27 Key Takeaways from Gallagher Internal Communication 2022 Report for Communications Specialists

The Gallagher Internal Communications 2022 Report does an amazing job painting a picture of where internal communication is today, anticipating trends, and enabling internal communication specialists to better empower their organisations to deliver a better employee experience, foster a unique culture and communicate employee value proposition.

If you’re strapped for time, we’ve highlighted 27 key takeaways from the Gallagher 2022 State of the Sector report you cannot miss.

Top challenges and priorities for businesses in 2022

Despite their starring roles in communicating during the early days of the pandemic, employees have lost interest in the communications sent to them – that remains the biggest hurdle for this year. The top three challenges include:

According to Gallagher employee experience is shifting towards digital enablement. The top priorities are:

Surprisingly, some choices that used to rank highly in past years didn’t rank highly as a significant challenge this year. Namely non-wired/deskless employees (at 12%). This may be a promising sign that internal communication professionals have managed to overcome the difficulty in reaching and engaging with their dispersed workforce.

Top business priorities in 2021/22 [source]

Purpose and strategy: is internal communication creating clarity and driving understanding?

Dealing with uncertainty

When it comes to communicating change in 2022 and beyond, it is now more important than ever before for the leadership team and internal communicators to be aligned and clear. Here are the top three changes businesses have planned for in 2022:

The role of internal communicators in crafting the corporate narrative

For the past decade, diversity and inclusion (D&I) and environmental and social and governance (ESG) have been important themes in organisational narrative. However, in the past two years they have become hot topics.

The bottom line is that D&I, ESG and hybrid working will be the main topics of conversation, but they need to be conveyed authentically, without business jargon.

Employee feedback: valued but not captured

In a hybrid work environment, it can be very challenging to maintain a real connection to employees — it’s hard to gauge people’s body language over a video call.

Organisational listening: missed opportunities to collect valuable feedback

The top three channels used to collect feedback include engagement surveys (74%), pulse surveys (56%) and emails (50%).

Interestingly, feedback from social channels was also very low at 25%. This suggests that internal communications teams use social channels to push messages but don’t leverage the two-way channel potential to collect feedback. This type of push communication is better suited to one-way channels like workplace digital signage.

Why is this important? Organisations with higher levels of talent attraction and retention focus on employee feedback and understanding.

Organisational listening - the key to attracting and retaining talent

Employee experience: are organisations taking a more proactive approach to this getting a competitive advantage?

Though the lines between the responsibility of HR and internal communicators have often been blurred, there are signs that’s changing.

Hybrid working: are organisations adjusting their engagement strategies?

For years internal communications was primarily designed for office-based people, even if the business had a large proportion of deskless or shift workers. We’re looking at a long overdue review of how organisations interact with all of their people.

man attending online meeting while WFH
Use people managers as a valuable medium for collecting employee feedback

People managers: what is their role in the new world of work?

People managers are one of the most critical communication channels in any organisation. They influence their team’s commitment, productivity, engagement and performance.

When it comes to their ability to communicate with their teams, the shift to remote work may not have as much of an impact for those managing deskless people. The rise of digital has enabled many organisations to reach their people directly, making people managers a secondary source of information.

The golden age of communication: what can we learn from world-class practitioners?

Internal communicators embed the narrative into their organisation, and influence the employee experience, workplace culture and organisational wellbeing. Here’s how their role will change in 2022 and beyond.