Chief Communication Officers (CCOs) have reported that their C-Suite influence is growing, according to Gartner, Inc. A Gartner survey of 182 communications leaders in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, and the U.K. showed that 83% of respondents felt their influence has grown as organizations become more interdependent.

The survey, which was conducted from November to December 2021, found that CCOs saw their influence as greater than other function heads’ at their organizations. Seventy-five percent of respondents said they have slightly or much more influence than their non-communications counterparts. 

“Companies are placing a larger emphasis on stakeholder communications and cross-functional collaboration,” said Jennifer Sigler, director analyst in the Gartner Marketing & Communications practice. “Given communicators’ unique talents in stakeholder relationship management, it would make sense that CCOs and their teams are being asked to play a central role in efforts to improve collaboration and other employee-related outcomes across the organization.” 

Seventy-two percent of CCOs said that their teams are either significantly or slightly larger than they were 12 months ago. Yet, they still have a tough time retaining employees. Like other industries during the “Great Resignation,” the communications department isn’t immune from high turnover. 

To help reduce turnover, Gartner offers the following to CCOs and their departments:

  • Identify and address the root causes of low staff engagement and high staff turnover on their teams.
  • Redesign teams and roles to eliminate overlapping responsibilities, ensure workflow compatibility and encourage collaboration between true specialists.
  • Work closely with functions with whom communications shares activity responsibility to create a clear, efficient division of work and smooth collaboration across team boundaries.

Gartner analysts will discuss the key issues facing CMOs during the Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo, taking place virtually May 23-25, 2022.