Wanted: Better internal communication

Survey finds employers lacking when it comes to strategy, vision, DEI and culture

Wanted: Better internal communication

Nearly three-quarters (74%) of organizations feel that internal communication is important for culture and belonging, but few are delivering the necessary messages to do this, according to a recent report from Gallagher.

This is because far fewer companies have communicated some items necessary to foster that culture over the past year:

  • strategy, vision and purpose (45%)
  • diversity, equity and inclusion (29%)
  • values, behaviors, culture (27%)
  • wellbeing and mental health (27%)
  • benefits, rewards and compensation (26%)
  • employee recognition stories and awards (24%)
  • ways of working (20%)
  • new digital platforms and systems (14%)
  • new regulations, ethics, compliance (14%)
  • career paths, mentoring and coaching (8%)

Internal communications became "a little more challenging" for 52.6% of companies with the post-COVID shift to remote and hybrid work, while it was "very challenging" for 27%, according to a previous report.

Looking ahead

Now, 30% of employers are worried about possibly more disengaged workers, according to Gallagher. That ranks in between the lack of time and capacity in their team (34%) and the lack of budget (24%) among employers’ top challenges this year, based on the survey of more than 2,000 organizations across the world from October to November 2022.

“While budgets will remain tight for most organizations, it’s important to understand today’s employees expect much more than a paycheck from their employer,” Reynolds said. “They choose to stay at an organization because of its culture and values and the emphasis placed on employee well-being. Accomplishing this, while authentically weaving purpose and meaning into internal communication, will allow organizations to overcome challenges and reach their goals.”

But companies are looking to step up. Their three biggest priorities this year include:

  • engaging teams around purpose, strategy, values (51%)
  • developing or refreshing internal communication strategy (35%)
  • enhancing people manager communication (32%)

“Even though many organizations are struggling to develop and execute on a DEI strategy, employers are deploying a range of tactics in an attempt to make positive strides,” Reynolds said. “This includes awareness days or events (54%), employee resource groups or champions (48%), DEI training (45%), and a host of others. Leaders are looking to embed DEI throughout their communications, rather than through tactical siloed approaches. However, there’s still room for improvement.”

What will HR’s role be in a post-pandemic Canada? They will have to not only guide the organization and the workforce through the various iterations and transition, but also reimagine the go forward within the workplace, according to one expert.

“Not only has HR been there to guide the organization and the workforce through the various iterations and transitions of the pandemic impact, there has also been the requirement to learn, redesign, and reimagine the go forward within the workplace,” says Dr. Raeleen Manjak, CHRO at the City of Vernon.

Engaging workers

To ensure that your employees feel engaged, supported and satisfied, Maxime Hoppenot – head of US sales at online video maker PlayPlay – suggests that employers do the following:

  • Support employees to improve their experience.
  • Communicate visually and integrate videos.
  • Make internal communication mobile-first.
  • Use data to optimize how you share.
  • Seek out and amplify internal influences.
  • Share internal content on demand.

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