Internal communication has evolved into an element that is crucial for organisational success in the sense that it underpins organisational effectiveness. Internal communication has become a precursor for organisational existence. This growing importance has led to internal communication becoming a pressing issue for organisations as they strive to achieve employee engagement and organisational effectiveness (Welch & Jackson, 2007; Welch, 2012; Welch, 2013). Employee engagement has become a concern for leaders in public, private and voluntary organisations. The concept of employee engagement generally refers to the extent to an individual employee is psychologically present in a particular organisational role (Saks, 2006:601). Internal communication provides an avenue through which elements of employee engagement takes place within an organisation. Furthermore, internal communication affects the ability of strategic managers to engage employees (Welch & Jackson, 2007).
Literature points to a relationship between internal communication and employee engagement, listing internal communication as one of the key drivers of employee engagement. Research has presented convincing evidence for links between effective internal communication and employee engagement (Welch, 2008:489). To validate these links, this study investigated the role played by internal communication in the achievement of employee engagement using a case study design within a South African government department. There is dearth in literature on the relationship between internal communication and employee engagement, particularly in relation to public sector organisations. Public sector organisations are undergoing a transformation in their style of management which led to governmental institutions increasingly being conducted like businesses where managers play a central role and client services aspect is gaining attention (Tampere, n.d.)
Previous research conducted on communication have focused on communication being the predictor of job satisfaction and improved employee morale. This study calls for a stakeholder approach in the implementation of internal communication for the achievement of employee engagement. The study moves from a premise that if employees perceive information they receive as being of quality and reliable, communication to be two-way, experience positive communication climate, perceive leadership communication to be supportive, and organisational culture to be participative, they will feel more engaged while conducting their organisational roles. These employees will demonstrate vigour, dedication and absorption at work.
Data collection was done through a survey among a sample of 300 sample of employees within the selected Department. The measuring instrument was divided into seven section wherein employees had to indicate their experience with constructs of internal communication as well as employee engagement. The instrument items were based on the hypotheses formulated in line with the study objectives.
In line with the literature that identifies internal communication as one of the key drivers of employee engagement, the findings of this study support these assertions. The study found that internal communication indeed contributes to the achievement of employee engagement, since correlations were found between the constructs of internal communication and employee engagement.
Mini Dissertation (MCom)--University of Pretoria, 2017.