As any internal communicator knows, a good message cannot singlehandedly make employees integrate new information – the channel holds the utmost importance when it comes to engaging employees. Line managers, who are considered to be visible to their teams by 93% of respondents to this year’s survey, should be one of the most powerful internal communication channels within organisations. Yet only one in five respondents believes line managers in their organisation are good communicators. What’s more, nearly a third of the IC professionals surveyed view team meetings as ineffective.
It comes as no surprise, then, that 59% of respondents cited the lack of line manager communication skills as the biggest barrier to successful internal communication. However, in spite of this perceived lack of skills, less than a third of the practitioners surveyed will be prioritising improving line manager communication ability over the next 12 months. Three quarters of respondents admitted to not being involved in providing communication training.
An overwhelming majority of respondents had implemented some sort of manager communications, with only 10% saying they don’t have any specific channels for this audience. However, when asked how they communicate with line managers, respondents named channels that are mostly one-way, focused on cascading information rather than stimulating a conversation. Two thirds of respondents said they use ad hoc email announcements, while ad hoc toolkits and cascade packs are the second most popular channel, named by 43%. The third most popular channel is e-newsletters, used by 36%. Meanwhile, two-way channels such as one-to-one coaching sessions and face-to-face briefings are used by only 8% and 31% respectively.
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