Nearly three-quarters of companies don't have AI protocols for internal comms

20 February 2024 Consulting.ca 2 min. read

Seventy-one percent of organizations don’t have guidance for internal communicators on how to use AI tech, according to a Gallagher 2023/24 State of the Sector report. The insurance broking and HR consulting firm polled 2,300 communication and HR leaders globally in October and November 2023.

Aside from the majority of internal comms leaders lacking guidance, 1 in 10 said they were unsure if their organization was even using AI.

“For many organizations, it's the Wild West with regard to how they are adopting and implementing AI," said Ben Reynolds, global managing director of Gallagher's communication consulting practice. "Because so few organizations have an AI plan, we can connect the dots to better understand why half of the respondents (50%) are skeptical or even fearful about the impact of AI.”

According to Gallagher, instituting an AI plan and providing training opportunities and feedback plans will help ensure the best returns on technology investments.

Nearly three-quarters of companies don't have AI protocols for internal comms

Despite the currently nascent environment, communicators who are using AI are three times more likely to think the tech will reduce workloads and 20% more likely to think it will improve quality of communications.

Nonetheless, the human touch remains important, with 84% of communicators relying on managers for communication to some degree. Managers most regularly communicate on the topics of strategy and purpose, values and culture, and organizational change integration.

However, 3 in 5 respondents believe manager communication was below expectations. Several tools are utilized by organizations to improve outcomes, including on-demand learning (82%), written resources to facilitate communication (74%), managers-only communications channels (67%), and one-to-one coaching on communications skills.

“Managers who were evaluated on their communications skills were twice as likely to meet/exceed expectations as those who were not evaluated. And those who weren't evaluated/accountable were more likely to receive tools, training & resources," Reynolds added.

The Gallagher report also surveyed the wellbeing of communicators themselves. Thirty-eight percent of communicators said their wellbeing decreased in 2023, citing challenges around lack of leadership buy-in (27%), having to do more with less (23%), and dwindling employee attention spans (12%).