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How to Save Time and Money with Effective Internal Communications

A businessperson speaks at a meeting.

Most executives know that effective internal communications are critical to success. While the impact of internal comms on the bottom line is murky at best, at least one new report makes the case that the cost of poorly managed and ineffective employee communication strategies adds up.

According to Axios' recent 2024 State of Internal Communications report, employees lose an average of 4-8 hours per week due to ineffective communication.

For an employee making $100,000-$150,000 annually, that's $22,360 in lost productivity.

The cost of higher-earning employees making $200,000 skyrockets to $54,860 per year.

Axios also says the C-suite wastes valuable time due to lackluster comms. According to the report, about half of C-level leaders "have found themselves stepping back into projects, clarifying details they’ve shared before, and working on tasks that aren’t the organization’s highest priority" because of poor internal comms.

The good news? According to the report, companies with effective internal comms are 2.5 times more likely to outperform their competitors financially.

Here are 5 strategies to boost the impact of your internal comms:

1. Set clear objectives and KPIs.

Before diving into tactics, get crystal clear on what you want to achieve with your internal comms. Is the goal to improve alignment? Boost engagement? Support a specific behavior change? Define measurable KPIs upfront to guide your efforts and prove the ROI. Note, "activity" metrics such as number of emails sent or town halls held don't count.

2. Be channel agnostic.

Sometimes executives can focus on one or two channels, or a specific medium (e.g., video). The data says employees prefer a mix of channels. According to Axios, while 36% of employees prefer receiving critical updates via all-hands meetings, others gravitate toward newsletters (22%), instant messages (18%), or employee apps (16%). Diversifying your comms channels helps you meet employees where they are.

3. Prioritize two-way communication.

Don't just talk at your employees – give them opportunities to talk back. The Axios report found that 81% of leaders think employees have an accessible way to provide comms feedback, but only 44% of employees agree. Tools like pulse surveys, virtual Q&A sessions, and always-on feedback channels can help close that gap.

4. Make messages scannable and searchable.

In an era of information overload, your employees don't have time to read long emails (and, from a productivity perspective, do you really want your employees spending time reading long emails?). Plus, there's plenty of data that says employees don't read much after 250 words. Use clear headings, bullet points, and links to make your comms easy to digest and reference later. Bonus points for housing key updates in a searchable repository like an intranet or knowledge base.

5. Simplify.

Constantly crafting comms from scratch is a huge time-suck. Templatizing your most common message types – from newsletters to leadership updates to policy changes – can dramatically streamline your process. Also, go for readability over splashy design and branding...a short and sweet text email may have more impact than the "brand compliant" template provided by the Marketing Department.

Equipped with these strategies, you'll be well on your way to saving serious time and money for your organization. Plus, you'll build a platform to build understanding on business priorities and get feedback from your people.

Ready to level up your internal comms game? Check out our full suite of time-saving comms templates and tools – your bottom line will thank you.


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