December 2, 2021

A Whole New World of Employee Engagement: Ep. 18 of Red Sky Fuel for Thought Podcast

by Aalastair Sibley in News

What You’ll Learn in This Episode: 

  • Different ways companies are driving connection in a hybrid work environment 
  • How the 3 P’s (pandemic, polarizing politics, and protests around social justice) have changed employee engagement and internal communications 
  • Why communicating with HEAT (Humanity, Empathy, Accountability and Transparency) is imperative 
  • How to act on mission and purpose through interactions with employees and stakeholders  


As offices closed and sent workers into an unfamiliar remote environment amid the height of the pandemic, internal communications rapidly became more essential — and more human — than ever before. This is according to Red Havas’s recent white paper, A Whole New World of Employee Engagement, which features interviews from top internal communicators worldwide to bring forth five key findings about the new era of employee engagement. 

In this episode, Red Havas’ Linda Descano, CFA, is joined by Rebecca Reffell, strategy director at Havas People and Kathryn Reichert, director of employee communications at Equitable to dive into these findings and discuss how current events have combined to change perceptions about employee engagement, internal communications, and company purpose. 


“A strategy should seek to connect employees to the mission and vision of where they’re working, connect employees to senior leaders, and connect employees to each other,” says Kathryn. “Internal comms have become more honest, more direct, and more of a partner to employees rather than just pushing out information.” 

Says Rebecca, “Purpose is really important to people. Engagement from employees increases when they’re able to make a strong connection between company’s purpose and what they do on a day-to-day basis.”


To round out the discussion, both of our guests reflected on their personal experiences and offered advice for communicators and brand marketers going into 2022.  

“Make sure that your brand, both internally and externally, reflects your mission, vision and values,” says Kathryn. “Make sure that it really speaks for who you are as a company.”  

Says Rebecca, “We must always ask, what does this mean to the people we’re trying to communicate with? These people are not just employees; they’re humans. What do they need and want out of this situation? I think internal communications has a great opportunity to connect with other parts of the business that influence employee engagement and employee experience.” 


The episode wraps with Red Havas VP of Social & Content Nancy Anderson and our Red Questionnaire guest Steve Fontanot, managing director at Red Havas AU and Havas Blvd. Their conversation spans many topics, including his go-to show or podcast (other than this one, of course!), his favorite travel destination (Thailand) and how he describes his job to his family. 

“There are some days where I count lots of numbers, and there are some days I get to look at some really cool videos,” says Steve on the latter. “The part I love the most [about my job] is finding interesting stories to share with people.” 

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