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Why are UK businesses not seeing the value of Internal Communication?

By Anthony Monks

Internal Communication, the often unsung organisational hero, aims to create a shared understanding between a business and its employees.

It does this by motivating employees, at every level, to understand how their work supports the delivery of a business's objectives, mission, and vision and how their efforts contribute towards, reinforce and enhance the values.

Amongst its many talents, Internal Comms plays a role in enhancing company culture - the glue that socially binds an organisation together. 

It achieves this by bridging the gap between leadership and employees, through two-way symmetrical communication - focusing on dialogue and attempting to sustain mutually beneficial relationships between an organisation and employees.

But all of this has an impact on the bottom line and new research indicates that UK business decision-makers are not joining the dots and this is to their detriment.

Which dots are not joined?

Our research shows that UK business decision-makers are missing a trick by not joining the dots - refusing to give Internal Communication the same importance to their bottom line as they do for morale, well-being and culture - three direct influencing factors on the bottom line... this is to their detriment!

IC Infographics PR1 Bottom Line

  • Almost one in five UK business decision makers (18%) surveyed said that Internal Communication is not important to a company’s bottom line. 
  • This is despite 88% saying it is important to employee morale, 84% for employee wellbeing and 81% to company culture.

Is there an additional bottom-line impact?

The research revealed that 52% of UK business decision-makers use employee retention as the biggest indicator of a successful Internal Communication strategy, followed by employee productivity (50%). This indicates there is a misunderstanding of the importance of effective internal communication, as both retention and productivity have a significant impact on a company’s bottom line.

What’s more is that 88% of UK business decision-makers agree that Internal Communication is important for morale, with 84% agreeing that Internal Communication is important to well-being - two key drivers of increased productivity. 

There is also clear discord between what UK business decision-makers view as important to a company’s bottom line and business development efforts. The research shows that over two-thirds of UK Business Decision Makers (69%) say Internal Communication is important to a company's business development - yet they don’t make the same connection between Internal Communication and the bottom line.

Why so serious?

The serious issue is that UK business decision-makers may be inadvertently impacting their success, by not connecting good Internal Comms practice with their bottom line.

They must get a firm grip on this as they battle with complications created by the shift to hybrid working, employees ‘quiet quitting’ and the most challenging economic situation for a generation.

If they don’t, it means they are in danger of creating a negative impact on their bottom line, increasing the potential for employees to perform at the bare minimum level, whilst simultaneously reducing employee confidence and engagement - not to mention the potential damage to their external reputation.

UK businesses need to act quickly and address how they communicate with and listen to their workforce!

This ambivalence and misunderstanding raise several questions about the value placed on Internal Communication by UK businesses. Most strikingly, how can decision-makers not understand that a well-looked-after, engaged and high-morale workforce doesn't impact a company's bottom line?

What’s the solution?

UK businesses need to understand and connect the Internal Communication dots.

Education is key and it is critical that UK business decision-makers understand just what Internal Comms is, how it works, how it is delivered and equally as important, how it can be improved.

When you get it right, Internal Communication has a direct and tangible impact on the bottom line!

There are different approaches to take, but one of the best ways to start is by understanding what Internal Communication is in your organisation. Then perform an Internal Comms audit to get an idea of what you currently have, what is working and where improvements need to be made.

Download our market research report and take a look under the bonnet of UK Businesses to see how they’re dealing with Internal Communication in UK Businesses.

There are some surprising results.


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