Employee Activism

Employee Power – Activists on Your Payroll


At our Chicago Rise & Shine Event, attendees discussed their empowered employees and the importance of CEO and employee activism. At this June Internal Comms Pro event, we welcomed Sharon McIntosh and Shaun Slattery to discuss the importance of making your employees feel heard and utilizing the correct tool – your intranet – to do so.

This event included two speakers:

This event’s IC Pro Panel included:

Let’s highlight some of our favorite IC Pro Tips from our incredible Chicago speakers!

IC Pro Tips:

1. Put yourself in your employees’ shoes

Your employees share their opinions with the world on a daily basis. In this politically-charged climate, company scandals are breaking out left and right. Employees demand to feel heard and have their needs addressed.

This event’s keynote speaker, Sharon McIntosh, discussed the right way to communicate with your employee activists before a small problem blows up into a national scandal.

In today’s Twitter-sphere, companies will have an increasing problem in staying neutral. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

The Google Walkout, for example, was employees gathering to make a difference because they didn’t feel that their company was addressing the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace.

If Google had invested in tools that measure contemporary employee sentiment and quickly addressed their workforce, maybe the situation could’ve played out differently.

McIntosh recommends using tools like the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer to measure the trust that your employees have in your company to do what is right.

2. Your Intranet is a storefront – make it a memorable and easy experience

On the verge of a fourth industrial revolution, this is an exciting time to be a leader in cultivating your company’s culture. The strongest tool you have can be the biggest pain. Shaun Slattery joined us for a Fireside Chat to talk about learning to love your hated intranet.

The intranet is a home base where your employees refer to for the #1 source of truth, secure access, and for accessible, important documents. But if not used correctly, your intranet can be a mess of secure documents that your employees cannot navigate.

To create a strategy for a portal that provides your employees with relevant resources, Slattery suggests thinking of the three T’s:

  • Technology – low IT dependency
  • Training – essential for ongoing enhancements
  • Teamwork – core team driven by results

Your intranet should have active senior leadership presence. If your CEO or department heads don’t utilize the intranet, why should everyone else?

At the end of the day, it’s important to get your employees on board with utilizing your intranet on a daily basis. If that means A/B testing different content pieces from your intranet or sending out email blasts, Slattery suggests trying to integrate your intranet into your employee’s daily routine.

3. Effective communications are professional, deliberate, and impactful

When creating your outline for your employee communications, it’s important to plan and prioritize what’s important.

One of our IC Pro Panelists, Kristen Campos, suggests creating communications with deliberate processes. When asked about employee activism, Campos and her team like to motivate positive sharing from Mars employees.

We encourage our employees to share great internal stories to their personal social networks.

Kristen Campos, Sr. Director, Strategic Business Communications, Mars Wrigley Confectionary

We had a wonderful time in Chicago and would love to hear more of our #ICPros’ takeaways. Tweet @InternalCommsPro and use the hashtags #ICPro or #RiseandShine to share your experience.


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