- New Staffbase research reveals key trends for ICs in 2023
- As the role grows in value it also becomes more complex: 98% of ICs are facing key challenges around executing internal comms strategies
- Today’s ICs are integral to business success: over three quarters say they are valued within their organizations post-pandemic
- Evolving the role: ICs are taking a journalistic approach to effectively communicate with employees in an uncertain external landscape
New York, NY – November 16, 2022 – Today, Staffbase, a leading provider of employee communications management platforms, released new research – The Evolving Internal Communicator: A Guide to 2023. This report looks at the current state of play for internal communicators (ICs) across the US and UK, exploring challenges, the value of the role and the opportunities for ICs in 2023 and beyond.
Communicating in a volatile landscape: The challenges for ICs
The report, which surveyed 600 senior level ICs from across the US and UK, found that 98% are facing barriers in executing their internal comms strategies. It revealed that the main challenge is responding in an authentic manner to company and external news (27%), followed by a lack of collaboration with other departments, smaller budgets, and stress.
After a tumultuous few years, IC professionals are finding it difficult to respond to a number of events. These include the long-term impact of the pandemic on the workplace (27%), the impact of significant global events, such as the war in Ukraine (25%) and women’s rights in the workplace (22%).
“Amid the pandemic, geopolitical uncertainty and rising inflation levels, employers and employees alike have faced a stream of instability and stress, which has altered the way we live and work irreversibly,” said Frank Wolf, CSO and co-founder of Staffbase. “During these times, communicating effectively with the workforce has become vital for helping to build trust between employers and their employees. As a result, the role of the internal communicator has grown in significance while also becoming much more complex.“
Wolf continued: “Responding to an uncertain external landscape will continue to be a key responsibility in 2023 and beyond. More internal comms professionals will need to apply a journalistic approach to stay connected to the news agenda and communicate with employees effectively. This will also involve close collaboration with external comms. Both teams need to be aligned on messaging so they can communicate the same narrative to their audiences.”
Challenges exist, but the future is bright and digital
Amid turbulent times, the importance and potential of the role has never been clearer. The vast majority (76%) of ICs said their role is valued within their organizations post-pandemic and 55% stated they have a ‘seat at the table’, influencing some or all decisions around leadership messaging.
As ICs strive to evolve and grow their influence in a post-pandemic world, 64% of the respondents believe the need for them to do so will also lead to budget increases over the next few years, helping to accelerate digital transformation in the internal comms sector. In fact, all respondents said they have implemented tools to support their internal comms strategies – from employee experience apps (24%), digital screens (23%) and newsletters (22%), to video content (22%).
Bret Roberts, internal communications coordinator at EDA Contractors, acknowledges that technology is now a must-have for ICs: “Getting the attention of our employees when there’s so much going on is one of our biggest challenges. In our efforts to improve employee engagement, we now share bi-weekly newsletters, powered by content from our Staffbase intranet that we titled the EDA Journey, so that people can get a digestible view of what’s going on throughout the company. I would advise everyone to look into intranet solutions, as it will help you to upgrade your internal communications strategy and enable you to navigate challenges more efficiently.”
Building momentum in a post-pandemic world
The future of the role is bright as long as ICs continue to think strategically and stay ahead of the issues impacting employees.
Wolf concluded: “In modern workplaces, internal communicators play a critical role. Now, the challenge lies in building momentum. With the right investment in people and technology, and collaborating closely with external comms teams, the future of this invaluable profession will only continue to grow in strength in 2023 and beyond.”
To read more about the current state of play for ICs across the US and UK, including interviews with current IC practitioners, download the report today: https://insights.staffbase.com/mf/whitepaper/the-evolving-communicator-a-guide-to-2023
The research was conducted by Censuswide and commissioned by Staffbase, among a sample of 600 US and UK employees working in internal communications. The data was collected between 07.21.2022 – 07.26.2022. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society and follows the MRS code of conduct which is based on the ESOMAR principles.
Staffbase is a high-growth, deeply experienced provider of employee communications management platforms for enterprise companies. The mobile compatibility of the company’s platform allows employers to securely reach their employees everywhere with reduced complexity — whether in the office, at home, on the factory floor, or on the road. Staffbase solutions give employees greater access to the corporate information that’s relevant to them, along with tools for the modern digital workplace, including existing intranets. Staffbase provides branded solutions for more than 2,000 leading companies worldwide who are transforming their employee communications, including Adidas, Audi, Paulaner, Spark Power, UC Health, US LBM, and Vestas. Staffbase has received the 2021 Global Employee App Choice Award and 2022 Choice Award for Intranet and Employee Experience Platforms from ClearBox Consulting. Please visit staffbase.com for more information.
Senior PR Manager, Staffbase Inc.