Why communication & branding teams need to be actively involved in employee engagement initiatives?

Employee engagement used to be a HR prerogative.

Well, not anymore.

In today’s world, every communication and branding team is getting actively involved in employee engagement initiatives.

Let’s look at a simple calculation…

If a company has five thousand employees and each one of them have around hundred followers on LinkedIn, then any company post, reshared by the employees, has the potential to reach five hundred thousand or five lac impressions on LinkedIn.

Let that sink in.

A feat that could cost a lot of money if promoted commercially.

As businesses are getting more service oriented and employees are beginning to play a more crucial role in customer satisfaction, it is estimated that more than fifty percent potential employees do a primary search on social media and the website about the company, before deciding to join.

So how do we ensure that employees are on the same page as the management and that employees are willingly partnering the process of promoting the products, services and the culture of the organisation?

  1. Keeping the employees informed through a regular internal communications process

In today’s connected world, it is imperative for the employees to have knowledge of the intentions of the management about the developments taking place or planned in the company. It is therefore highly critical to have regular internal communications through existing internal communications channels. Also, it is important for the employees to connect face to face – either in person or virtually – with the management, at least once a quarter. If the frequency could be more often that’s better. This way the employees feel that they are valued and treated as an important stakeholder in the company.

  1. Creating a comprehensive yet simple to understand social media policy

It’s important to have a comprehensive social media policy so that everyone knows what to post and how to post, that will minimise the potential negative impacts. However, what needs to be kept in mind is that the policy needs to be simple so that it is implemented and not just shelved on the intranet or in the cloud.

  1. Keeping everyone updated about the social media calendar

Most companies now a days have a social media calendar that shows the planned posts and the topics. If this is known to the employees in advance, they would be able to plan their posts and it will eventually become a habit.

  1. Helping in setting the tone and the messaging

Communication teams are the custodians of the brand therefore it is natural for them to stick to the brand rules. However, the other teams are not so familiar with it usually. It is better not to take a chance and to help in creating a framework that helps everyone be on the same page with the kind of messaging, imagery and the brand values that need to be communicated.

  1. What are the rewards for the employees?

This is one area where HR and Communications teams need to work hand in hand. There needs to be clearly defined policies on rewards and recognition for employees who are taking extra initiatives to promote the company and its value to the world. It is not their regular work so they need to get something extra to feel motivated. It could be as simple as getting special passes for events where company management may not want to invest their time. It could be a special lunch organised by the HR to the outstanding contributors to this cause.

  1. Management needs to support these initiatives

When I say management needs to support these initiatives, I mean that they need to understand that there will be additional investment of resources required to carry out these actions. I have seen in the past that management wants to get these activities done, but when employees dedicate some time to these activities with approval from their managers, still they are perceived as employees who are not entirely utilised and it spoils their reputation within the company. This needs to be avoided. The management needs to whole heartedly support these employees who have outstanding contribution to promoting the company online and see them as brand ambassadors and internal influencers who are helping the company reach its overall objectives and goals.

  1. HR and Communications need to collaborate with clear defined roles

Orchestrating organisation specific activities like social media management and employee participation needs a lot of planning and help in execution. The communication and HR teams have their unique skills which can help in making this initiative a success. There is no way the two teams are competing or repeating the same job with each other. Once this is understood and accepted by both the teams and the management, it can be a smooth affair.


The employees would love to participate and feel proud of being involved in these initiatives provided they see that the management recognises their efforts and rewards them for it. And, it can be the best way to engage the internal stakeholders and who in turn engage with the external stakeholders. As it is said that management needs to take care of the employees and the employees will take care of the customers.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Tilak Chowdhury
Tilak Chowdhury – Associate Director – Client Relations and Communications at DPNC Global.

DPNC Global is a lead multidisciplinary business consulting firm focused on Tax, Assurance, Regulatory, FEMA & Family Office Services in India.

He has more than 20 years of experience working with large multinational companies – both agencies and corporates. He has held senior communication profiles in French engineering major Egis, Indian Pharma MNC Jubilant and listed auto ancillary company Sharda Motors India Limited, before joining DPNC.

He has worked with some leading advertising agencies from WPP network and with some leading public relations agencies. He has extensive experience in internal and external communications that includes - employer branding, advertising, public relations, corporate communications, marketing communications, events, exhibitions and corporate & product branding.

He has worked on brands like Ambuja Cements, Taj Group of Hotels, Kinetic, Mahindra, Indian Oil etc in the past.

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