36% of the nearly 180 respondents said that they expected to change job, a considerable variation from the average annual employee turnover figure of 18% cited by the CIPD1.
The most popular reason cited was career development (43% of respondents), followed in joint second place by salary aspirations, and lack of priority and resources given to communications (20% each). 12% of respondents said they wanted to leave because of problems created by structural and reporting issues.
The survey also revealed that communicators’ salaries had not been particularly negatively impacted by current business conditions. 86% of respondents had received a salary increase over the last twelve months, with a rise of up to 5% being most commonly cited (46.9%), followed by 6-10% (10.1%). 74% of respondents were also confident that they would receive a rise over the next twelve months.
28% of respondents were earning over 40,000. The mostly commonly cited pay band was 31-40k (29.1%), followed by 21-30k (24.6%).
CIB national chairman Paul Brasington comments: ‘It’s clear from this survey that pay is not the key factor in making individuals think about moving on. Indeed, 32% of responses focused on frustrations in the workplace relating to employer attitude, structural issues and resources rather than specific career and salary aspirations.
‘The days of automatic loyalty from employees are long gone – there has been an increasing trend for staff to focus on on their own core work values and what brings them job satisfaction even when faced with a challenging commercial climate. High levels of staff churn can create considerable upheaval and expense. Employers would do well to listen more closely to the concerns of their professional communicators as, apart from reducing staff turnover, this could also significantly increase the effectiveness of internal communications in making a real contribution to their business objectives.’
Xchangeteam CEO Emma Brierley says, ‘Based on the results of the survey, it’s clear that CEOs have to start to acknowledge the sterling work carried out by the internal communications professional if they are to retain this talent within their organisations. Internal Communicators are both under-represented at the highest level and, despite the importance of their function to a business, may feel the need to move on to an organisation that places greater value on internal communication and offers them the support and structure they require to achieve the best possible results for the business’.
Other selected findings from the survey include:
- According to respondents, the most important skill in internal communications is ‘understanding the business’ (73%) followed by strategic thinking (44.9%). The more traditional comms skills, such as writing/editing, listening and face-to-face communicating skills scored 54%, 49% and 39% respectively.
- A majority of respondents believe internal communications is rated ‘very important’ [19%] or ‘fairly important’ [48%] in their organisations
- Surprisingly only 11% confirmed that Internal Communications was represented at Board Level, with another 43% saying that IC was represented at Senior Management level.