Are you struggling to connect and engage with your employees? We’ve gathered in this blog post 10 stats that will help you find the pain points that may be slowing down your internal communications.
Internal communication is the cornerstone of every organization. No matter how big your business is, you need to have a strong communications strategy in place.
📘Download our free eBook “The #NoSearching Revolution” and learn more about the way communications — including internal communications — are evolving.
Your internal communication has a direct impact on employee productivity, collaboration across the organization, the employee experience you deliver, employee motivation, and employee engagement.
Put differently, your internal communications strategy has a tremendous impact on your business’ health overall!
Technologies and new habits are shaking up the communications world — we want information to find us rather than having to look for it.
We don’t want to be distracted by irrelevant information.
We now expect to receive instant and personalized information. We want to start discussions and be more influential.
Companies want to be part of this change.
But they’re not there yet.
Emails, company intranets or printed magazines are not the best channels to drive employee engagement.
10 Astonishing Stats on Internal Communications
To meet employees' expectations, businesses need to rethink their internal communications plan overall.
Here are ten reasons why:
1. 60% of companies don't have a long-term strategy for their internal communications
No matter how big your company is — large or small — you need to have a long-term plan for your internal communications!
Of course, you may need to review your strategy or even redefine it later on — but you need to know what information you’re going to share internally and how you’re going to share it to your employees.
Basically, you need to know where you’re heading!
Your internal communications strategy should include key steps such as:
- Conducting an audit to understand your organizational structure and your employees’ needs when it comes to employee communications
- Setting clear and measurable objectives: do you want to keep your employees informed, to improve engagement, or help employees find meaning at work?
- Defining the messages and information you want to share to your employees
- Segmenting your internal audiences — you may not need to share the same information to your entire workforce!
- Choosing the channels you’re going to use to communicate with your employees. Are you going to keep using the company intranet, start sending out interactive newsletters or implement an employee communications app?
- Choosing the type of content you’re going to share internally. Are you going to share reports, infographics, videos or even podcasts?
- Measuring the adoption and engagement driven by your internal communications strategy.
Your strategy won’t be perfect but don’t worry! Once you’ve launched your internal communications strategy, you’ll need to assess it on a regular basis to continuously improve it.
After all, internal communication is an ongoing process!
2. Only 13% of employees use their intranets on a daily basis
Ah Intranets! What would we do without them?
Quite a lot actually.
Most of company intranets tend to be outdated or not that easy to use. As a result, employees may use it less often until they stop using them!
Indeed, 31% of the employees surveyed by Prescient Digital Media admitted that they have never used their intranets!
If you want to drive adoption, you’ll need to make internal communications a bit more engaging and entertaining!
Employees care about the user experience when it comes to apps and softwares, so make sure you take it into account when you choose the channels you're about to use for your employee communications.
Related: Intranet Definition, Disadvantages and More Efficient Alternatives
You can keep asking your employees to connect to the company intranet, but that option may not bring great results in terms of adoption and engagement.
Instead, you may want to change the internal communications channels you’re using at the moment to make employee communications more fun.
For example, you may want to launch an employee communications app where employees can consume engaging content such as videos, infographics or short posts, personalize their news feed and react to the company news!
3. 74% of employees have the feeling they are missing out on company news
When information doesn’t flow, your employees get confused!
It is quite frustrating when you’re not informed about the latest company news or hear about the changes your organization is going through from your colleagues, isn’t it?
No one likes to feel they are the last ones to hear about the company news.
Employees may even feel excluded from the organization because of poor internal communications.
As a result, their productivity may go down and they may feel disengaged.
Related: What Is the True Cost of Poor Employee Communication?
4. 72% of employees don't have a full understanding of the company's strategy
The lack of understanding of the company’s strategy is a direct consequence of poor employee communications.
When your employees are not aware of what’s happening in the organization, they can’t really have a comprehensive understanding of your business overall.
Think about it: how can your employees know where your business is heading if they don’t know what’s happening right now?
Quantified Communications found that businesses as small as 100 employees spend on average 17 hours a week clarifying unclear communication which translates to an annual cost of at least $525,000!
That’s quite alarming, right?
5. Employee productivity increases by 20 to 25% in organizations where employees are connected
Did you know that employees spend on average 2.5 hours a day looking for the information they need to do their jobs?
When employees struggle to find the information they need, their productivity drops.
You need to make sure that your internal communications strategy enhances information flows between departments, but also within teams.
Your employees need to know what information they need to do their job, where to find it, and to whom they ask for guidance.
Related: 5 Ways Effective Internal Communication Can Boost Employee Productivity
Without a great internal communication in place, employees can’t coordinate their efforts in an effective way.
At the end of the day, it’s your entire business that may suffer from low employee productivity.
Productivity loss costs the U.S. a whopping $550 billion each year, so you may want to make sure that your internal communications strategy enhances collaboration across your organization!
6. Only 23% of executives say that their companies are excellent at aligning employees’ goals with corporate purposes
When it comes to employer branding, way too many businesses still focus only on the way their external audiences — mostly candidates and top talent — perceive them as employers.
