7 Surprising Stats Prove the Importance of Internal Communications in 2020
Effective communications are the foundation of business success. Here are 7 internal communications statics that show why and might even surprise you!
You know internal communications are important to your company’s success, but do you know how important? You may be surprised by what recent communications stats reveal about how the effective flow of information can affect your company’s morale, productivity, and even revenue.
7 Surprising Internal Communications Stats for 2020
Strong communications are the lifeblood of any company’s success, and we’ve got the numbers to prove it. Read on for some surprising internal comms statistics, including 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 65% of U.S. employees are not engaged at work. That’s a startling figure, especially because it comes in a year when employee engagement reached its highest levels ever. Poor engagement 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 individuals and teams to share their views.
2. Employees who are engaged generate greater profit.
Gallup also found that sales increase 20% when employees are actively engaged. At the same time, profitability increases by 21%. Given those internal communications stats, now is the time to ask what your organization is doing to connect with employees for greater engagement. This simple question can mean 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 communications platforms like Slack for more streamlined, less time-consuming messaging.
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 internal 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: Keep messages simple and clear to improve employee performance.
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. A lot of pros think creativity is essential to internal communications, but most of them 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 would be more productive if they were 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 essential to making employees feel like their work matters—74% of employees say they’d work harder if they were better appreciated and recognized, the Workhuman Research Institute 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 professionals are still not measuring internal communication outcomes.
60% in fact, according to Poppulo. If you fall into this group, the first six facts listed here should be enough to convince you to track your internal communications stats. A few possibilities for measuring effectiveness:
If you use an intranet…
- Look at unique user logins to measure participation
- Analyze peak times to identify the best time to post announcements
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.