Recently we surveyed more than 400 internal communicators, at organizations with at least 1,000 employees. We wanted to find out:
- The top challenges for today’s internal communicators.
- How comms teams are grappling with a changing workplace.
- What tools and strategies comms professionals are using to connect with employees.
Some facts from the report:
- Budgets devoted to internal communications are on the rise
- Measurement and metrics are a top concern for IC professionals
- Comms professionals are now more involved in selecting tech tools that support better engagement
- Comms professionals are still looking for greater levels of authority and recognition
Read on to uncover a deeper analysis of each point.
Internal communications budgets are increasing
Budgets are increasing for internal communications and for employee engagement. The 2019 Internal Communicator Index shows 38% of respondents say their budget for internal comms increased over last year; and 75% are spending more on engagement than they did two years ago.
While bigger budgets do not necessarily determine success, it does indicate that organizations are prioritizing internal communications and crafting better experiences.
Technology is helping internal communications evolve
Instead of being handed tools from IT, communicators are now playing an active role in selecting the tech that will empower them to engage their workforce. The best way to keep employees engaged with your communications is to meet them on their preferred medium and device. Having the right technology tools can ensure that every worker is met on their preferred channel and device. Similarly, companies are using a multichannel approach to reach employees where they are. Organizations are more intergenerational, with certain individuals preferring mobile push notifications or social media and other emails.
Technology can also help communicators measure their performance. When considering new technology, 57% of professionals said they ranked the ability to measure the impact of employee communications on employee engagement as the number one priority. Measuring the impact of your communications will make the difference in meeting your strategic goals and aligning an organization. Luckily, new technology can help you measure and track your success.
Communicators struggle to measure employee engagement
Measuring employee engagement is still a challenge for communications teams.
There are many drivers of engagement, such as company culture, technology, physical office space, and coworkers. While it can be hard to pinpoint what to track to measure engagement, many of our respondents stated that they don’t have a good way to know whether or not employees have even seen or read their content.
Senior leaders still don’t value internal communicators
Internal communicators are still looking for a seat at the table. A shocking 22% of our 2019 respondents are saying that their senior leadership doesn’t value internal comms.
In order to get a seat at the table, communicators will need to connect their communication initiatives with broader organizational goals. This will help show value to leadership and get you a seat at the proverbial table. And, while some budgets are increasing, other internal communication departments are still struggling to get a budget: 16% of our respondents don’t have a dedicated budget for internal communications.
While there is nothing wrong with borrowing from other departments, the lack of a dedicated budget can hinder the ability of professionals to deliver the stories and experiences that can impact employee engagement in a positive way.
Communicators are tasked with alignment, but lack the tools to succeed
Only half of communicators say leaders expect them to get employees aligned on changes. But how could we ever expect employees to be aligned on change if communicators lack authority and budget?
Communicators need to show their strategic value to senior leaders at their companies. Having the right technology tools to measure engagement can help in this area. Keeping an organization aligned is vital and comms professionals need to empower their employees by providing the information necessary to prepare them for change.
The Firstup Communicator Index: What can we learn?
At Firstup we believe that when organizations work as one, and when employees are aligned, companies win. But with today’s dispersed, distributed, and distracted workforce that can be increasingly difficult to accomplish.
Organizations need to focus on how internal communications can contribute to overall alignment and increased employee engagement. As the workforce changes and workers become more distributed and distracted, enterprises will need to rely on communication professionals to keep them on track to meet strategic goals.
If your teams cannot readily receive internal information, then it will be very difficult to get them prepared for change. Investing in the right technology can help ensure that your messages reach every worker where they want to be met. A workforce communications platform can help you measure, engage, and align every worker.