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2014 ‘State Of The Communications Function in GICs’ Survey Results

About the Study

This survey, the first such study in the region to gauge the current scope, relevance and understanding of the communications function within global in-house centers (GICs) invited corporate communicators and leaders to participate.

Global in-house centers refer to the service and delivery operations units that serve parent companies around the world to standardize processes, systems and programs and in turn save costs, improve efficacies and enhance centralized capabilities. They are often referred to as ‘captives’ or ‘shared services’. According to NASSCOM, there are over 825 GICs in India offering the entire spectrum of services – IT services, BPM, ER&D, and software products, employ over 530,000 people, and account for 17 per cent of the total export revenues in India. It is estimated that 50% of Fortune 500 firms to have GIC footprint in India by 2015. While hiring, engaging and retaining employees are important for GICs very little is understood or researched on the role of communication within these centers.

The survey aimed to understand how communication is conducted and appreciated within GICs. It sought insights on the types of communication that have the most impact and how should GICs approach communication to get ahead. This survey aims to bridge that gap in benchmarking the value and impact associated with communication within GICs and with the parent companies.  The output from this study can hopefully guide how GICs can invest in communication within their respective entities.

Every participant who completed the survey received a free high level summary report of the study.

Key Findings:

  • From the perspective of communicators within GICs, most such organizations focus on building efficiencies, optimizing costs and improving collaboration within their respective organization.
  • A majority of respondents (88%) claimed to have in-house communication teams and were mostly aligned to the Marketing function. Not surprisingly, a small percentage outsource work to consultants and agencies while a majority manage it themselves.
  • Employee engagement followed by employer branding and leadership communication are the key reasons for the communication team’s existence. However most focus on employee engagement and the leadership communication receives the least among the top three reasons.
  • The biggest challenges the communication team faces are low opportunities for growth and unclear direction of the GIC in terms of their plan and vision hindering their abilities to contribute strongly to the GIC’s advantage.
  • A majority of GICs focus on getting the senior post position filled first before building their team of communicators.
  • KPIs are mostly set among communication teams to measure performance and most team have between 3-5 members.
  • The primary focus of the team is to build pride among employees.
  • The communication team in GICs use e-mail, newsletters and internal social media platforms as ways to communicate mostly and the most effective mode is face to face interactions during Town Halls. E-mail as a channel comes a close second.
  • A majority claimed that their leadership team saw immense value from the function and the team’s budget would see an increase of 50% in the coming year.
  • Most agreed that the communication done locally is influenced heavily by the parent company.
  • A majority confirmed that they were invited early into conversations on communication planning.
  • Explaining the reasons for not involving or involving the communication team early in the planning process, here are a few statements from the respondents:
  • “Cause the team has a seat at the table and is involved strategically”
  • “They value our opinion and insights”
  • “The role is evolving and the management is yet to understand fully the need for involving communication”
  • Measurement of the team’s value and impact isn’t a strong area and those who did measure use engagement surveys as a method followed by channel audits and brand studies
  • Communicators as bridges between leadership and employees, investing in the team’s capabilities, knowing which effort gives the most impact, being sensitive to local language and culture were among inputs provided by practitioners to improve the value of communication within GICs.

Have feedback? Write to intraskope@yahoo.com

Keen to sponsor and partner on future surveys? Discuss you plan with Aniisu at intraskope@yahoo.com

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