NEW YORK—Edelman has hired Cydney Roach as the US lead for employee engagement. Roach will oversee Edelman’s 40-person US employee engagement practice and will be responsible for advising organizations on large-scale transformation, helping clients leverage emerging technology for employee advocacy, and redefining the firm’s approach to change management.

Roach most recently consulted on performance improvement at Ernst & Young. She has also held leadership positions in human capital consulting at Deloitte and EY, as a creative director at BBDO and Saatchi & Saatchi, and as senior vice president of strategy at RAPP.

According to Edelman’s US chief operating officer Julianna Richter, the firm is seeing “unprecedented interest” in employee engagement “across all sectors and across all clients. They are interested in recruiting and on-boarding, they are interested in the kind of technologies they should be using to reach employees, they are interested in cultural transformation and managing change, they are interested in organizational design.”

For that reason, Richter says, Edelman was looking for someone “who had a breadth and depth of experience in all of these areas, a blend of consulting experience and creative background.” In some cases, she added, Roach will lead Edelman teams working alongside traditional management consulting firms, but in other instances the firm may be handling all aspects of employee engagement itself—from post-merger integration work to organizational design.

“It depends on the client and how they are structured,” Richter says. “But we feel we are in a unique positon to help them address all of these challenges.”

Roach said she has been “obsessed with understanding how culture and employee engagement” impact corporate performance. “If you look at the pace of change and the need to create value much more quickly, the employee is where the rubber really hits the road. If you don’t have the right culture in place, and you don’t have the right kind of employee experience, the job becomes so much more difficult.

“Everybody is talking about innovation. Innovation is not the result of the strategy; it’s the end result of culture.”

She said she was excited about expanding and transforming the employee practice at Edelman in part because of the toolkit at her disposal. “Edelman today is about digital, it’s about brand, it’s about analytics. They have all the ingredients we need to create real experiences for clients.”

In many ways, she said, Edelman has creative resources that are not always available at consulting firms. “You can’t expect people to change if you’re boring them to death,” she said.

Edelman and DJE Science Employee Engagement clients include: AstraZeneca, Dignity Health, VW and World Bank