What Business Leaders Need to Know About Internal Comms

Rarely do senior leaders and C-suite executives have the privilege of glimpsing into the inner workings of their internal communications team. But, thanks to the 2024 State of the Sector report by Gallagher, you now have that chance.

This report sheds light on how your comms team is working to boost employee engagement and the challenges they're facing. We've gone through the report and can share valuable insights about what topics are resonating with your workforce and the obstacles your comms team faces in getting their voice heard.

Plus, we’ve listed over 40 questions you should ask your comms team to gain insight into topics such as leadership support, strategic collaboration, measuring impact, how you can help empower others, and wellbeing and support.

Does your organisation allow communicators to perform at a strategic level?

4 things your comms team wants you to know

Three top challenges

Their top barriers to success are the lack of time and capacity in their team (35% of respondents), disengaged employees (32% of respondents) and the lack of budget/financial resources (25% of respondents).

13% lack support from leadership

An unfortunately familiar scene for many internal communications team is only being involved after decisions have been made.

Internal communications teams are still questioning their seat at the table. They feel like senior leaders don’t recognise the relevancy of their role, and in turn, they aren’t invited to decision-making conversations.

Taking a strategic approach to communications allows your comms team to improve employee understanding – which benefits the business’ bottom line. In practice, this means involving internal comms teams in the decision-making process instead of giving them comms to push out after a decision is already made.

Help make the most of people managers

Organisations with more deskless employees rely on people managers to share key company communications to their team. However, 3 in 5 internal communicators report that people managers are not meeting communication expectations.

Hybrid working and deskless employees still pose a challenge for communicators so help your communicators support people managers:

People managers have an important role to play in communication. When managers are better communicators, employees have better understanding.

Support their wellbeing

Communicators are a valuable asset, given the skills they likely have developed in everything from DEI to graphic design, CSR, stakeholder management and more. But they’re running on fumes. 78% of respondents said their wellbeing at work has deteriorated or stagnated.

This largely stems from the belief that the business doesn’t value communications: the lack of business investment, shrinking budgets, stagnant/decreasing team sizes. Be warned: 44% of communicators could see themselves happily in a role outside of communications.

Not meeting comms teams needs represent a huge risk to the business

Questions to ask your internal communications team

Reading these findings have probably got you scratching your head. Our top tip is to engage in open dialogue with your communications team. Here are 40+ questions to guide your discussion around leadership and buy-in, strategic collaboration, quantifying impact, people managers, and wellbeing.

Leadership and buy-in

Strategic collaboration

Quantifiable impact

Empowering people managers to communicate more effectively

Wellbeing and support

Your communicators are full of passion - but don't take that for granted. We hope these findings help you realise how valuable your comms team are, provide some guidance on how to make effective changes, and spark insightful conversations.

More articles

The Slide Editor is Getting An Upgrade

What Business Leaders Need to Know About Internal Comms

Gallagher’s State of the Sector 2024 Summarised For Internal Communicators