CHICAGO—Following the recent departure of employee communications guru Gary Grates, Edelman has made changes to the approach, capabilities, and services offered by its global employee engagement practice.

The practice will be led by Edelman veteran Christopher Hannegan, executive vice president in Chicago, and Nick Howard, director in London, who are being promoted to practice chair roles for the US and EMEA respectively. They will work together to ensure a consistent global approach across centers of employee engagement excellence in Chicago, London, Los Angeles, and New York.

Edelman’s new approach focuses on establishing and propelling three connections: connecting employees with the company, connecting employees with each other, and connecting employees with the outside world. Through these connections, organizations can deepen engagement, increase trust, and positively impact their business and reputation.

The changes in approach are based on the findings from Edelman’s 2012 Trust Barometers, which revealed that 50 percent of respondents view regular employees as credible sources of information about their company (up 16 points from 2011), demonstrating that in addition to driving business performance, effective employee engagement can contribute to a more favorable external reputation as well.