Good Corporate Communicators Can be Profitable

December 4, 2007 ( - Being a good corporate communicator can benefit the bottom line, according to a new study.

A Watson Wyatt news release said companies with the most effective communication programs had a 47% higher total return to shareholders from 2002 to 2006, compared with companies that do not communicate well. Additionally, the study found those companies are four times as likely to have engaged employees than their poor performing counterparts.

Communications practices of high-performers identified by the study, according to the release, included:

  • Helping managers communicate effectively,
  • Leveraging the talents of internal communicators to manage change effectively, and
  • Measuring the impact of employee communication.

“Top-performing companies treat communication as a key business driver,” said Kathryn Yates, global director of communication consulting at Watson Wyatt, in the news release. “They use communication to educate managers and engage employees in the business by providing line-of-sight to customers’ needs and business goals. Furthermore, by gaining insight into what top-performing companies are doing, employers can reorient their communication programs, brand their employee experience and make a difference in their business results.”

Watson Wyatt said its study also found:

  • More companies are communicating directly with employees on how their actions affect the customer. The percentage of companies consistently providing such feedback increased from 21% in 2003 to 39% in 2007.
  • Less than one in five respondents let employees weigh in on decisions that affect them. Still, top financial performers are 10 times more likely to invite employee feedback.
  • The percentage of companies treating managers as a distinct and important audience for advance communication increased 7.5%, with the top financial performers 50% more likely as others to provide such information.

The study is here .