Home Our Thinking How do our communications really make employees feel?

How do our communications really make employees feel?

Jason Frank

Most large organisations are increasingly awash with internal communications data that provide numbers on email, intranet, and other digital platform clicks, reads, and views. But it’s not enough. We need to know more about how our communications actually make people feel 

In these challenging times, we have both an opportunity and responsibility to ensure that we use the power of communications to help our people to feel and do better. Behavioural Science shows us it’s worth doing too…because by positively influencing how our people think and feel, we can influence their behaviour and contribution within our organisations. 

For this reason, Forty1 set out to look beyond the usual ‘click and read’ metrics to investigate how employee communications really make people feel. Partnering with YouGov, we conducted research amongst 1,000 US and UK employees in large organisations across sectors such as Healthcare, Technology, Professional Services, Media, Energy, and Utilities. We combined these findings with quantitative and qualitative research conducted over the last year amongst 1000+ employees around the world on behalf of major organisations by Forty1 research specialists.  

The result is The Forty1 Sentiment Monitor Report, containing the full findings, expert analysis, and Five Priorities to help leaders communicate more effectively.  


Some of the key findings include: 

  • Communications between senior leaders and their employees are more important to many people now than pre-pandemic, but it varies across audiences.  
  • Only 3 in 10 believe that employee communications have improved in this period. 
  • The majority of employees told us that communications from their senior leaders have a positive impact on their working lives, but there is an opportunity to make that positive impact more broadly and consistently. For example, employee communications are having a significantly less positive effect on those identifying as female [52%, compared to 64% for those identifying as male], and more junior employees [51%, compared to 73% for more senior employees].  
  • When asked about the changes they want to see in employee communications, a clear pattern emerged. Consistently, these three answers were given: ‘Be more transparent about challenges, failures, and mistakes’; ‘Provide more opportunity for conversation’; ‘Be more personal and authentic’.  

Click here to download the full report.