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7 Tips to Guide Employee Activism

Working together, HR and communications professionals can help steer their companies through the new reality of employee activism.

What You Said: Employee Activism Survey Results

By Matthew Mitschang

Most companies do not have a plan in place for employee activism, most believe they are at moderate risk of a negative employee activist event, and most believe they do a good job communicating their company values to employees. Those were among the results from a recent self-selected online survey of human resources and employee communication professionals.

The survey was conducted by Paul Barton Communications to learn more about the rapidly growing trend of employee activism and HR and communication professionals representing 44 companies participated.

Many of the questions aimed to figure out if the companies these employees worked for communicated the values of their company effectively and if they released a corporate responsibility report highlighting the good works they do in the community. More than 40 survey respondents (or 91 percent) said their company did effectively communicate its values to their employees and 24 participants (or 55 percent) said their company did release a report. This shows that many companies are already broadly communicating their company values.

While survey participants believe company values are being communicated well, many companies may be unprepared for employee activism that results in employee protests or walk-outs. Twenty-five respondents (or 57 percent) said they do not have an employee activism response plan and another 12 (or 27 percent) weren’t sure. Only seven (or 15 percent) reported that they had a plan in place.

The breakdown of the nine-question survey is below. The findings of the survey are being used to help inform a major article Paul Barton Communications is developing on employee activism. Thanks to everyone who participated in the survey!

Issues including gender equality, LGBTQ+ rights, climate change, immigration, anti-capitalism, universal healthcare, and automation of jobs, ensure that employee activism is here to stay. And, in the run-up to the presidential election in the U.S., those issues will be top of mind for many throughout the coming year.

We welcome your thoughts on this important issue. Please post your thoughts in the comment box below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR — Matthew Mitschang is studying Marketing Communications at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff and he helped with this survey and wrote this article as an intern for Paul Barton Communications.

Communicating with Employees During a Crisis

crisis communication employees

Communicating with employees during a crisis is crucial to recovery. I was honored to be quoted along with thought leader Shel Holtz in this comprehensive article on the subject by Valene Jouany at