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The 2024 state of internal communications

THE WORKPLACE DATA YOU NEED... retain employees, improve alignment, win on social issues, spend smarter, save time, and boost revenue.

2024 will be full of difficult workplace conversations

The economy is stabilizing — where will you invest first? The presidential race is here — which issues will you address? The workforce is changing — how will your operations adapt?

Across organizations of all sizes, we’re seeing:

  • Salary waste: 55% of workers lose 30 minutes to two hours each day clarifying details they need to do their jobs.
  • Alignment breakdown: Only 14% of workers feel entirely aligned with business goals.
  • Retention risk: 49% of workers who don’t feel aligned are planning to leave their jobs within two years.
  • Political stress: Only 26% of workers say leaders define and accomplish an action plan when addressing tough issues.
  • Executive distraction: 48% of C-level leaders have to get more involved in projects than they typically should.

Those all tie back to ineffective communication. To see what’s going on and how executives can be more effective, we surveyed 400+ leaders sending internal communications and 1,000+ employees receiving similar updates.

The four themes inside

For communication leaders, there’s no better time than now to start talking with your CEOs, your Chiefs of Staff, and other top leaders about the playbooks you have on hand — and how to execute them. 


Time and money is wasted

At an employee and a leadership level, a lot of both is getting lost. Team motivation is waning, too, but many executives aren't even aware. The average full-time employee earning $100,000–$150,000 per year:

  • Loses 46 work days per year dealing with ineffective communication — searching for details they need to do their jobs or clarifying context.

  • Wastes $22,360 of their salary per year.

Nearly half of C-level leaders have gotten more involved in projects than they should have to and have had to set aside higher priority initiatives to put out immediate fires for all the same reasons.

→ The report includes a calculator to see what's going on at your org.

Untitled-2_600x450 ALIGNMENT

Alignment is breaking down

Data shows a direct correlation between how effective an organization’s internal communications are and how aligned its employees stay. And when alignment breaks down, leaders say they see more team conflicts.

  • 44% of leaders think their staff are entirely aligned with the organization’s business goals.

  • 14% of employees agree.

Leaders and employees are also at opposite ends of the spectrum on how relevant internal communications are, how clear and engaging they are, and what topics are critical to teams — all of which fractures alignment. 

→ The report includes a survey you can run with your team.

Comms Report 2024_landing page_600x450 RETENTION

Team retention is at risk

Internal communications play a herculean role in employee alignment. And breakdowns in alignment also draw a direct — and disappointing — line toward risks in team retention. 

  • 49% of unaligned employees plan to leave their job within two years.

  • 44% of unmotivated employees plan to leave their job within two years.

Communication needs to be a team sport. Right now, the C-suite are among the most active all-staff and department-level communicators. Use leaders at every level to add the context and dimension their teams need.

→ The report includes a channel-by-channel strategic planning guide.

Untitled-2_600x450 POLITICS

Political issues add stress

Every election brings up sensitive issues, and the uncertainty of who will lead our nation — or what policies and protections may change as a result — can be deeply unsettling to staff.

  • 48% of leaders say they lay out an action plan and reliably execute it when navigating social or political issues.

  • 26% of employees agree.

Worse, while leaders and employees are generally aligned on which topics are important to address, most employees have neutral to negative feelings about how well their organization is tackling those topics. 

→ The report includes employee attitudes by topic and age range.

Get the full report today

In 2024, data will be your savior. High quality communication will be your anchor. And empowered communication leaders — firmly beside the CEO — who have the tools they need to do their job will be your imperative. 

The leaders who acknowledge this, put in effort to collect and understand it, and prioritize improving their leadership strategy because of it will see an impactful difference: employees who are more motivated and aligned.

Because there’s a very clear progression…

  1. Strong revenue requires strong teams and productivity.
  2. Strong productivity requires strong energy and motivation.
  3. Strong motivation requires strong insight and alignment.
  4. Strong alignment requires strong awareness and communication.
  5. Strong communication requires strong communicators. 

An organization’s success, profitability, employee motivation, team retention, and more have a direct tie to how effective internal communications are. 

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Level up your internal comms

Axios HQ has all the tools, templates, and data you need to launch — and track — high-impact internal communications.

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