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Why Employee Engagement Matters

At the end of 2018, Blackrock CEO Larry Fink shook up the corporate world with his letter to CEO’s conveying the need to build purpose into their long-term strategies as companies are being pressed to address social and economic issues. So how does a company do this? At our recent quarterly Nevada Corporate Giving Council (NCGC) meeting, generously sponsored by Wynn Resorts, we invited speakers who shared their experience and tips on how companies can build purpose through employee engagement programs. Emily Wofford, Owner and Partner of The Publicity Lab, and Casey Flair, Director of Employee Engagement at Hakkasan Group, spoke with moderator, Christine Maddela, Anchor on Fox 5 News, about the importance of building impactful programs and how they created initiatives to connect team members to the community and to their companies.


Left to right: Emily Wofford, Owner and Partner of The Publicity Lab, and Casey Flair, Director of Employee Engagement at Hakkasan Group, Christine Maddela, Anchor on Fox 5 News

Employee Engagement programs are critical to a corporation’s profitability. Research has shown that when team members are more connected to a company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives, not only do they become an employer of choice and see an increase in retention rates, but their team members also become more productive. This is especially true when millennials are part of a company’s workforce as it helps to build a culture of staying connected to the community and to their workplace. Flair noted that “When Hakkasan employees are encouraged to volunteer, they come back to work energized and feel refreshed and happy.” Maddela interjected that following a volunteer experience, studies reported that 93% of people’s mood improved and 75% felt healthier. 


Casey Flair noted that “When Hakkasan employees are encouraged to volunteer, they come back to work energized and feel refreshed and happy.” Maddela interjected that following a volunteer experience, studies reported that 93% of people’s mood improved and 75% felt healthier.

When creating these programs, it is imperative that companies truly understand not only the unique needs of their community but also of their workforce. At Hakkasan, team members do not work a typical 9-5 schedule and so they are more apt to participate in an event that is scheduled in the afternoon or early evening. Wofford stated that “It is important to have these programs align broadly with the corporation’s mission but also be flexible enough to allow for regional needs and passions.” She also shared how programs such as Employee Resource Groups not only help employees connect to their community, but they help employees connect to each other and leverage talent to build new skills to help members grow in their careers. And all of the speakers stressed that communication is the key – not only getting the message out about the programs but also sharing stories that show their work in action and the impact they are making.

Hakkasan Inspires, the employee engagement program created by Flair, recently raised money to build a school in a village in Ghana. In addition to the corporate support, employees had the ability to also financially contribute to the project. After the school was built, they shared the success story with the team members. An employee reached out to Flair explaining they had not donated to the program initially because they did not understand the magnitude of where the money was going. The employee then shared that when they were a child, they did not go to school because their parents couldn’t afford to send them. They would walk by their local school and look in the window, wishing they had an opportunity to an education. This employee told Flair after seeing the completed school, they are committed to giving to the project from that day forward to help someone get the education that they didn’t have. That employee is now a loyal and happy team member who looks forward to the next community engagement activity. If that is not a great example employee engagement, we don’t know what is!



See other great things you wish we were talking about? Reach out to us via email at heather@moonridgegroup.com, via social media through @MoonridgeGroup on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and use the hashtag #bethechange. We love hearing about the wonderful things going on around us.

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