Employee engagement

Employee engagement champions


Identifying and establishing employee engagement champions in different departments or teams throughout your business can help sow the seeds for further employee engagement throughout the rest of your organisation. Employee engagement champions, when given the responsibility and ownership to drive engagement, can help build a culture of engagement that can deliver positive results for your business including increased productivity, more efficient processes, and better performance.

Role of engagement champions

Employee engagement champions have a key role in linking managers with the ideas and experiences of employees. The role of employee engagement champions can be as narrow or as broad as you like. You could ask them to focus on one particular issue or you could give them a broader remit.

The scope of the employee engagement champion role is up to you but there are some key aspects:

  • helping to share information and key messages about the business with colleagues
  • seeking examples and proof points of good practice from colleagues
  • collecting feedback or issues from employees and presenting this to management to address and action

The role of engagement champion is not time-consuming. It would be a voluntary or additional part of an employee's job but in order to encourage uptake you could highlight how the role would help to develop some key skills.

Engagement champions: key qualities

Employee engagement champions need to be willing and enthusiastic. They should already understand the importance of engagement and are keen to help the business improve. They could be in any area and at any level of the business.

The key qualities of engagement champions are:

  • understanding of engagement - what it means and its business benefits
  • enthusiasm and energy for the subject or area that they will be the engagement champion for
  • knowledge of the business and the people in their area
  • connections and credibility among their colleagues
  • confidence to deal with others and facilitate productive discussions on behalf of the organisation
  • confidence to handle feedback, whether positive or negative, on behalf of the organisation

Preparation for engagement champions

Employee engagement champions need information and guidance to help them in their role. This will also help you ensure shared understanding and consistency of approach across the business. Some core steps to consider are:

  • a briefing pack for each employee engagement champion
  • a short training session or workshop
  • if you have an intranet create a private section where engagement champions can liaise with each other and share experiences, questions, and best practice

Employee engagement briefing pack

In the employee engagement briefing pack you could include:

  • a letter from you explaining the importance of the role and thanking them for taking it on
  • a summary sheet on the importance and benefits of engagement - see advantages of employee engagement
  • a summary of the key activities that will be required to foster staff engagement
  • a copy of the business strategy and business values
  • contact details for other engagement champions and other colleagues they may need to liaise or partner with - eg people running internal communications or other employee networks

Making employee engagement happen

To help shape and embed employee engagement champions in everyday practice you could:

  • discuss the idea with other senior managers and gain overall agreement to the approach
  • involve colleagues from HR or communications - if you have them - to help delegate or share some tasks and responsibilities
  • contact each champion so they understand the importance of their role and are inspired
  • contact each champion's manager to gain their support
  • ask one of the champions to coordinate and report back to you

For further ideas, see how to encourage engagement in your business.