The only way to understand your employees is to assess their needs and preferences. And, when it comes to determining the effectiveness of your efforts, there’s no substitute for measurement. That’s why it’s surprising that communication professionals often neglect measurement. Many think measuring communication is too time-consuming, too expensive and too mathematical. Learn more about why you should be measuring your internal communication program.
One of the key components to any internal communication program is measurement. It allows you to gain insight into the effectiveness of your program and helps you move from a tactician to a trusted advisor.
With feedback from employees, you’re better able to meet their needs and demonstrate the value of your efforts. The data will show you what you’re doing well and where you can improve.
The best part: You don’t need a large budget or an A+ in statistics. Still not convinced? Here are seven reasons why you should be measuring your internal communication program:
1. Having survey and measurement data helps position you as an expert. You can move from “the person who helps us get communication done” to “the professional who knows what employees need” by tracking reach, measuring outcomes and demonstrating impact. If you can show colleagues that you can deliver results, they’ll treat you like a strategic advisor.
2. Employees have great ideas on how to improve communication. So if you’re stuck, simply ask the question, “What is one thing we can do to improve internal communication ?” and you’ll get lots of suggestions.
3. Measurement helps you speak the language of senior leaders. Leaders are comfortable with data, so bringing metrics to the conversation will help you gain a seat at the table.
4. There are two dangerous assumptions you can make about employee communication:
- First: What you (or leaders) prefer about communication will appeal to all employees.
- And second: Just because you’ve sent a message, employees have received it, understood it, bought into it and acted on it.
5. Once you get started, you’re in the game. Measurement gives you power. The biggest mistake communicators make when it comes to measurement is . . . not measuring. Paralyzed by fear or perfectionism, many communicators measure seldom or — worse — never. A short, incomplete survey is so much better than no measurement at all.
6. There are options, you just need to understand the value of each measurement tool. For example, focus groups and surveys can give you great information about employees’ needs and preferences but in different ways.
7. Metrics are available everywhere. A survey is not the only method for measuring effectiveness. For example, behavioral metrics are a good way to determine how employee communication channels are being used. For electronic communication, email opens, unique website visits and page views are all valuable metrics. You can also track behaviors such as the number of employees who attend a town hall or how many people pick up a printed piece.
And this post on 3 Ways to Measure your internal corporate communications will help organizations in understanding the employees’ needs and preferences to while design their communication programs.