The issues of engagement at sony

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Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), headquartered in Culver City, CALIFORNIA, It is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of entertainment in more than 140 countries. SPE recorded total sales of $7.6 billion for fiscal year ended March 31, 2010. (Sony Pictures Digital Inc., 2011)

Sony Pictures Entertainment is the television and film production and distribution business of Sony Corporation. The Japanese media conglomerate first moved into the movie business in 1989 when it acquired US film and television production company Columbia Pictures Entertainment from Coca-Cola Enterprises. This was renamed Sony Pictures Entertainment in 1991 and includes the film production business Columbia Tristar. Sony, along with a number of equity partners, went on to acquire Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 2005.

Sony Pictures Entertainment comprises three divisions: a motion picture group, a home entertainment business, and a television business which produces shows such as Seinfeld, Dawson's Creek and Dragons' Den, and owns more than 50 television networks in over 100 countries.


Sony pictures is one of the most successful companies in the history but it is said "that nothing is perfect" and the same applies for the company also, the company is perfect and going great there is a workforce which leads the company there and that workforce work without a pause to get the company to that place and you have to sacrifice something to achieve something that happened with the employees of Sony Pictures due to the excess work load and stress the company got into the phase of lack of employee engagement.

What, exactly, do we mean by engagement?

" Engagement measures the level of connection employees feel with their employer as demonstrated by their willingness and ability to help their company succeed. Largely, it comes by providing discretionary effort on a sustained basis. Levels of employee engagement within an organization can also be measured using employee surveys." (Cook, 2008)

The employees felt ignored and not a part of organization which in turn lower their morale and they don't work for the benefit of the organization but for their self interest which in turn reduces their efficiency level as they don't give their 100% to work and the rate of staff turnover will increase.

This normally is due to the absence of EQ in the employees towards the company which is caused because of the intense and formal working environment in the organization.

Reasons for choosing the issue:

This is a serious problem which can lead to decline in the company's growth as well as profitability as efficiency of employees towards the organization is the key factor for a company's success and if that is missing inside an employee then the organization will suffer as they will not give their 100% and work for their self interest not for the organization which can lead to a lot of problems like staff turnover, employees not committed with the organization can leak any information for money or can join the competitors.

It has been found out that the companies with a lower employee engagement had a 33% annual decline in operating income and an 11% annual decline in earnings growth. And those with high engagement on the other hand reported a 19% increase in operating income and 28% growth in earning per share.(Towers Perrin,2007)

Which is quite a lot for a company like Sony Pictures and we cannot just wait for the situation to arise and after that take action.

Communication methods:

The following are the communication methods used:

Articles: (Schwartz, 2010) (Lovewell, 2008)

Newspaper: (Schwartz, 2010)

Market survey: (Towers, 2007), (White, 2011)

Website: (Sony Pictures Digital Inc., 2011)

Source: Towers Perrin survey

This comprehensive survey of 90,000 employees from mid- to large-sized organizations in 18 countries across all global regions measured the level of engagement of employees and the impact of their engagement on company performance. Just look at exhibit 2A to see the dramatic bottom-line impact engaged employees can have.

Towers Perrin found a significant engagement gap, which it describes as: "the difference between the discretionary effort that employers need for competitive advantage and employers' ability to elicit this effort from a significant portion of their workforce."

Source: Towers Perrin survey

Employees need to be noticed, recognized and appreciated for their efforts. This is clearly a universal human need regardless of global location or culture. Showing interest can be demonstrated in so many ways - acknowledging performance, appreciating effort, even just saying thank you for a job well done. But clearly many are failing to follow even such simply steps.

"Only one out of every five workers today is giving full discretionary effort on the job, and this 'engagement gap' poses serious risks for employers because of the strong connection between employee engagement and company financial performance."

Development of communication methods:

After taking a look at the report presented to the MD bout the issue he wanted me to go for one more method in order to get a clearer view of the situation that is he wanted to call upon a meeting of all the department heads and top management to discuss the problem with them and note the details along with their views for the same issue and take the views about the problem about each of departments from their heads. (Yadav, 2010)

I went for the same and called up a meeting with all the members stated by the MD and prepared the meeting minutes and presented to him in order to satisfy him and provide him with a more clearer view, the meeting resulted into monitoring process that was decided to be conducted inside the organization by the department heads in their departments and provide the feedback, everything went accordingly and the feedback was collected from each of the department heads, the results were quite shaking as they reported that 90% of the employees were facing the problem and only 10% of them were committed seriously towards their organization all this was the result of communication gap between the staff and the management and a lack of praising and personal touch or in simple terms we can say that a lack of emotional quotient(EQ) between the employees and the managers.

The employees were not given credit for anything neither were praised for their work and no friendly environment in the office didn't let them to link with the organization.

Applying skinner theory of behaviour to support the issue:

B.F. Skinner is a famed psychologist associated with behaviourism. In general, behaviourism is the idea that human beings respond predictably to stimuli, and those who control those stimuli control the person. There is no free will as commonly conceived, only responses to perceived pleasures and pains. The basic idea, therefore, is that if you want to treat irrational behaviours, you must make certain that the irrational behaviour is punished and the rational (opposing and opposite) behaviour rewarded. Over time, the irrational behaviour will disappear, because it eventually conditions the agent to realize that such behaviours lead to pain (Johnson, 2011)

The theory explains that the behaviour of an employee is control by an external stimulus that can be anything and it responses to pleasures and pains such is the condition with the employees of Sony Pictures where there is a lack of external stimulus which makes the employee to behave in such manner where there is no internal connection of it with the organization and that need to be resolved somehow.


The above case is meant to provide the MD with proper information about the issue persisting inside the organization which can lead to a decline in the company, it is related to the employees of the organization that how too much of stress and formal work environment prevent the employees to link with the organization and form a strong bonding of loyalty which leads to a better performance.

The case is supported by several communication methods used by me and theory which explains how behaviour links with the external stimuli which is followed by the development in the communication method which was suggested by the MD which was a meeting within the organization with all the department heads, and executives in order to discuss if the problem is pertaining which was followed by a process of monitoring and feedback from all the department heads about their employees and their commitment towards the organization.

It gave unexpected results and the MD was surprised to see such a low employee engagement inside the organization, this case also links the employee engagement issue to the annual decline in the annual income and annual growth which clearly states that it is directly affecting the company performance.

So with the above information about the issue which I have provided to make the MD aware about the problem so that he can take appropriate action and stop it before creates any further problem inside the company.


Cook, S., 2008. The Essential Guide to Employee Engagement. Kopan Page.

Johnson, W., 2011. Skinner's Behavioural Theory. Demand Media Inc..

Lovewell, D., 2008. Employer profile: Sony Pictures Entertainment. Employee Benefit.

Schwartz, T., 2010. The Productivity Paradox: How Sony Pictures Gets More Out of People by Demanding Less. Business Exchange.

Schwartz, T., 2010. The Productivity Pradox: how Sony pictures gets more out of people by demanding less. Harvard Business Review.

Sony Pictures Digital Inc., 2011. Sony Pictures. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 1st May 2011].

Yadav, J.P., 2010. Employee Enagagement. Internal Report. Sony Pictures.

Perrin, Towers, 2007. Global Workforce Study: Closing the engagement Gap. Market Survey. Towers Perrin.

White, Blessings, 2011. Employee Engagement ReportĀ 2011. Market Research. BlessingsWhite Research.