Email means HR professionals increasingly poor at internal PR

Shel Holtz has an interesting post which runs as follows (ta Shel):
‘A human resources consulting firm called Novations has surveyed 2,046 senior HR and training and development executives and found that many have poor internal communications skills…
A Novations spokesperson said: “The survey results aren’t just disturbing, they’re also startling, given the time and money devoted to internal communication.”
35%—Senior management relies too much on email (and not enough on face-to-face communication)
30%—Senior management assumes a single message is adequate
28%—Senior management has no feedback loop in place
24%—Senior management’s messages often lack clarity
03%—Senior management communicates too much, too often

What stands out is the inherent weakness of email for employee communications. The Internet is used more and more, but there seems to be a point of diminishing returns when email is relied upon so much. Employees like to see and hear their management and may feel depersonalized by too much email messaging, instead of direct contact.”

4 thoughts on “Email means HR professionals increasingly poor at internal PR

  1. I think this reserach makes some good points about the weakness of email in internal communications. People have become so bored from being spammed that most messages are ignored.

    Of course, we do not have all the answers but research on our company-wide voice broadcasting to phones shows that the familiarity and passion of the human voice still has an impact
    We achieve 90% recognition with 67% welcoming the messages they get or finding them useful.

    That still leaves 33% but it still represents a good step forward in helping companies to keep all their people engaged.


  2. Hi, it’s a very interesting, especially now that we have so many channels to choose from! I saw Angela Sinickas speak at the Melcrum Communication Summit in Sydney last week and she had some compelling research about employees’ preferred channels for communication. While there’s no doubt that it is important for managers (both line and senior management) to make face-to-face part of their communication toolkit, many employees prefer complex messages to be delivered electronically.

    The thinking made a lot of sense to me. I mean, if a survey asked me if I wanted to receive more emails, then duh, I’m going to say no. But if I need information about my salary or benefits, then I’d much prefer to be able to read it than have to go to a briefing to hear someone talk about it.

    It’s all about the fact that there is no one right way to do things. Use the right channel for the message. What that will be depends on the message, the audience, the organisation, even the manager. I know I’d rather read an email than listen to a boring, uncharismatic manager’s presentation any day.

    I think we learning that what’s most important is the content – it must engage both the intellect (facts) and the emotions (motivate, inspire, intrigue). Choosing the right channel is an important part, but face to face aint always number one.

    Just my two cents!


  3. Completely agree Melissa – content is king. So if 28% of messages lack clarity it doesnae matter if its face to face or email, right? Wonder if you could extrapolate these research findings to blog comments boxes, too? Your ´two cents´was crystal clear and worth infinitely more than two!
    Ta much, Gerry


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