A year into the pandemic, employees aren’t “returning” to work—they’re redefining it. In this charged environment, the dual role of the workforce as both audience and advocate has never been more crucial. Whether these key stakeholders work on the front line, in the back office or what may now be a permanent home office, employee engagement is more essential than ever to business performance and brand reputation.

I recently participated on a PRWeek Convene panel moderated by PRWeek Managing Editor Gideon Fidelzeid along with Ketchum client Joshua Thomas, VP of Communications for Target, and Soon Mee Kim, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, OPRG. We explored the ongoing changes caused by the pandemic, why companies need to embrace and reinvent the employee experience and how to leverage the powerful internal influencers who shape employee engagement and retention.

Below is a short clip of some of our insights, including findings from Ketchum’s New Essentials: Working Lessons from a Year in the Pandemic study, which explores the dramatic shifts in what employees want from their company.

Please reach out or download our full study if you would like to find out more.

Tamara is partner and managing director for Ketchum’s Employee Communications & Engagement specialty. She collaborates closely with clients to create and deploy corporate reputation campaigns and believes that all strong reputation programs begin inside.