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Employee Engagement: Getting Your Message Out Loud and Clear

You might be talking to your employees but are they listening? One of the toughest challenges facing managers is how to create engaging training programs and get their employees to listen to the message.

Posted by Joe Gerard on October 4th, 2010

You might be talking to your employees, but are they listening? One of the toughest challenges facing managers is how to create engaging training programs and get their employees to listen to the message.

Unique solutions are few and far between, but one company in particular has seized the opportunity and is running with it.  Second City Works and RealBiz Shorts have created a solution to the employee engagement question. Keeping in mind that there’s a new generation entering the workforce, the team has developed short 60-90 second videos that MSNBC refers to as “The Office meets YouTube meets your annual Business Ethics 101 seminar.”


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Employee Engagement

Companies can no longer afford to have disengaged employees occupying the workplace. According to a supplemental study from the ERC’s National Business Ethics Survey, employees who observe workplace misconduct are less engaged in their work. Companies that use cost-cutting  tactics such as layoffs and downsizing to cope with the recession also found that their employees were less engaged.

In the BusinessWeek article “Employee Engagement: What It Is and Why You Need It,” Derek Irvine writes:

“The research on the bottom-line benefits of employee engagement is clear: Towers Perrin has found that companies with engaged employees boosted operating income by 19% compared with companies with the lowest percentage of engaged employees, which saw operating income fall 33%.What does that mean in real dollars? For S&P 500 companies, Watson Wyatt reports that a significant improvement in employee engagement increases revenue by $95 million. Watson Wyatt further found that companies with highly engaged employees experienced 26% higher employee productivity, lower turnover risk, greater ability to attract top talent, and 13% higher total returns to shareholders over the last five years.”


RELATED: Engagement Strategies to Reduce Employee Misconduct


Loud and Clear

Many people associate the name “The Second City” with the famous sketch comedy improv group. For the purpose of making the videos, comedians from The Second City are used, bringing a bit of a lighter offering to some very hard-hitting topics.

The videos cut through the clutter to engage employees and get them thinking about their actions in ways that may not be achievable when using other methods. Some people feel that bringing humor to the topic of ethics and compliance discounts the importance of the issue. However, when asking this question to the team at Second City Works/ Real Biz Shorts, they state that humorous messages are more likely to be heard and shared.

When you think about it, when you see something funny or enjoyable, you share it and talk about it; the same applies to the video. Management wants to get employees interested and talking about ethics and compliance. When the message is sent to them in a way they can relate to, it’s more likely to be heard and understood.

Some of the topics covered in the short video clips include:

  • Conflict of Interest
  • Social Media Policy
  • FCPA– Bribery, Corruption
  • Fraud and Business Ethics
  • Code of Conduct Awareness


How are companies integrating the videos into their training and communications? Ronnie mentioned that some of their clients simply send the videos out as a standalone, integrate the videos into presentations, include the videos in monthly newsletters, post them on company intranets and push them to mobile devices (videos are compatible with mobile devices and iPads).

Here’s a clip from a short interview with Ronnie about the videos- Enjoy!

Joe Gerard
Joe Gerard

CEO, i-Sight

Spend my days showing off the i-Sight investigative case management software and finding ways to help clients improve their investigations. Usually working with corporate security, HR & employee relations, compliance and legal teams.

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