Most staff 'miss company news due to poor internal comms'

Three in four UK employees believe they are missing out on company news because of poor internal communications strategies, new research suggests.

The study of 2,000 workers in the UK, commission by PR agency Rostrum, highlighted steps employers can take to maximise the effectiveness of their internal comms.

Among the more downbeat findings are that just 30 per cent of employees said they received internal comms that were timely and regular enough – 12 per cent received them no more than quarterly, and four per cent said they never received any.

Just one third (34 per cent) said their organisation was good at communicating about inclusion and diversity, and almost half (46 per cent) gave their employer a score of five out of 10 or less when it came to communicating difficult issues like redundancies.

The research points to differing attitudes from management and staff.

While 91 per cent of those on boards believed their internal communications in a hybrid environment was either great or good, this same view was shared by just 49 per cent of their non-managerial colleagues. And while 21 per cent of board members rated their communications on issues such as redundancies as excellent (10 out of 10), just nine per cent of all other employees shared this view.

The research found almost one in three employees said they would pay more attention to internal communications if they had a personal touch.

Beyond this, the communications themselves also need to be more engaging. More than one in four employees said they would be more inclined to pay attention to internal communications if they carried visual elements.

The survey by Gallup also found larger firms typically have a harder time effectively communicating with employees. Just seven per cent of employees in a business with 10 to 49 employees rated their firm as a five or less out of 10 for communicating difficult news. However, this rose to more than half of employees (56 per cent) for businesses with a workforce of more than 1,000 people.

Just 31 per cent of staff at firms with more than 1,000 staff believed their employer was making effective use of social media for internal comms. For firms with 500 to 999 employees, the figure was 50 per cent.

Despite social media playing an important role in communicating with employees working remotely or in locations around the country, 22 per cent said their employer was not very effective at using it as part of the comms mix.

The research asked about the frequency of communications from employers.

Almost nine in 10 (88 per cent) said they received internal comms at least one a month, and 66 per cent received comms from the senior leadership at least once a week. A strong majority – 89 per cent – said they usually paid attention to the comms, while just under half (47 per cent) always paid attention.

Meanwhile, 60 per cent said their employer was either great or good at communicating in a hybrid environment.

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