However, you need to develop your employer brand internally. Your employer brand starts from the inside!
Your employees should be your first and most important audience simply because they are the ones that interact with your clients the most.
Your employees literally embody your brand.
If they are stressed, frustrated or disengaged, your clients will feel it right away! That’s why you need to get their buy-in first.
Employee engagement doesn’t mean getting your employees willing to extend their working hours but getting them excited about your brand!
Getting your employees’ enthusiasm doesn’t come easy. You’ve got to earn it.
This is where internal communications come to place.
One of the best ways to get your employees excited about your brand and to inspire them is by communicating the company’s values, mission statement and vision.
Related: Company Values: Definition, Importance and Examples
The way you communicate with your employees has a great impact on how they feel about your brand.
If you want to strengthen your employer brand, you’ve got to develop it internally.
And it all starts with your internal communications!
7. Only 40% of IC professionals believe that employees understand “well” or “very well” the contribution they’re making to their organization’s strategy
Have you ever asked yourself what your employees really care about in their job?
Even though the salaries and employee benefits you offer are important to them, what they really care about is having a meaningful job.
Think about it: the most respected professions include doctors, teachers, nurses, management consultants… (take a look at this research released by the World Economic Forum to learn more about the 10 most respected jobs worldwide).
What do all these professions have in common? A strong purpose.
That’s what people want in their job.
However, almost half of internal communication professionals believe that employees don’t have a clear understanding of how their work is impacting the business’ bottom line, which is a BIG issue!
Indeed, employees want to grow your business, and they want their work to be valued.
Internal communication is not only about informing employees, it’s also about helping them find meaning at work.
That’s the reason why your internal communications are so important.
Related: Andrew Spence on Helping Employees Find Meaning at Work
8. 62% of the emails received by employees are not important
Your employees’ time is precious!
They check their email inboxes several times a day. But actually, most of the emails they receive are not important.
Some of them are even irrelevant.
What’s more, it takes more than one minute to recover from an email. You clearly don’t want your employees to be interrupted with irrelevant emails.
Some companies are still using emails for their internal communications.
Because of email overload, important information you’d like to share to your employees may actually go unread!
If you don’t want your newsletters to get lost among lots of emails, you may want to reconsider your internal communications strategy and start using an employee communications app where you can engage your employees with your content!
9. Employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than read text.
Yes, we all prefer to watch videos than read texts!
Most people are visual learners, including your employees!
However, most CEOs and internal communicators are still sending out long emails or reports to their employees.
And do you know what happens in most cases?
Employees open the email or document, read the beginning of it, and quickly end up closing it.
When it comes to internal communications, the key is to share engaging content, content that employees actually want to read.
If you want to drive adoption, you may want to share videos, of course, but also infographics, interactive newsletters, pictures or podcasts!
Related: Sara McGuire on Why Visual Storytelling Drives Higher Engagement
10. Organizations with effective change and communication programs are 3.5 times more likely to outperform their peers
The way you communicate and engage with your employees has a direct impact on your business’s success.
One of the main communications challenges that most organizations are facing today is the silo effect where departments, teams or even employees from the same team don’t communicate enough.
As a result, they don’t coordinate their work in an effective way, and they may not even be aware of what the others are doing.
When teams don’t communicate enough, they may waste precious time because of duplication of work, or miss deadlines because interconnected projects were not actually coordinated.
Many reasons may cause a silo effect: geographical distances, remote work, complex internal structure, lack of communications tools…
This is where things get complicated — very complicated.
Organizations that manage to break down silos and improve their internal communications overall are more likely to outperform their competitors.
But getting rid of silos all together in your organization is not enough.
If you want to stay ahead of the competition and grow your business, you’ll need to rethink your communications strategy overall.
To turn your internal communications into a competitive advantage, ask yourself questions such as:
- What goals do you want to achieve with your internal communications?
- Are you able to measure your internal communications strategy right now?
- How do you plan to measure the effectiveness of your internal communications in the future?
- How silos are impacting your business right now?
- Can you measure those impacts on your business?
- Who's going to oversee your employee communications: HR or internal communications ?
- What information do you want to share internally?
- To whom?
- What channels do you want to use?
- Are you using the right technologies to drive adoption?
- Do you want to help your employees be more active in internal communications?
- Do you want your internal communications to be customized based on your employees' roles within the organization?
- How to help your managers to better communicate with their teams?
- Do you want your employees to become content creators?
- Should your internal communications be top-down or horizontal?
- Have you considered encouraging upward communication?
- How to drive dialogues within the organization?
- Do you want to collect feedback from your employees. If yes, how do you plan to do so?
We've asked fourteen internal communications experts to share their top priorities for 2020 and beyond.
Check out in this video what they had to say! 👇
Remember, your employees are your best asset, so make sure you provide them with the resources they need — including great internal communications — to help them give the best of themselves!
Are you interested in learning more about internal communications? We share in our new eBook “Building a Better Company with Internal Communications” best practices for creating a great internal communications strategy. Feel free to download it below 👇