Back in October of 2013, I remember being shocked by the Gallup Employee Engagement study results when they came out. Engagement was in crisis. But I remember being even more shocked at the audible gasp from a very large room full of communicators at a conference in June 2014, when one of the presenters quoted from the results: “Only 13 percent of employees are engaged worldwide.”
This second shock wasn’t at the data; it was that nine months after their release, these numbers were unknown to so many practitioners in the room. One statistic, used in so many different contexts by human resource directors, employee experience advocates, vendors, recruiters and leaders was, by that stage, already over half a year old, yet was news to a lot of people in the room. A strategic opportunity missed.
Earlier this month saw the release of another industry-shaping set of data, the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer. The Trust Barometer has been significant in shaping communication practice for a range of reasons: It is an established data set and methodology (2019 marks the Barometer’s 19th year); it is global; and it is embedded in the dialogue of business strategy. The timing of the report as part of the World Economic Forum also means that it informs not just communication leaders, but CEOs and business leaders as well. It is communication as strategy.
Edelman’s findings have been influential in creating the case for a number of major shifts in internal communication practice over the past decade, including focus on:
- Employee ambassadors (trust growth in a person like self/peer or in subject matter experts, decreased trust in CEO/government in 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2016)
- Employee social networks (trust in “a person like myself” grew in 2013,
This content is available to IABC members only. To continue reading, log in below.