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The Growing Importance of Internal Communications


Illustration of people working and communicating

Edelman’s The Future of Corporate Communications 2023 study shows strategic employee communication’s growing importance. As industries face profound changes in stakeholders, priorities, and operations, communication teams are at a turning point. Two years after initial pandemic turmoil, the function remains a trusted advisor – yet escalating external pressures require more support.

Our analysis revealed three data-backed employee communication focus areas:

Employees Reshape Central Stakeholder Status

The study shows employees becoming the core stakeholder: “Reputation Starts Inside.” Employees link closely to managing threats and creating value. Their views shape consumer attitudes, news narratives, government oversight, and public trust.

  • 61% of leaders identify employees as the #1 pressure group on social issues

  • 79% ranked employee engagement as the top 2-year success measure

  • 53% saw boosting employer brand as a key goal

As strategy steps into the spotlight, understanding and engaging hybrid, cross-generational employees grows more vital.

Purpose and Culture Take the Spotlight

Alongside their growing power, employees bring increasing complexity. With four distinct generations now in the workforce, clear organizational purpose represents essential glue for coherence and meaning. Analyses showed:

  • 57% of teams are tasked with building purpose among employees

  • 41% see culture warranting major 12-18 month investment

  • 54% view relaying corporate values as a defining duty

Consistently championing purpose from top-down and ground-up can bridge divides and seed cultural unity.

Equipping Leadership Through Engagement and Feedback

With corporate character facing relentless scrutiny, organizations internalizing purpose and values within leadership and workforce engagement systematically beat peers. Findings advocate for:

  • 79% making employee engagement the #1 success measure

  • 22% elevating improvement of impact measurement

  • 30% upgrading people manager communication skills

Solutions like the CommsPlan Internal Communications Plan Template can help leaders map communications strategies to employee engagement goals.

The study rings clear – reputation starts internally. Communicators nurturing organizational purpose, culture and employee connections will lead the next competitive phase.

Is your team prepared to apply this inside-out imperative?

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