British Gas ‘engagement champions’ to improve communications

A way of improving staff engagement and communication at no extra cost was unveiled by British Gas Business at the Great Place to Work Institute event.

Claire Posaner, HR director for the business-to-business energy supplier, told Personnel Today that her team of ‘engagement champions’ – staff members who volunteer to work with internal departments to reinforce HR campaigns – played a large part in the firm making the top 50.

“They really are part of the more official internal communications and engagement teams that we’ve got in place,” she said.

The engagement champions work without extra pay to drive employee engagement through surveys, ideas groups, and by ensuring messages get through to senior executives and rank-and-file staff.

“This role is not financially incentivised,” said Posaner. “But we do offer public recognition, and they attended the awards ceremony dinner, as they had a huge hand in helping us attain the title.

“I think the system gives HR teams an opportunity to really hear from the people, so there is a two-way communication street through meetings.

Posaner said the volunteer force, which is made up of less than 1% of the organisation’s 2,200 employees, ensured HR campaigns reached all workers.

“They can really work down to the lowest levels of the organisation, people on the front line dealing on the phones and e-mails with our customers every single day,” she said.

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