Global chiefs inhibit good communications and block HR messages

Chief
executives are becoming increasingly detached from their employees and poor
internal communication is stifling the delivery of HR messages, according to
new research.

UK-based
global organisations are in a state of internal ‘communications chaos’, according
to the survey by IT research company Vanson Bourne and technology firm
Forbidden Technologies, with HR heads admitting they are failing their global
audiences, with poor communication leading to a lack of understanding of
company policies, direction and core messages.  

The
companies questioned 100 heads of internal communications within the UK’s top
500 corporations about the challenges of communicating to a global internal
audience.  

"Despite
the best efforts of HR and comms departmental heads, the research shows that
effective internal communication across a disparate network of global offices
remains a huge challenge," said Graham Opie, research director at Vanson
Bourne.

"Its
importance is clearly understood, but the study confirms that many corporations
lack either the understanding or commitment to turn theory into reality,"
he said.

Greg
Hirst, business development director for Forbidden Technologies, said:
"The board must take the lead on this issue. With only 40 per cent of
board members presenting to employees once or twice a year, senior executives
are unlikely to have visibility within their own organisations, and boardrooms
are becoming increasingly detached."

More
than three-quarters of firms questioned operate offices throughout Europe and
across a at least two continents. Synchronising communications activity across
these regions is the most common challenge, while the most favoured form of
interaction with employees is the face-to-face meeting or presentation.

"This
creates a clear conflict," said Hirst. "Despite being the most
favoured form of internal communications, the time and financial pressures of
face-to-face presentations makes this an untenable strategy. Truly effective
internal communications and HR visibility require a constant, unchallenged flow
of information to and from employees."

By Mike Berry

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