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Executive Summaries of Research Foundation Reports

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Best Practices in Employee Communication

By Christie Gay, ABC, Michelle Mahony, MA and Jamen Graves, Ph.D.


In this latest research from the IABC Research Foundation, Right Management Consultants conducted a global study to explore best practices in meeting the top employee communication challenges of the 21st century. Based on data from current literature, case studies, interviews with best-in-class communicators and a survey con­ducted with IABC members, Right identified four critical challenges faced by communi­cators worldwide. Survey participants were asked to rate each challenge by importance and also by how effective their organization was at addressing each of the areas.

The four critical challenges that emerged, in order of importance, were:

- Motivating employees to align with the business strategy—creating a line of sight between employees and the organizational strategy.

- Leadership and management communication—educating and engaging leaders and managers in their role in employee communication.

- Managing information overload—breaking through the communication “clutter."

- Measuring the ROI of internal communication—linking communication to business results.

In each case, there was also a significant gap between how important the issues were and how effective organizations believed they were at addressing them. While com­municators around the world have been discussing these issues and how to tackle them for some time, the complexity of each invites continued dialogue.

To this end, the research invited participants from around the globe to share the strate­gies they use to meet each of these challenges. And while some clear themes and “guide­lines" emerged around best practices, both in the quantitative and qualitative data, it became clear that there is no “magic bullet" for addressing any of these issues. Rather, best practice organizations employ a combination of tried and true methods in a way that is creative and customized to the unique needs of their situation and culture.

Best Practices in Employee Communication: A Study of Global Challenges and Approaches provides hard data around the issues that organizations today are struggling with in employee communication, as well as stories and examples about the ways a wide variety of organizations meet these challenges.


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