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    NEW STUDY: The State of Internal Communication in India


    Lise Michaud

    Crimson Communicare LLP released its first edition of 'State of Internal Communication in India' Study, focussing exclusively on in-house IC practitioners.

    Respondents from 149 organisations across more than 30 industrial sectors participated in the survey. "The communication universe in India is quite large and diversified. Consequently, we cannot say the results of this survey are representative of the entire IC space in India. Nevertheless, despite the limited scope, sample size and coverage, the results do show that contrary to the popular belief and perception, a large number of organisations in India have well-established IC departments and regularly

    invest in tools and technologies to engage and inspire their employees." indicates the report.

    A Baseline Survey

    Saima Sharif is the co-founder and Director of Crimson Communicare LLP. She comments: "Many organisations are doing amazing work in Internal Communication space in India. Through this comprehensive study, we identify the current best practices, emerging trends, new technologies and critical challenges of the IC sector in India. This baseline survey will help us determine where we are, and how much we have moved over a particular period. In later editions, we will also benchmark our findings against similar international internal communication trends and best practices. We plan to do this study once every two years."

    Here are some of the key findings of the survey.

    Internal Communication Role

    - 32% were exclusively dedicated to IC

    - 62% managed IC as an additional responsibility

    - 6% were indirectly responsible for IC (HR or

    Corporate Affairs)

    Additional responsibilities of IC professionals

    76% External Comms | 24 % Corporate Affairs | 30% Marketing | 31% Others (Social Media, Events)

    IC Staff Allocation

    This image provides an overview of IC human resource allocation in organizations:

    IC Budget Allocation

    61% have a dedicated internal communication budget and for 88%, the budget was either increased or remained the same as 2016.

    Priorities for the next year

    The introduction of new digital channels (69%); IC measurement (56%), improve face-to-face (51%), develop an IC strategy (47%), build an IC framework (43%).

    Initiatives planned for the next year

    Leadership communication is at the top of the list for 76% of respondents. Employee engagement (EE) remains in the hands of many IC practitioners as 69% plan on developing EE Programs in the course of the next 12 months.

    Where we are

    IC Strategy & Plans

    65% of participating organizations have an IC strategy in place, and for 70% of them, their IC strategy is aligned with their business strategy. 64% of respondents have an IC plan, out of which 62% said that their senior management was involved in the planning process. 41% of respondents said that their IC plan is guided by /aligned with their global headquarters. Only 29% of respondents believe they were able to demonstrate ROI for their function.

    Strategic Challenges

    According to the report, most internal communication practitioners fully understand the importance of measurement. 62% considered measurement as the most critical strategic IC challenge. "The focus on measurement implies that IC in these organizations is well entrenched and practitioners understand the importance of showing measurable results to the management. Only 21% of the respondents are struggling with buy-in from the top management. 37% of respondents feel limited by 'resources' - both budgetary as well as trained manpower."

    Measurement

    As outlined previously, IC measurement remains a critical challenge and key priority for a large number of respondents. The limiting factors are lack of time, resources and ambiguity about which are the most effective measurement tools.

    47% respondents indicated they measure IC, 25% are not measuring currently but plan to do so in the next 12 months, and 28% do not measure. "As expected, more than 40% who measure do so through employee engagement surveys or great places to work rankings (which are usually driven by HR, and do not have any inbuilt IC measurement parameters). Only 9% of respondents have listed IC audits as their measurement tool. Most of the other methods listed measure outputs rather than outcomes. There is a huge scope for improvement in the way and means currently being used for IC measurement."

    Feedback

    Emails (71%), audits/ surveys (56%) and face-to-face meetings (52%) are the favorite channels to get feedback from employees.

    Tactical Challenges

    Communicating and engaging with remote employees are a key concern for nearly half of all respondents. Capturing employee feedback, channel effectiveness, information overload and low adoption rate of digital channels are also a challenge.

    Channels

    Digital : Email remains the preferred mode of IC for 89% of respondents, closely followed by intranet (79%) and electronic newsletters (76%).

    Employee Social Networks & Mobile Apps : Adoption of mobile apps and employee social networking in IC is still marginal. "Yammer tops the list at the adoption rate of 31%. WhatsApp is being used by 28% of organisations as a messaging/ chat tool but is not clear if it is a matter of convenience (team chat in a group) or is an officially acceptable platform for internal communication. Workplace by Facebook has made a good beginning, and 18% of our respondents are using it. Most of the organisations are using more than one of these channels."

    Print : 72% of respondents are using printed posters, and 61% have printed employee newsletters. "While it is fair to assume that the print channels are being used in conjunction with other communication channels, our experience is that print is still a preferred method of communication in organizations who have offline employees, e.g. shop floor workers."

    Face-to-Face: More than 90% respondents still rely on traditional tools like - communication meetings/ cascade communication and open houses.

    A deep-rooted business function

    When asked what are the biggest surprises in the findings of this study, Saima responds: "We are both glad and surprised to know that nearly 70% of participating organisations have a dedicated person/ team to manage Internal Communication. A whopping 65% of respondents have an IC strategy in place, and about 70% of these respondents indicated that their IC strategy is aligned with their business strategy. This indicates that Internal Communication is now a deep-rooted business function and plays a crucial role in the success of these organisations."

    Download the report here to get all the details of the survey.

    Credits: All images on findings from Report State of Internal Communication in India, Crimson Communicare LLP.

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