As an organization that runs conferences, workshops and mentoring services, we were curious about the appetite for Internal Communication professional development against the backdrop of the global pandemic. Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond to our survey.
We promised to share the findings publicly, so here is what we discovered:
Professional Development is still important
92% of participants told us that professional development is still important to them. It’s good to know that communication professionals recognize that they need to stay up-to-date with the latest research and practices and are committed to continuous improvement.
They are busier than normal
What we found interesting is that 73% of participants said their work has been busier than normal and many of them were now working from home.. This is consistent with what we’ve been hearing from Internal Communication colleagues. Their organizations have recognized the importance of employee communication but with little investment in tools and resources, these practitioners are at risk of burning out.
Investment in Professional Development
Despite working harder than normal, 73% of participants are still investing time and/or money in professional development. While the majority (93%) are taking the time to attend free programming, 20% to 40% are willing to invest in online conferences, training, workshops and mentoring services to help them improve.
This surprised us, given the majority have had their professional development budgets eliminated or frozen until the end of the year. About 25% of participants still had professional development budgets available while another 23% are willing to invest in themselves.
What skills are they looking to improve?
Overall, we found that more than 60% of participants want to learn more about Strategic Internal Communication, while 50% of people want a workshop or training in Reset and Recovery Strategy during and after COVID.
The results of this survey were a little bit of a relief. At a time when Internal Communication Practitioners are being recognized and valued for their integral role through this crisis, we must use this opportunity as a launching point for more strategic conversations that drive investment into people, processes and platforms. For this to happen, many recognize the need for development.
For Inner Strength Communication, this means we are relaunching our Engaging Employees Conference and 3rd Annual Strategic Internal Communication Conference as online or potentially hybrid events (as workplaces and venues open up). What was a live event will now be available to those previously not able to justify travel.
We will also launch a series of assessments, workshops and mentoring programs designed to give Internal Communication practitioners the learning they need to focus on strategy. What’s exciting is whether you need deep expertise and consulting work, or a way of enhancing your own internal communication skills, or that of your team, we’re here to help.