7 Surprising Stats That Show the Importance of Internal Communications
You know internal communications are important to your company’s success, but do you know how important? You may be surprised by just how much internal communications can affect your company’s morale, productivity, and even revenue.
Strong communications are the lifeblood of any company’s success, and we’ve got the numbers to prove it. Read on for some surprising stats about internal comms and employee engagement, with some takeaways and ideas for improving your company’s culture!
1.) Most U.S. employees are not engaged at work.
A recent poll by Gallup showed that 70% of U.S. employees are not engaged at work. That’s a startling figure, and it can have catastrophic implications for companies without proper internal communication practices in place.
Luckily, there are plenty of opportunities for companies to bolster engagement through effective communication channels.
Start by initiating conversations with employees one-on-one and opening up anonymous feedback channels (like through surveys using SurveyMonkey) to see what, if anything, is making your employees feel disengaged.
But don’t bombard your employees with 60-question surveys just for the sake of it. Ask thoughtful, open-ended questions, and ask them often. From there, you can begin to research various internal comms methods to see what might improve morale.
Takeaway: Provide a platform for collective and individual voices to be heard.
2.) Employees who are connected with one another are more productive.
The McKinsey Global Institute found that productivity improves by 20-25% in organizations with connected employees. That kind of increase in productivity has potential for revenues amounting to $1.3 trillion per year.
Now would be a good time to ask, What is helping or hindering my employees’ productivity? It could make the difference between flat sales and skyrocketing success.
Start by taking a look at your “we’ve always done it this way” practices. Are you relying too much on email and bogging down people’s inboxes? Are you forcing participation in an intranet that no one likes? If so, try embracing enterprise social networks like Slack for more streamlined, less time-consuming communication.
Set goals for any new methods you try, like, Use Slack to communicate simple messages and decrease the amount of unnecessary emails sent by 30%. That’s a goal everyone can get behind, so communicate it to your employees, and measure your company’s success at achieving it.
Takeaway: Revenue is directly linked to employee engagement, so communication tools are worth investing in.
3.) Intranet participation is at an all-time low.
In a survey by Prescient Digital Media, only 13% of employees reported participating in their intranet daily—31% said they never do.
If your findings yield similar results, consider whether an intranet is something your company really needs. If it is, what can you do to make it more valuable?
First and foremost, an intranet should provide resources that makes your employees’ jobs easier. Maybe there aren’t enough high-quality resources, or maybe they’re simply too hard to find due to a weak search function.
Again, talking with your employees to get their perspective may shed some light on why there’s so little use and interaction. Maybe there are better alternatives.
Takeaway: Internal communication isn’t really internal communication if no one’s actually communicating. Don’t push tools your employees won’t use.
4.) Most communicators admit to using too much jargon.
Are you guilty of littering your emails, reports or other forms of communication with too much jargon? Or are your messages unnecessarily long? IABC reports that only 21% of communicators say they keep their language simple and jargon-free.
Always take pause before hitting send, and consider the medium—is it appropriate for the message you want to convey? If you’re not sure, think about your company’s core mission and values and make sure your messaging is in line with those.
Remember, employees’ productivity is directly tied to your company’s revenue, so if a message isn’t good use of your time (or your employees’), reconsider your language and method. And remember: All good writing is the result of ruthless editing. Cut the fluff and leave the rest.
Takeaway: Employees will perform better when messages are universally kept simple and clear.
5.) Comms pros are eager to incorporate creativity into the workplace, but don’t know how.
93% of comms pros say creativity is important in internal comms but only 6% think it’s used to its full potential, according to a study by Alive With Ideas. The fact that so many pros think creativity is essential to internal communications is good, but most of them, it seems, are missing a huge opportunity to actually put it to use.
There are simple ways to integrate creativity into your company culture—try some of these ideas:
- Go for walking meetings
- Hold monthly team events
- Spark a friendly competition with non-work related tasks
- Use digital signage to announce events, display your company blog or show employees’ Instagrams
You don’t have to be an artist or spend a ton of money to get creative—just try new things and see what kind of effect they have.
Takeaway: Experiment with different methods and tap into employees’ minds for their input. They’ll probably have some interesting ideas!
6.) Employees need to feel appreciated and recognized for their hard work.
Birthdays, work anniversaries and accomplishments (big and small) are important things to recognize, especially as your company grows and news doesn’t reach everyone quite so easily.
Acknowledging good work is particularly essential to making employees feel like their work matters—69% of employees say they’d work harder if they were better appreciated and recognized, Globoforce found.
Don’t just tell employees their work matters—show them. By making a small investment and rewarding employees in a meaningful way, you’ll inspire loyalty and boost progress. Something as simple as a handwritten note or gift card can go a long way. A bonus can go even further.
Either way, increasing the amount of vertical communication between upper management and employees can have a powerful effect in creating a more collaborative and transparent atmosphere.
Takeaway: A thank-you can go a long way in retaining employees and fostering good morale.
7.) Many internal communicators are still not measuring internal communication.
60% in fact, according to IABC. If you fall into this group, the first six facts listed here should be enough to convince you to measure your internal communication methods. A few possibilities:
If you use an intranet…
- Look at unique user logins to measure participation
- Analyze peak times to see when the best time to post announcements is
If you’re conducting surveys...
- Look at survey participation to see if they’re effective
- Look for patterns and common feedback—what do you hear most frequently?
You can also look at operational and customer measures. Is your company more productive since you implemented new methods? Has customer satisfaction increased? You can use both formal and informal methods for various forms of measurement depending on your company’s size and needs.
The numbers are impossible to ignore—internal communication is too valuable to let fall by the wayside, and only by surveying, measuring and analyzing the methods you have in place can you put a solid plan in motion.
You measure your sales and marketing tactics. Why wouldn’t you do the same for a practice that will enhance your company’s culture and define its success?
Takeaway: You should start measuring your internal communication yesterday.
Enplug digital signage software was co-founded by CEO Nanxi Liu and CTO Tina Denuit-Wojcik in 2012 to enable organizations to use customized real-time streaming content to create engaging external and internal communications.