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Institute for Public Relations Report Demonstrates Organizations are Failing to Provide a Clear "Line-of-Sight" to Employees

Employees in five countries gave their organizations low marks on three dimensions of "Organizational Clarity," with India scoring the highest and U.K. scoring the lowest.

Submitted by: Institute for Public Relations

Categories: Research, Reports & Publications, Human Resources & Diversity

Posted: May 11, 2016 – 01:00 PM EST


GAINSVILLE, Fla., May 11 /CSRwire/ - The Institute for Public Relations (IPR) Commission on Organizational Communication has released the first global study on Organizational Clarity, finding organizations are failing to provide a complete “line-of-sight” to employees.

The study, “Organizational Clarity: The Case for Workforce Alignment and Belief,” indicates employees in the five countries examined are confident they understand the core purpose of their organization and find meaning in their work, but believe organizations have much work to be done in prioritizing and communicating strategy internally.  

More than 1,500 employees in five countries— United States, United Kingdom, India, Brazil and China—were surveyed about how well they think their organization connects to three dimensions in terms of employee alignment: JOB, STRATEGY, and MARKET. Each country received a grade ranging from “A” to “F,” based on the mean responses from their employees. The best to worst performing countries in terms of Organizational Clarity were India, United States, China, Brazil and the United Kingdom. Some key findings include:

  • Grades on the JOB dimension ranged from a “B” for India to a “C” for the U.K. Most employees gave high marks to their understanding of the organization’s core purpose, and said they found meaning in their jobs. Employees in the U.K. were less likely than its counterparts to say they were rewarded fairly.

  • India fared better than other countries, earning a “B” in the STRATEGY dimension as the U.K. scored the lowest with a “C.” Employees in the U.S. and India were more confident in their organization’s strategy over the next three years than other countries. Except for India, employees said organizations need to better use technology to communicate strategy, and ensure when initiatives are completed, the results get reported to employees.

  • All countries earned “Fs” for MARKET, except for India that scored a D. Employees in the U.S. and the U.K. said too many initiatives in their organization are going on at the same time, their work priorities often conflict, and that they felt more connected to the profession than their organization. 

Building on the three key dimensions –JOB, STRATEGY, and MARKET – the "Organizational Clarity Clock," a new measurement model emerging from the research, shows Organizational Clarity is increased when employees understand the market as seen through the lens of the company’s strategy. 

 “The IPR Organizational Clarity Study is the first of its kind in the profession with regard to identifying the elements for breaking through the clutter of today’s modern corporation and having a mechanism—dimensions, scorecard, market difference, techniques—focused on clarity to measure progress in real-time,” said Gary F. Grates, IPR Trustee and Principal at W2O Group.  “We live in a content-rich, attention-deficient society so gaining and holding employee interest and cultivating engagement is no longer a goal, it must be a leadership imperative.”

The IPR study also investigated Organizational Clarity across six economic sectors–Automotive/Transportation, Energy, Financial Services, Food/Beverage, Healthcare, and Technology. Statistical differences within the three dimensions of the sectors were not found. Some key findings include:

  • On the JOB dimension, grades ranged from “B-“ to “C+” as more than one out of four respondents said they were not rewarded fairly for their job. 

  • Grades across sectors in the STRATEGY dimensions ranged from a “B-“ to a “C,” with the technology sector leading the way thanks in part to employees reporting their companies communicated results better using technology than the other sectors.

  • All sectors earned “Fs” in the MARKET dimension as organizations need to do a better jobcommunicating their actions, and ensure employees do not feel their work priorities conflict. 

In companies throughout the world, employees are inundated with information today and rely on organizational behavior and action to connect the dots for them on vision, strategy and direction. In addition to the research findings, the study also offers takeaways and suggested actions to improve Organizational Clarity and drive performance.

“As IPR celebrates its 60th anniversary, we are excited about this first take on Organizational Clarity,” said Sarab Kochhar, Ph.D., Director of Research for IPR. “The next phases of our Organizational Clarity research will include how various people, processes, and environments influence success.”  

The study was generously sponsored by AT&T, General Electric, Hormel Foods, Shell, Southwest Airlines, Standard Chartered Bank, USAA, and Dr. Bruce Berger.

For the full study visit: http://www.instituteforpr.org/organizational-clarity-case-workforce-alignment-belief/ 


About the IPR Commission on Organizational Communication 
With social, economic, political and technological transformation sweeping the globe, no other discipline will prove more important to business leaders over the next five years than organizational communication. The IPR Commission on Organizational Communication will play a critical role in shaping the global practice of organizational communication; in ensuring that critical knowledge for guiding current and future leaders in our profession is readily available; and in creating new communities – real and virtual – where tomorrow’s leaders can network, seek solutions and ideate tomorrow’s models. 

About the Institute for Public Relations
The Institute for Public Relations is an independent, nonprofit research foundation dedicated to the science beneath the art of public relations™. IPR focuses on research that matters to the profession, providing timely insights and applied intelligence that professionals can put to immediate use. All research is available free at www.instituteforpr.org and provides the basis for the organization’s professional conferences and events.

For more information, please contact:

Sarab Kochhar, Ph.D. Director of Research - Institute for Public Relations
Sarah Jackson PR Associate
Fax: Institute for Public Relations


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