Ep16: Employee Engagement Live with Nancy Vaddi

There has been a history for storytelling – from the traditional way to the new generation.   Storytelling is taking a big leap as it reflects on how people understand, learn and deliver through storytelling.


Since we have grown and learned things with stories it becomes much easier for us to connect and remember. Though the mediums have changed, the concept of using a sequence of events has remained the same.


Nancy Vaddi is the Vice President, Marketing & Communications at Accenture. Prior to her 8-year stint with Accenture, she worked with ING Life Insurance, Citibank and HP.

Across a career spanning 18+ years, she’s worked in various roles in marketing and corporate communication.

How to make your people the best storytellers in their own lives? So they can be the best storytellers in yours.


Do you want to take your organization from good to great? If so then this is for you. Productivity increase, improved performance will all result when employees are engaged and feel valued.

The best way to grow your company is to get the most out of the people you have. 

Let us begin with the understanding of Nancy’s view on Employee Engagement

Employee Engagement is completely to have the employees synergized with the brand. The brand has to be established by talents and the best way to connect with human beings is to connect with storytelling.


In general, we have people coming in from diverse industries –  could be from startups to large companies – the storytelling helps to cut across irrespective of the industry.  It all matters on how well the brand indulges and invests in the art.

How has it evolved?

Very interesting point highlighted by Nancy was that earlier employees bearing the brand voice than brand endorsing ….

It is all about giving the space to employees to lose control within the boundaries – primarily relating to letting people talk about what they want to say. This happens when they lose control.


Losing control on narrative – Nancy’s view is it has not been or she hasn’t experienced the extreme negative stories impact. 

The challenge has always been with the very technical career grown in skills. They break it down that the audience finds it difficult to gather the piece of information delivered completely. 

The organizations can look out for sharpening the communication skills. 

How mental wellbeing is connected with employee engagement

The key aspects to employee engagement is no longer the same list of compensation, safety and so on – employees look for more social and psychological connect and no longer boardroom conversation.

Given the pandemic, Mental wellbeing takes center stage and to the point where employee engagement equates to a sense of belonging. It is essential to understand and accept who we are talking to.

To make it connect better, it is always good to drive the engagement with the sense of purpose be it eternal community or internal. For instance, If an Organization plans to work on a campaign, have a cause spread among the people signing in.

Let us get in more interesting and look for part of employee engagement

The challenges faced during the initial phase of pandemic and how it evolved – it has never been a cake walk in getting all the employees on the single platform.  In the pandemic, it started quite intense where most leaders in communication have earned themselves a bunch of grey hair and dark circles.

Communication has always and will continue to play a significant part in the system. Crisis communication is what was witnessed and it shot us up and made us realize how important it is to communicate with the organization. 

How do we stay motivated?

We have moved on and the problem has sailed leaving with the new set of new problems is how to balance the family while working at home. While we try to keep up the morale of our employee, the immediate family who is also working in the environment may not have as much space as we give – so the family and environment is back to where we started.  

 To stay motivated the best solution is  – Listening

Create a platform be it open or paid or vendor. The idea is to keep listening. Technology is taking a front row in making this happen. Now is the time to make use of technology as much as possible. 

What should be the employee engagement strategies post lockdown?

Many companies are working on getting back to the office. It will be a challenge as work from home has given us a set of comfort that will be difficult to comprise. At the same time, employees miss the office environment connecting with the team and activities be it having a cup of coffee with their colleague and gossiping on what is happening.

Remote working happened organically not by choice, by default. Undoing this is critical as for many it will shake their comfort zone. 

Now the challenge is to have two different strategies – hybrid models. The strategies to be created keeping in mind that the control has changed from employer to employee.

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