Picture Learning) also talked about using an emotional connection to create meaningful dialogue with employees. Craig showed us some great examples of how their ‘Big Pictures’ have really helped organisations understand how everything fits together through visualisation – missions, visions, values and strategies.  Without these clearly connected, it can feel ‘like a 1000 piece jigsaw without a lid’.

Embracing new technologies can change the face of how we engage our people

Our third speaker was Michael Silverman, founder of Crowdoscope. Michael’s work has enabled social collective intelligence in the digital age. Collective intelligence is so much more than employee voice. Using collective intelligence can:

  • Assist Co-ordination and Collaboration
  • Enable Feedback and innovation
  • Help with workload distribution and knowledge sharing
  • ….and predict the future!

Michael also shared a great graphic which shows the Employee Listening Landscape as it is today.

We’d love to be able to see better data and insight used to engage our people – and these new technologies can really help to facilitate this.

If we’re doing great things – we should share our stories and get recognition!

Our final two speakers were Kate Griffiths-Lambeth (Charles Stanley) and Ruth Dance.  Kate shared with a case study of how employee engagement was used to positively impact the whole organisation – including financial growth, higher levels of customer satisfaction and a marked increase in accounts opening. We’re really proud to have worked with Kate and her team at Charles Stanley to help deliver these results and improve how it feels to work there.


Kate (and the rest of the team at Charles Stanley) are rightly proud of their achievements, so used their case study to enter numerous awards (of which they’ve now won 10+!) and were finalists at the 2017 Employee Engagement Awards.

Ruth was able to tell us a little bit more about how you can enter the Employee Engagement Awards this year (you have until 12thto get your entries in!) and as MD for the Employee Engagement Alliance, told us how we could attend lots more events like this one, through the Alliance. As a member, you get access to numerous free events and resources and heavily reduced training.

If you’re interested in becoming a member, email, as the Employee Engagement Alliance are offering reduced corporate membership for followers of People Lab.



If you would like a copy of Emma’s new book, you can receive 20% off the RRP. by buying through this link and using the code AHREE20 at the checkout. 

You might also be interested in:

An Evening of Engagement in pictures

Using AI and machine learning to better understand employee feedback

The importance of employee voice

How to use purpose to drive engagement



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