How to strengthen employee engagement through comms

A new book is about the hit the shelves featuring 100+ management models addressing all kinds of issues, including looking at whether employee engagement can be strengthened through communication.

Writing on this topic is Dr Mary Welch, Senior Lecturer in Communication Management at the University of Central Lancashire, and the book is called 100+ Management Models: How to understand and apply the world’s most powerful business tools by Fons Trompenaars and Piet Hein Coebergh from the Netherlands.

It’s being published by Infinite Ideas and available from 1 January 2015. It’s ideal if you’re studying communication.

Mary’s model is taken from the academic article she had published in 2011 on the same topic (you’ll need a subscription to access it). She’s written for my blog a number of times over the years and I always enjoy learning from her.

What can you expect in the book?

100+ Management Models offers a quick overview of the key features and potential applications of each of the most important models in nine different categories: sustainability, innovation, strategy, diversity, customers, human resources, benchmarking, leadership, and implementation. Each section concludes with a summary of the key dilemmas that tend to emerge from the particular function, along with analysis of potential solutions.

About the authors
Fons Trompenaars is a world expert on international management and the author of the global bestseller Riding the Waves of Culture. He is a recipient of the International Professional Practice Area Research Award by the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD).

Piet Hein Coebergh is an expert in formulating and communicating corporate strategy. He is a lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences, Leiden, and managing consultant at Coebergh Communications & PR.

Mary’s model of internal communication and employee engagement

A peek into what you can expect from Mary’s contribution has been published, and states: Academic and former communications professional Mary Welch connects insights on HRM, leadership and communication in her view of employee engagement.



The roots of her model can be traced back to the work of Daniel Katz and Robert Kahn, who discussed the importance of engaging with employees in their 1966 classic The Social Psychology of Organizations.

This was taken up in 1999 by Gallup’s Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman in their book First, Break all the Rules, that claimed that engaged employees drive customer loyalty and that:

‘The right people in the right roles with the right managers drive employee engagement’.

Since then, business interest in the concept has prompted demand for the provision of employee engagement consultancy services, which has been met by companies including Gallup, Aon Hewitt, Mercer, Towers Watson, Hay Group, Kenexa and BlessingWhite. These companies, among many others, offer a series of reports and tools (widely available on their corporate websites) to support the bottom line by measuring and strengthening employee engagement.

How to use the model

This conceptual model illustrates the possible impact of communication on employee engagement at an organisational level.

Engagement is recognised as a three-component construct comprising emotional, cognitive and physical dimensions, associated with dedication, absorption and vigour.

The three psychological conditions necessary for engagement (meaningfulness, safety and availability) that William Kahn identified in his later work are integrated into the model.

Commitment is associated with engagement and is affected by leadership communication, so the model integrates the constructs of organisational commitment as an antecedent of engagement.

It positions aspects of leadership communication from senior managers in relation to employee engagement.

Communication is a psychological need of employees, which organisations have to meet to maintain and develop employee engagement.

Aspects of internal corporate communication are positioned as influencing engagement variables on the one hand (by promoting commitment and a sense of belonging), and as communication engagement outcomes on the other (through awareness and understanding).

The model conceptualises innovation, competitiveness and organisational effectiveness as organisational outcomes of employee engagement, which can be promoted by effective internal corporate communication.

Where can you get it? –  you can find the book on Amazon  and pre-order it there.

Further reading – books on communication

Post author: Rachel Miller

First published on 11 November 2014 on All Things IC blog.


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