Tuesday September 27, 2011
Initial findings of a new study suggest that internal communicators are being
held back from work that facilitates employee engagement. The report was commissioned by CIPR Inside, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations’ specialist group for internal communicators, to input into the government-backed Employee Engagement Task Force launched in April 2011.
The research, carried out by PR Academy and über engagement, comes from phase one of a twopart study designed to explore the effectiveness of current internal communications practice. Phase one involved a survey of 350 internal communicators and their take on the current state of internal communications practice. Phase two, due to be carried out early next year, will seek the views of
The report is based around the fundamental principles of employee engagement set out in MacLeod and Clarke’s 2009 research ‘Engaging for Success’, which informs the work of the Task Force.
According to the research, the overwhelming majority of practitioners (91%) spend less than a quarter of their time on employee feedback and research. And most practitioners (71 %) spend less than 25% on line manager and team communications. Both areas of practice are key drivers of employee engagement according to MacLeod and Clarke.
Asked how they would change the amount of time allocated to these priorities, 81% of those surveyed said they want to give more attention to employee feedback and 71% want to spend more time on strengthening line manager and team communication. The research also found that only a quarter (24%) of internal communicators believe that their board think internal communications is really important and 41% believe that their line managers do not rate internal communications very highly.
Kevin Ruck, co-founder of PR Academy: “Internal communicators want – and need – to get in the driving seat and leaders are doing themselves and their organisations a disservice if they don’t support more feedback and line manager communication. In difficult economic times, a quick way to
tap into innovation and engagement is staring senior managers in the face.” David MacLeod, chair of the Employee Engagement Task Force: "The aim of the Employee Engagement Task Force is to create a movement that will encourage leaders, managers, practitioners and academics to champion and share best practice on how to engage our workforce.”
“We welcome the first phase of this research commissioned by CIPR to better understand the link between the enablers of engagement and employee communications. This is a robust piece of research that holds a mirror up to the practice of employee communications in enterprise, providing some thought provoking insights and a call-to-arms for the profession and leaders alike."
Sean Trainor, chair of CIPR Inside: “CIPR Inside commissioned this important piece of research with the aim of reviewing internal communications practice. For it is only by doing this that we can obtain a sense of its current state and work out what support we need from our organisations, and what practitioners can do, to more effectively deliver employee engagement.”
The key findings of the report will be presented by Kevin Ruck of PR Academy at the CIPR Inside Annual Conference themed ‘Face the change – Employee Engagement in Turbulent Times’ in London on 6 October. The full report will be available online from the end of October 2011