What will internal communications look like in 2021?

Katie Liston, head of marketing for ContactMonkey, shared some key findings from a recent global survey of internal communicators.

2021 comms predictions

With the events of 2020 reshaping so much of the employee experience, it’s no surprise that the internal communications world was transformed as well.

More than ever before, the field is being recognized as a critical business function to navigate crisis and change. With more uncertainty on the horizon, its likely that internal communicators will have to continue to adapt in their role.

In a recent global survey, ContactMonkey assessed the state of the profession as 2020 comes to a close. Katie Liston, head of marketing for the company, shared some key findings from the report:

Ragan: What are a few major priorities for internal communicators moving into 2021?

Liston: We found that the most pressing challenge for internal communicators was boosting employee engagement levels. This came as little surprise to us, as higher engagement levels have been shown to increase overall profitability and productivity—which was internal communicators’ second highest priority.

Employee retention was frequently mentioned as a challenge for internal communicators. They can nurture a workplace culture in which employees feel open to share their thoughts … and help retain the 77% of employees who left their jobs but could have been persuaded to stay.

We always keep these challenges in mind when we’re improving our internal communication software. After all, what better source for product feedback than those that use our product?

Ragan: What does your research say about internal communicators having a seat at the table? Has their influence grown this year?

Liston: We’ve found that internal communicators continue to struggle establishing the importance of internal communications.

Without hard data to back up your claims, you can find yourself having to convince people of your value. Fifty-four percent of our survey respondents didn’t have a way of gathering data on their internal communications, which surely made up a significant portion of the 72% of respondents who said they find it difficult to establish the value of their internal communications.

A data-based approach to internal communications not only helps you pinpoint your best performing content, but it also helps you show improvement over time with hard data.

Ragan: What channels are communicators using to engage employees while they work from home?

Liston: Emails are still the most popular form of workplace communication, with 95% of our respondents identifying it as their most important communication channel.

While chat apps like Slack and Google Groups are becoming more popular resources for businesses experiencing WFH measures, sending effective and consistent emails to your employees is the still most relied-upon business communication channel.

You can hear more findings from ContactMonkey’s Global State of Internal Communications 2020 report during Ragan’s Future of Communications Virtual Conference, Nov. 10-11. Learn more and register here.


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