Introducing Internal Communication 3.0: Workforce Citizenship

The convergence of internal, external and social communication has been discussed a lot lately, but in this piece, “Internal Communication 3.0: Workforce Citizenship”, I’ve laid out a picture of what such a convergence could look like, described the turbulent social-media driven changes driving things in this direction, and identified some of the implications for internal communication and corporate communication as a whole.

At the core of this vision is an idea I’m calling “workforce citizenship”–a kind of engagement that reflects a renewed sense of two-way responsibility between staff and the organizations to which they belong, and by incorporating advocacy as well as productivity as part of that responsibility, consciously builds the workforce into an organization’s communication architecture.

The article was published originally on Ragan.Com, an industry-leading daily news-source dedicated to internal and external communication, and can now be found at Communitelligence at http://bit.ly/dyJ07v.

Enterprise Re-Engagement: Will Corporates Get It?

My latest posting on Communitelligence and the Employee Engagement Network raises the issue of why corporations, while needing to engage their full range of social, political and environmental stakeholders, could be well served to place employees at the heart of their broader engagement strategies.

Such an approach is not without risks.  Expecting employees to fight corporate battles in the public and political sphere is seen by some as a breach of labor-management etiquette, and also will require a new framework of trust to be generated between employee and employer following the shocks of the last few years.

However, employees and employers may be faced with little choice.  Both are more vulnerable to market shocks and competitive pressures—leaving relationships and reputation as the thin shield that affords them any protection whatsoever.  Whether corporations can join together their collective thinking about stakeholder engagement—or whether the current thinking of employee engagement as a sort of free lunch for employers ends up prevailing—is likely to have a decisive impact in the next few years.

The full posting is available at Communitelligence at: http://bit.ly/c7j4rM

From “Employee Engagement” to “Enterprise Re-Engagement”

Challenging the often “one-size-fits-all” mentality pervasive in the discussion about engagement in the workplace, I’ve posted an alternative approach to the Employee Engagement Network called “Enterprise Re-Engagement”.

Enterprise Re-Engagement challenges organizations to pursue a meaningful, two-way approach to engagement that openly acknowledges changes in organizations’ economic and employment environments, targets approaches that are appropriate to the growing number of contingent workers as well as to ‘permanent’ employees, and seeks to stimulate creative friction and innovation as well as satisfaction and loyalty.

The piece can be found at the Employee Engagement Network at: http://bit.ly/6AhKhW

“Four Forms” of Engagement Model Published by Leading Employee Engagement Personality

My innovative “Four Forms” model of Employee Engagement, which identified four distinct types of employee-employer relationship:

  • The engagement of the “rifle”—battle: active opposition
  • The engagement of the “mat”—wrestling: active disagreement, but within a productive context
  • The engagement of the “gearshift”-mechanical: productivity without resistance
  • The engagement of the “ring”-mutual, heartfelt, emotional commitment
  • was recognized recently by one of the engagement movement’s leading practitioners, David Zinger.

    Zinger has posted a full article on the four forms on his own blog last month, and led off the piece with the following exchange between us:

    “Mike Klein is an original think around employee engagement. He joined the Employee Engagement Network recently and I asked him about his nonlinear view of employee engagement and employee engagement seen as a moral virtue. He wrote a comment on my network page that really got me thinking:

    Engagement is non-linear: The short answer regarding my non-linear view of engagement: I think the idea that the path between employee hostility and helpfulness as a straight line called “engagement” is total rubbish.

    Rather, I see “engagement” as a willingness to connect through some sort of relationship, which can either be hostile or helpful, passive or active, possessive or bereft of long-term commitment, and solitary or collective.

    As for my background–while I have more than 10 years of internal communication experience, mainly in Europe, I managed political campaigns in the US for 10 years as well, where I saw other patterns and models of engagement emerge around candidates and issues. That background gives me some perspective around the whole “engagement as moral virtue” piece–for it is impossible for anyone actively in a relationship to be disengaged, whether they are hostile, helpful or hopeless.

    Ultimately, I think this issue has been horribly mispositioned in the communications and management press, and that professionals need access to new models and vocabularies that don’t treat engagement solely as an employee issue, and solely as a matter of right and wrong.

    This whetted my appetite to learn more from Mike about employee engagement or engagement and I received his approval to reprint the blog post below. I have made a few slight changes to make it easier to follow but the post is directly from Mike.  This is not a short blog read but I believe your will gain much if you focus on the engaging metaphors that Mike presents.”

    The full posting can be found at:

    http://www.davidzinger.com/employee-engagement-rifle-mat-gearshift-ring-mike-klein-5614/

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