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Employees lose over a month each year dealing with ineffective internal comms

Time wasted is money wasted — and at an employee and a leadership level, a lot of both is getting lost. Team motivation is waning in real time, too, but most executives are not aware it’s happening.

  • 81% of leaders say employees are energized and motivated.
  • 52% of employees agree.

Why it matters: An organization’s ability to stay strong and scale depends on its ability to understand — and address — what’s causing the disconnect. Often, the spark is a breakdown in alignment and communication.

To see what’s happening, we surveyed over 1,000 employees and over 400 leaders for our annual state of internal communications report. Three trends that emerged:

  • Employees aren’t getting the updates they need.
  • They waste a lot of time — and money — searching for them.
  • Both are impacting team motivation and retention.
Comms Report 2024

The 2024 state of internal communications

Employees aren’t getting the updates they need

It’s time for leaders to pause, appreciate the communication plans that have served them so far, and then review and reset what could serve their teams even better.

Employees ranked a list of topics by to how critical they are to doing their jobs well:

  1. Operational changes, like process and policy
  2. Organization goals, plans, and new initiatives
  3. People operations, like benefits and DEI initiatives
  4. Culture and values
  5. Business updates, like project, product, or client updates
  6. Personnel updates, like team hires and departures
  7. Competitive insights, like industry news
  8. World updates, like the Middle East and Ukraine

The problem: The updates they say are least critical to their success are the ones they hear about most often. And the ones they need to be productive at work fall far down the list in how often leaders share updates about them.

2024 Report social charts1

Look at that on a larger scale: Teams aren’t getting the updates they need to do their jobs, but they’re still expected to do them well. That puts them in a position to search, find, or create what they need — and lose precious time along the way.

Employees lose time and money searching for critical details

How an organization spends its time is also how it spends its money. When we asked employees and leaders how much time they lose from ineffective communication, they also shared their salaries.

The short story: An average worker making $100,000–$150,000 per year, working 8-hour days, 5 days a week, 52 weeks per year…

  • Lose 46 work days per year searching for information they need to do their jobs, chasing a response, or clarifying context in an update they’ve received.
  • That wastes $22,360 in salary per year.

That drain on time and spending only get worse when you look org-wide. 

2024 Report social charts10

When you consider an 8-hour work day, folks — at minimum — are losing more than one full month per year dealing with the impacts of ineffective internal communications. And at the highest tiers of an organization, leaders are losing more than two months every year. All of that could be much better spent.

Alignment and motivation are breaking down

When teams have access to clear, effective internal communications help, employees feel aligned with broader business goals. But when that breaks down, energy, bandwidth, engagement — and scariest of all, retention — are all at risk. 

  • 49% of employees who feel unaligned with organizational goals plan to leave their job in the next two years.
  • 44% of employees who feel unmotivated at work plan to leave their job in the next two years.

The bottom line: Internal communications plays a herculean role in workplace success and employee retention. It makes the difference between time — and salaries — well spent or wasting two of your most scarce and precious resources.

Go deeper: Ineffective internal comms create a massive retention risk

Comms Report 2024

The 2024 state of internal communications

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