reportAlmost 95% of internal communications (IC) staff believe it is important or very important to measure their activity, the results of a survey commissioned by IC software company Newsweaver have revealed.

However, 53% said that they don’t have the right tools and software to measure, and 67% of respondents believe it is difficult to measure.

Lack of measurement appears to have led to a lack of strategic planning, with as much as 45% of communications being sent out on an unplanned basis. Most IC channels are not measured, according to the survey.

The survey was conducted on over 700 IC specialists from a wide cross section of industry and organizations across the world.

Speaking about the results of the survey, Mairéad Maher, Head of Marketing at Newsweaver, said that it was impossible to know the impact IC has on an organisation without measuring it.

“It is also very difficult to know how to improve on it, and ensure it is doing what it should be doing. IC staff are recognising the need to measure and plan, but often don’t have the tools to do so,” she said.


Link to employee engagement

Almost two thirds of survey respondents believe that internal communications is key to driving employee engagement, reflecting the longstanding belief that there is a strong link between employee engagement and IC.

“Companies with engaged workforces are known to outperform their peers by as much as 200%. Productivity is higher, absenteeism is lower, and employee retention is much better in companies that value employee engagement,” said Mairéad Maher.

Meanwhile, 65% of respondents agreed that IC professionals are viewed by those with a seat at the decision making table as ‘trusted advisers’.

“Senior leaders and CEOs are starting to realise that one of the keys to good employee engagement is strategic, measured internal communications, and we are not surprised that the data from the survey backs this up,” Ms Maher said.


Budgets are small, but growing

The survey revealed that IC budgets are more likely to be growing than declining: some 87% of respondents expected budgets to remain flat or grow, with 13% expecting them to decline.

The average IC budget is $150,000, excluding salaries, according to the survey. This rises to $250,000 for large organizations with more than 10,000 employees. This amounts to a spend of just $25 per employee, per year.

Other points to note:

  • Only one-third have a long-term strategic plan in place for internal communications
  • Planning and strategy are low on the list of priorities for IC
  • Those who do have a long-term strategy are more involved in leadership decision making