President Kennedy visits NASA in 1963, the source of the famous employee engagement story

President Kennedy visits NASA in 1963, the source of the famous employee engagement story

HRreview is this week taking an in-depth look at employee engagement. The issue is currently squarely at the forefront of the HR arena, as more and more companies become aware that in order to offer a perfect service to their customers, they have to make sure they are fostering a positive workforce.

There is a famous story of President Kennedy touring the NASA HQ in Florida in 1963 and asking a cleaner what he was doing. “Helping to put a man on the moon Mr President,” the cleaner replied. This story is often given as an example of top down employee engagement, but this level is often difficult to achieve for many organisations.

Recent polls

The plain truth of the matter is that despite the spotlight that is being placed on the issue, many polls fail to show a majority of workers feeling engaged in their jobs. One recent survey for Gallup found that only 32 percent of employees felt engaged in their work, while 17.2 percent of those surveyed were found to be ‘actively disengaged’. These figures reflected very little improvement from 2014, when the same question was asked.

Here on the HRreview website and in the Employee Engagement Special Edition, exclusively sponsored by The Survey Initiative, we will be posting some of the best analysis and insight into the current state of employee engagement in the United Kingdom.


Over the next week will be hearing from Andy Campbell from Oracle, a self-styled HR-evangelist, who will speak of the benefits of analytics and cloud based technology and the influence it can have on engagement. We will also hear from Gary Cattermole, director of The Survey Initiative, who will consider the changing challenges faced by millennial generation fathers.

Later in the week we will hear from Dominique Jones, chief people officer at Halogen Software, who will advise on the best ways to bridge the gap between staff feedback and performance management. John Sylvester, director at P&MM Motivation, will proffer tips on ways that HR engagement practice can be influenced for the better by marketing professionals.

There will also be much more, so look forward to an engaging week of content.






Robert joined the HRreview editorial team in October 2015. After graduating from the University of Salford in 2009 with a BA in Politics, Robert has spent several years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past he has been part of editorial teams at Flux Magazine, Mondo*Arc Magazine and The Marine Professional.