- What do internal communicators focus on?
- How insights can internal communicators learn from to engage employees?
- In what way can the function grow in stature?
- How can internal communicators celebrate the organization’s culture?
- What knowledge areas need attention for internal communicators?
- Which priorities are on the list of internal communicators?
Find out all this and more with the results from the 4th edition of Intraskope’s APAC and India Internal Communications Survey. You can also look up the results from the 2013, 2012 and 2011 and surveys.
The 4th APAC and India Internal Communications Survey conducted in November 2014 invited leaders in internal communications to discuss views on internal communication priorities, focus areas, opportunities, strategy, budgets and much more.
Participants held leading positions in their respective teams. Communication leaders representing industries such as engineering, IT, life sciences, consulting, community service and transportation participated in the study and had an average experience of 12-15 years.
Last year’s study also looked at the future of the function, channels, employee engagement, leadership involvement, manager effectiveness among others.
Every participant who completed the survey received a free high level summary report of the study.
- The Internal communication team size stayed consistent with a majority of respondents stating membership up to a maximum of 5 members. Most participants mentioned that the team was housed within Corporate Communications and Marketing functions.
- The key responsibilities of the internal communication team were employee engagement and leadership communication. Managing channels and events came in next among the stated ownership.
- Only half the respondents believed their team met the needs of their respective organization and a significant number agreed that the organization in turn invested in building and growing the team.
- Over 80% of communicators claimed they had a strategy in place for internal communication and a majority agreed that the function was viewed as important to the organization’s success.
- On the areas within internal communication that needed attention most communicators felt the following were important:
– building a climate for communication
– collaborating across teams
– instilling a sense of pride
– integrating the organization
– reducing information overload
– inspiring employees to contribute to communication
– having a dialogue.
- In 2015 half the communicators felt that their spend would increase
- The biggest barriers to delivering great internal communication were: the inability to demonstrate value of the function, low budgets, limited line of sight, poor alignment of employees, lack of commitment from senior leaders, competing priorities and lack of time
- The focus on branding employees is considering an important responsibility of the function. What defines internal branding is hazy.
- Just over half the communicators felt they were directly responsible for internal branding although a sizable % mentioned that their organization has plans to invest in building brand ambassadors from within
- The most attention for internal branding initiatives were received by leadership connections, social media engagements while a high number of respondents agreed that their organization had a unified approach to branding – internal and external
- To improve internal branding, the following suggestions were recommended:
- a) Surveying audiences
- b) Addressing the ‘what’s in it for me’
- c) Being aware of language used to create pride among the workforce
- d) Joined up approach with HR and Marketing
- e) Need for consistency in messaging
- f) Adopting digital channels
- g) Improving cross business learning and sharing of knowledge
- h) Helping managers and employees to be advocates of the brand
- Only about half the respondents (57%) completely agreed that their organization had a unique culture although most (85%) felt that communication played a critical role in shaping culture
- Most organizations surveyed their employees on culture annually while a high % of communicators claimed their employees viewed values as central to their work
- Sharing stories and having leaders articulate values were among the top two approaches adopted to communicate culture although a low percentage completely agreed that employees knew the organization’s culture
- Just over half (57%) communicated the culture and values within their organizations
- In terms of skills influencing and stakeholder management were called out as key drivers for improving performance while knowing the organization, employees and strategy helped the internal communicator succeed
- Passion for the job, patience and focus were key attributes for an internal communicator to make progress at work
- The barriers preventing internal communicators from making progress were limited business perspective, lack of leadership support, inability to demonstrate value and impact and low credibility of the function
- The on-the-job training, mentoring and accreditation were called out as the best approaches to enhance learning while only 35% mentioned they had a dedicated budget for training
- The top priorities for the team were employee engagement, improving reach and impact and raising the potential of internal channels
- What must the function focus more on: engaging employees, increasing scope and reach, measurement, conducting shorter and more frequent surveys, evolving channels, creating assets for scale, training the team
- While a high % of communicators exuded confidence about achieving their priorities only 50% accepted they had achieved their goals from the previous year
- Words used to describe the function included: “committed, interested, involved”, ‘e-mail overloaders’, ‘passionate and go getters’, ‘responsiveness, fast and impactful’
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Aniisu K. Verghese is an internal communication expert, career coach and author and has over sixteen years of experience in the evolving internal communications domain with leading IT, financial services and consulting organizations. He is the author of – Internal Communications – Insights, Practices and Models (Sage Publications, 2012). He is passionate about engaging communicators and broadening the thinking on internal communications through independent research and workshops which he conducts in the country and overseas.
He was inducted into the 2015 Public Relations Council of India’ PR Hall of Fame at an event in New Delhi. He serves as the Vice-President – Finance, South India Chapter – International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and was as an elite panelist who evaluated and shortlisted Asia Pacific entries for the 2012 IABC’s Gold Quill Awards. Aniisu currently serves as the Corporate Communications Lead at Tesco HSC. Aniisu often shares expert media commentary and perspectives on culture, social media, employee and leadership communications. More information about Aniisu’s is available on his Linkedin page, his website www.intraskope.com and on his blog www.intraskope.wordpress.com.