Internal communications have a huge impact on employee engagement, happiness, and profitability. We wanted to find out more about internal communications strategies and execution within companies, as well as how their employees perceive these efforts. We ran a survey at the end of 2016 across a diverse selection of company sizes and management styles—and the results are in.
We weren’t surprised that most of the employees we surveyed believe internal communications are important—about 80% rated these efforts as extremely impactful. This confirms that workforces fully understand the power of internal communications—and appreciate a job well done.
However, not all employers deliver. According to our survey, 47% of participants rated their companies’ internal communications efforts as average or below average. This is a surprisingly high number when it seems so clear that everyone understands the value of internal communications.
This result aligns closely to another predominant answer we found—4 in 10 participants were less than satisfied with their company’s efforts to keep them engaged and motivated at work.
We also took a look which types of content performed best. Our survey asked how satisfied employees were with their employers’ content in the following areas:
The results were close—but employees were the most satisfied with content relevant to internal events. They rated that content an average of 3.5 out of 5. They were slightly less satisfied with information related to company news—at 3.2 out of 5—and employee recognition, at 3.0 out of 5.
The differences are slight, but it’s still noteworthy that employees rated recognition in the lowest category—when this topic is the most directly tied to engagement and performance.
Finally, we took a closer look at how companies deliver their communications strategy. A surprisingly high number of employees—approximately 65%—believed their company’s delivery method was average or below average.
One result that stood out to us was that only 54% of respondents said their employers used digital screens throughout their offices to deliver internal communications—and only 33% used a mobile app. This signals to us that many companies may be relying on older, less cutting-edge methods—such as email and Intranet—when their workforce expects more of a digital and mobile strategy.
The results might be less positive than employers would hope for, but we see these results as an opportunity. Companies have the chance to boost engagement significantly by switching to more innovative means of communication, especially if they have a large millennial workforce that expects mobile and digital engagement.
We’re excited to share these results with the industry and distribute this survey across our global network of contacts. We also hope to encourage conversations surrounding how internal communications can evolve. We’ve seen first-hand that these efforts have a huge positive effect on work environments, motivation, and performance—and employers who do it well reap the benefits.
In 2017, we’ll release another survey to a larger employee base—to gain more in-depth understanding of a number of these topics. It will be a great opportunity to compare data and gauge how the industry is moving forward.
If you would like to be part of our upcoming survey, help distribute it to colleagues and peers, or find out more about the methodology of our existing survey, please contact Signet at firstname.lastname@example.org.