The survey of staff at 15 large companies found less than one third had both high intellectual understanding of goals, and an emotional commitment to company objectives.
Paul Roberts, marketing director of brand design agency Enterprise IG, which conducted the research, said he thought the results reflected the failure of internal comms to harness middle managers’ potential to enthuse those around them.
‘Where internal comms seems to be failing is in engaging middle management and getting them to understand their role in communications. If your local middle manager is disengaged, there is little central comms can do,’ he said.
The survey defines those with high intellectual and emotional engagement as ‘champions’, who are likely to be good advocates for their companies and to have confidence in the future of their businesses.
But the 29 per cent categorised as champions were out-numbered both by the so-called ‘weak links’ (37 per cent), who had low scores on both intellectual and emotional counts, and the ‘loose cannons’ (30 per cent), whose high emotional commitment was not matched by a high intellectual understanding of their business.
Surprisingly, only four per cent fell into the remaining ‘bystander’ grouping, who understood the business but had little emotional commitment to it.