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Employee engagement
Employee engagement

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Activity 1.3 Why engagement?

Activity 3

Timing: Allow around 90 minutes


Purpose: to look in more detail at the claims made for employee engagement and reasons why it is considered particularly important to contemporary businesses. We shall do this by examining the objectives and findings of the MacLeod Report.

Task A

Begin by exploring the  MacLeod commission report [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

You will find it useful to examine it in full; although it is a lengthy document it is presented in a digestible form and there are a number of useful case studies.

Task B

Independent commentary on the report and its findings are found in the online version of HR magazine. Read the article and click through the related links.

Task C

Reflect and make notes about the following questions:

  • The report offers a number of enablers for improving employee engagement in the workplace. What are these?
  • Consider their relevance to your workplace. How might they be applied?
  • Do you think they offer a route for increasing levels of engagement in your organisation?
  • More generally, do you think these principles are universally applicable?


The MacLeod report identifies four enablers as being particularly relevant for engagement:

  • Leadership is necessary to provide a narrative about organisational purpose and how employees can contribute to this purpose.
  • Engaging managers should facilitate and empower rather than control or restrain.
  • Voice represents the central role of employees in providing views that are listened to and acted upon.
  • Integrity describes a situation where behaviour is consistent with values which lead to trust.

As with Activity 1.1, everyone’s organisational experiences will differ. The question is whether the presence (or otherwise) of these enablers is seen as leading to high levels of engagement. Were you able to provide illustrations for each of the enablers in practice?