This blog is provided by the IPR Organizational Communication Research Center.

While the world is focused on the ‘Great Resignation,’ there is an increased need for communicators and leaders to be mindful of the ‘Great Realization’ – a trend in which employees are re-examining the way they choose their places of work and find professional and personal fulfillment. It isn’t the benefits, salaries, or policies that bother them. The focus on workplace culture is witnessing a revival that organizations can’t ignore. It is about doing what’s right, being part of a community that cares, an organization that is socially conscious and having a workplace culture that respects people.
A study by The Society for Human Resource Management discovered “that nearly 1-in-5 American workers have left a job in the past five years due to bad company culture, resulting in an estimated $223 billion lost for companies over that time.” From vaccinations to pay, and from ethics to mental health, employees have a more substantial say in topics that matter. The employee-employer relationship has been evolving from a reactive scenario to one with equity and ownership for both parties. This new reality will require an evolution in how organizations reshape their cultures and partner with employees to create shared success in the future. For internal communicators and leaders, monitoring, assessing, and engaging will be primary needs as expectations at the workplace shift.

Based on this research, I outlined five communication trends that can potentially change the way communicators and leaders drive connection, community, and care at the workplace and beyond.

Netbase Quid and PR Week
Netbase Quid and PR Week explored how public relations professionals collect and implement consumer intelligence. 

A survey of 217 U.S. PR professionals was conducted from May 3–14, 2021.

Key findings include:
  • 60% of professionals spend more of their time monitoring social media for specific intelligence about their brand alone.
  • 20% of leaders said they monitored for intelligence on their competitors most often. 
  • 22% of respondents said they have an “excellent” understanding of how their customers feel about their brand versus the competition.
  • In comparison, 38% said their understanding was no higher than “fair.” 
  • Most brands are not using competitive intelligence to try and win customers directly from their rivals.
  • 41% of respondents said this was a “minimal” focus or “not at all” while only 16% said this was “very much” a focus of theirs.

Pew Research Center and Elon University
This summary is provided by the IPR Digital Media Research Center.

Pew Research Center and Elon University explored how experts expect the digital public sphere to evolve by year 2035. 

A survey of 862 technology innovators and developers, business and policy leaders, researchers, and activists was conducted from June 29 – August 2, 2021.

Key findings include:
  • Only 10% of respondents said the current technological evolution is mostly positive and will lead to a better society.
  • Most respondents (70%) said there are both positive and negative impacts for society.
  • 61% of respondents said that by 2035, digital spaces and people’s use of them will change in ways that significantly serve the public good.
  • Some respondents predict that government regulation will help shape corporations' adoption of more ethical behavior by 2035.
  • Experts who doubt that significant improvement will be made in the digital sphere say that "datafication" of human activity and hyper-surveillance are unstoppable.

This summary is provided by the IPR Digital Media Research Center.

Deloitte examined how artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming organizations globally.

A survey of 2,875 IT and line-of-business executives from 11 countries was conducted from March – May 2021.

Key findings include:
  • AI-fueled organizations nurture a trusting, agile, data-fluent culture and invest in change management to support new ways of working.
  • Organizations that invest in change management to a high degree are at least 1.5 times more likely to achieve their organizational goals, compared to organizations that do not invest in change management.
  • 40% of respondents said their company has an enterprise-wide strategy for implementing AI.
  • Organizations with an enterprisewide strategy and leaders who communicate "a bold vision" were 1.7 times more likely to achieve outcomes versus organizations without a strategy.
  • 66% of respondents said AI initiatives are important to remaining competitive over the next five years.

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