The State of Workplace Communications

The first annual “State of Workplace Communications” report reveals that companies struggle to reach employees in today’s disconnected, widely distributed workforce.

Technology has fundamentally changed the way we communicate, and today’s highly distributed workforce now requires companies to communicate with employees in a way that is mobile-first, personalized, and convenient. “The State of Workplace Communications” report gives insight into which channels are currently being used to disseminate important information, the challenges communication leaders face in communicating effectively within their organizations, and what budget is being allocated to solve these challenges.

Leading organizations increase productivity, recruit and retain talent, improve the customer experience, reduce risk, and build culture with a foundation rooted in strong internal communications. A disengaged and uninformed work- force will have a significant impact on their top and bottom lines. According to research from Gallup, companies with highly engaged employees consistently outperform their competition.

The communication team holds one of the most important roles within the enterprise; they’re responsible for keeping hundreds to thousands of employees up-to-date, productive, and engaged with the company. This is no easy task- especially considering that over half the world’s workforce does not have a corporate email address.

Key findings from Dynamic Signal’s study include:

  • 73% of communication professionals reported that communicating company news to employees is a serious challenge
  • Over 59% don’t understand the fiscal impact of poor internal communications
  • 37% of communication professionals report internal silos as the number one challenge for internal communications

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The problem is significant.

Despite the efforts of communication teams across the enterprise, Gallup’s research shows that 74 percent of employees feel that they’re missing out on company information and news. This mirrors the Dynamic Signal study findings: 73 percent of communication professionals reported that communicating company news to employees is a serious challenge.

Additionally, the survey conducted by Dynamic Signal uncovered that nearly half of survey respondents reported being frustrated by the tools and platforms available to reach employees in a way that is timely, effective, and measurable.

From the rise of mobile to a communications overload, today’s Communication professionals are facing new challenges that didn’t exist a decade ago.

Communication professionals are striving to keep up with the evolving workforce, but they lack tools that would make it possible to engage with employees who may be remote, not sitting in front of their desks checking email, or without email entirely.
Communication teams use email, memos, social media, and intranets to reach employees — with limited data as to what’s working and what’s not.

The majority of Dynamic Signal’s study respondents cited email as the most effective way their organizations communicate with their teams. But with professionals sending and receiving 122 business emails per day on average, it’s become difficult for important company news and communication to cut through the noise. Additionally, The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that over 75 million Americans are hourly-wage workers, performing deskless work.

Employees need a convenient way to receive important information to effectively perform their jobs, and companies need a better way to reach these workers who do not have a corporate email address. To that end, internal emails are not solving the communication gap.

“Communication professionals continue to rely on technology designed to reach employees in an office, at a desk. This is ineffective and leaves companies totally unable to communicate with half of their employees who are remote, lack a corporate email address, or are generally disconnected. The fact is that mobile phone penetration has exploded in recent years. Technology is finally allowing companies to communicate with every employee, everywhere, reaching an entire workforce in a way that is personalized, convenient, measurable, and efficient.” -Russ Fradin, CEO and co-founder of Dynamic Signal

Dynamic Signal’s research also found that communication professionals cited company intranet as the second most effective form of internal communication (ahead of social media, breakroom posters and mobile apps), despite the fact that today’s workforce requires a mobile-first approach to important communications. According to The New York Times, in the United States, 97 percent of people 18 to 34, and 94 percent of people 35 to 49 had access to smartphones. Further, Prescient Digital Media recently reported that only 13 percent of employees actually visit their intranet daily and 31 percent never visit the intranet at all.

Previous research from Dynamic Signal also highlights that 55% of employees said that a mobile application would help them become more informed and engaged with their company, but considering the lack of investment in mobile-first communications, it makes sense that the vast majority of communication professionals still have problems communicating company news to employees.

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