Have your say on line manager communication

What’s your view on line manager communication in your organisation?

How do you train your people managers so they can communicate effectively?

What are your biggest challenges or opportunities when it comes to line manager communication?

If you have a view, and I’m sure you do, please get involved in a new piece of research.

CIPR Inside, a specialist group of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has launched a brand new Line Manager Communication survey today. It explores the approach taken by internal communication and HR functions to enable and support line manager communications.

We are spoilt for choice when it comes to research into line managers, but there’s still more to be done. I know from my own conversations with All Things IC’s clients and Comms friends, investing in line manager communication is always the right thing to do, but lots of companies struggle with it.

In my experience, it’s often the lack of clarity provided by an organisation re: “this is what we expect of you” as a line manager, and “this is what you can expect from us” that’s missing. I spoke about this in episode seven in season one of my Candid Comms podcast: How to help line managers communicate.

CIPR Inside says their research aims to build upon the existing body of research from Gatehouse, Institute of Internal Communication, CIPD and most recently, Jenni Field’s Line of Sight research.

CIPR Inside told me: “Time and again research has shown that there is a shortfall in line manager communication in terms of the time and support it’s given, but at the same time we know that line managers and their communication are a critical factor for teams and organisational success. We need to fix this to help line managers, their teams and organisations succeed.”

I welcome this survey and encourage you to complete it before the end of October.

Have your say in CIPR Inside's survey today

What’s the gap the research is trying to uncover?

This research aims to discover the level of importance placed on line manager communication in organisations.

Questions include:

  • How much of a priority is it to organisations?
  • What value is placed on line manager communication skills and behaviours?
  • Are their communication skills considered and supported by the business to help them lead and empower their teams?
  • What can we do better in internal communication to give line managers the support they want and need?
  • Who takes responsibility for ensuring they have the skills they want or need?

Who is the research aimed at?

The research aims to reach HR partners and line managers as well as internal communication colleagues. It’s hoped that a mix of perspectives on the issue of line manager communication and how we best help resolve the challenges will be uncovered by a diverse mix of respondents.

The survey can be shared far and wide inside your organisations and wider in your networks. Deeper insights from structured interviews will provide a fuller picture about who in the organisation takes ownership for line managers’ communication  with line managers, HR, and internal communications practitioners.

The survey is available here, and CIPR Inside say no personal data is collected. https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/ILCPCF/

Please share with your communication, line manager and HR colleagues to help provide a breadth of input to the research.

If you would like to arrange a conversation with one of the CIPR Inside committee and be a research interviewee about your experience of line manager communication, please fill out this request and one of the CIPR Inside Committee project team will be in touch. Your responses will be handled confidentially.

The CIPR Inside research team within the committee are: Becky Hall, Binu Jacob, Chaya Mistry, Fiona Hatton, Friedel Grant and Katie Marlow. The survey is open from Wednesday 8 September until Sunday 31 October.

How to help line managers communicate

When will the results be published?

The results will be published later this year as a report, with deep dive webinars and learning opportunities around the findings created to give CIPR members the opportunity to ask more questions and learn more to help them in their work.

“All of us involved in employee communications want to have a positive impact on organisational engagement, and an undeniably important part of this is working effectively with line managers. CIPR Inside wants to understand and share with the industry IC practitioners’ current experiences of helping line managers to communicate effectively, enabling conversations, and taking the right steps towards improving the practice. If your role involves internal communications, please share your experiences in this important survey.” CIPR Inside Chairperson, Martin Flegg, Chart. PR, FCIPR

“More knowledge and insight is needed about how line manager communication is working in practice across organisations today. The results of this survey will enable discussions about if, and how, communications professionals could be working more effectively, with the goal of positively impacting organisational engagement through line manager communication.” CIPR President, Mandy Pearse Chart PR, FCIPR

Please be aware that the survey is anonymous and does not collect any personal data. The survey should only take up to 15 minutes and can be completed on your mobile, laptop or desktop. So go right ahead, and have your say! Once you are done, please do share it with your HR partners and line managers to help get the breadth of responses needed.

If you would like to arrange for an interview be interviewed about your experiences with any line managers in your organisation communication, please fill out this request 

If you have any questions, please get in touch email the committee and one of the team will be in touch. CIPRinside@gmail.com.

Further reading about line managers via the All Things IC blog:

Learn more about internal communication with All Things IC

If you want to learn even more about internal communication, check out my range of Online Masterclasses. They will boost your internal communication skills, knowledge and confidence.

Our Summer Saver promotion is currently running. Use the code summersaver at the checkout to remove 15% off any Online Masterclass. This offer runs until 30 September 2021 and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

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See the dedicated website to access all the latest courses. They are packed with bespoke text lessons, videos, workbooks and quizzes to help you learn about the wonderful world of IC at your own pace. They are pre-recorded, which means you access the content at the time you choose.

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Find out more about what’s on offer: How to learn about internal communication.

NEW: We’ve just launched a virtual Mastermind for Global Comms Directors. If you have responsibility for global IC in your organisation, this two-hour remote Mastermind on 7 December is for you. Enrol today.

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Thank you for stopping by,


Post author: Rachel Miller
First published on the All Things IC blog 8 September 2021.

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