Most firms don’t have AI guidance in place for internal comms

Over two-thirds (71 percent) of organisations do not provide guidance on when, where or how to use AI for internal communicationsOver two-thirds (71 percent) of organisations do not provide guidance on when, where or how to use AI for internal communications, according to Gallagher’s 2023/24 State of the Sector report [registration]. Furthermore, the study, which drew insights from more than 2,300 communication and HR leaders across 56 countries, claims that 1 in 10 communicators (13 percent) were unsure if their organisation was using AI.

The report suggests that communicators who are using AI are three times more likely to believe the technology will reduce workloads. AI adopters were also 20 percent more likely to believe it will improve the quality of communications. While the report claims AI can drive efficiencies and unlock new ways to communicate, it recommends organisations focus on getting the basics right, as well as seeking out training opportunities and feedback mechanisms to get the best return on investment.

New technologies designed to improve efficiencies have not replaced the importance of human connections, according to  the authors. More than 8 of 10 respondents (84 percent) said they rely on managers for communication to some degree. The topics managers most regularly communicate on include strategy, vision and purpose; values, behaviours and culture; and organisational change integration or M&A activities.

According to the poll, 3 of 5 respondents indicated manager communication was below expectations. Furthermore, 18 percent of respondents stated “poor people manager communication skills” was one of the top barriers to success in 2024. In response, organizations are leveraging a number of tactics and tools to improve outcomes. The most common resources include on-demand learning (82 percent), written and/or downloadable resources to help facilitate communication (74 percent), managers-only forum/communications channel (67 percent) and one-to-one coaching/mentoring on communications skills (63 percent).

In addition to identifying best practices and areas for improvement, State of the Sector looked at the wellbeing of communicators themselves. Nearly 40 percent of communicators (38 percent) indicated their wellbeing decreased in 2023. For many respondents, challenges around dwindling employee attention spans (12 percent), lack of leadership buy-in and understanding of the profession (27 percent), and having to do more with less (23 percent) has likely contributed to this deteriorated wellbeing.