The Internal Comms Podcast

Episode 02 - How to start a movement

Katie’s guest this episode is Nita Clarke – whose services to employee engagement have earned her an OBE from the Queen.

Nita has a long and fascinating career. She co-authored the report: Engaging for Success, which became the seminal study into employee engagement and sparked an entire movement – Engage for Success.

A leading figure in the UK’s trade union movement for many years, she talks to Katie about championing employee voice, working with Number 10 and singing with David Bowie.

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Background: Nita’s early career, and what led her and David MacLeod to write the seminal ‘Engaging for Success’ report in 2009? [02:30]

The four key areas for effective IC:

#1 Establishing the strategic narrative – why IC is critical in ensuring employees understand an organisation’s primary purpose [6:23]

#2. The importance of supporting managers to develop people-management skills [8.25]

#3 How do you listen to your employees? Two-way communication provides you with valuable information about your own business [10:07]

#4 Building trust – are the values on the wall reflected in day-to-day behaviours? [11:50]

Canaries in the coalmine: Where is IC today? [13:28]

‘I curtsied and didn’t fall over’: Receiving an OBE for services to employee engagement [21:00]

‘Sanity is possible in employee relations’: Nita’s work with the Involvement and Participation Association (IPA) [22:18]

Working with trade unions [26:01]

The way forward? The case for co-owned organisations [29:03]

Is it like Yes, Prime Minister? Nita’s Number 10 experiences and ruminations on Brexit [29:56]

What’s next? Revisiting ‘Engaging for Success’ 10 years on [35:58]

Quickfire questions:

The Bowie connection: Nita’s most surprising fact [39:18]

What do you know now that you wish you knew in your 20s? [41:55]

Who is the best communicator, alive or dead? [44:07]

What would you write on a billboard? [45:52]

Links from this episode

Connect with Nita on Twitter

Download the Engaging for Success report (157-page PDF)

Visit the IPA website

Read Nita’s 2015 blog about possible new models for organisations

David Bowie’s 1999 prediction of the future impact of the internet

That interview between Pax and Bowie about the internet

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