Running internal communication campaigns without being able to determine whether or not they were effective is a bit like flying blind. You put a lot of time, effort and resources into the activity…but did you get to your destination?
Internal communication effectiveness is important in any organization – it helps to form a cohesive team, reduces error, boosts employee morale and engagement, and helps to motivate employees.
But just communicating with employees isn’t enough. If you can’t measure the success of your work you will never know if it was effective or not. What worked well? What didn’t work? What you think may have been a new and innovative way of delivering information may have fallen completely flat.
Being able to track your performance is important to determine whether or not you’ve achieved your objectives and goals. Having data to inform this is important – particularly when you are dealing with other areas of the organization, such as senior management, who will want to be informed and appraised of your work. Data can be gathered by setting and analyzing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
1. Establish a baseline for internal communication metrics
You can’t improve on something if you don’t know what it is you are improving on in the first place. To determine how effective your current internal communications efforts are, you’ll need to understand what metrics are currently being used within your organization to determine success, if any, and what the current numbers are.
If there are no current internal communication metrics in place, you’ll want to set some and gather data. This may include using analytics tools, gathering qualitative and quantitative data, analyzing cohorts within your organization and benchmarking your results.
2. Set basic internal communication KPIs
There are basic KPIs you can already set based on the day-to-day work that you carry out in the internal communications space within your organization. You can gather this data at regular intervals, e.g. weekly, monthly or quarterly and measure progress or see if there have been any decreases.
Look at the internal communication channels you are using and determine what quantitative data can be gathered from these sources. Internal communication KPI examples may include:
- Tracking open rates and click rates in email communications.
- Counting page views on intranet pages.
- Measuring the number of shares, likes and other interactions on your corporate social media.
- Determining how many views corporate videos have received.
- Utilizing any analytics components of any software you are using as part of your internal communications campaigns.
- Sending staff surveys where there are pre-defined answers to choose from.
3. Gather qualitative data
Engaging employees with focus groups, face-to-face consultations and delivering surveys where they can provide their answers are examples of qualitative data that you can collect.
Qualitative data is subjective, but can give a good indication of morale and whether or not the information is being successfully delivered.
4. Compare your quantitative and qualitative data to get a better picture
As a measurement tool, qualitative data can be useful… but should be noted that it is a snapshot of how members of the workforce were feeling on a particular day and may not be reflective of their overall attitude, and their words may not even match the actions that they take out.
For example, an employee may say in an interview they would like it if the CEO communicated more with staff, but may never actually read any CEO updates that are emailed.
It may be, however, that they are more likely to watch a webinar with the CEO than read a message.
The old expression “actions speak louder than words” can be used to sum this up. Are your employees saying one thing but doing another? Is there room to try new things to determine what would work to help their actions match their words?
5. Perform a cohort analysis
This is particularly useful for large organizations with different types of “audiences” or employee groups. For example, all staff who work in a particular state or country if you’re a multinational. Or if you’re in a complex industry such as health you may have employees with different communication needs such as doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, administration staff, etc.
Determine questions you want these groups to answer, such as how they feel about working for the company, do they feel they get sufficient information, do they feel they have adequate training opportunities and so on. You can then evaluate whether there are groups that need extra attention and develop strategies and follow up with future measurements to determine if there’s been an improvement.
For example, administration staff may feel that they are kept informed, but nurses may not. Or employees in your Chicago office may be happy with their workplace, but morale could be tanking in the Seattle outpost. These nuances can be hard to determine when you survey the organization as a whole.
6. Other measurements – beyond basics
The most obvious way to measure the effectiveness of your internal communications is to determine whether or not the information you sent was followed. Questions you may want to answer include:
- Are people following new policies and procedures?
- Are mistakes being made?
- If so, are they costing the organization money?
- Are you experiencing legal problems?
- What are your employee retention rates? Are levels of absenteeism up or down?
- Are your stakeholders and customers happy?
- Are you getting bad reviews on social media?
- Is revenue down?
Internal communication is key to so many aspects of how you do business. To answer these questions, and any others that are relevant, look at what your organization does and how it is structured to determine what these data sources might be and extrapolate what you can.
Measurement can be painful, particularly if it isn’t your strength and is outside your regular skill-set. We’re aiming to take some of the pain away with our free internal communications measurement template.
How DeskAlerts can help you with successful internal communications
DeskAlerts is a versatile internal communications software solution that is one of the best practices for effective internal communication.
The software works by sending pop up alerts to PCs within your organization or push notifications via an app to corporate devices such as mobile phones and tablets.
The messages are sent in a way that cannot be ignored or skipped, and you can be certain that 100 % of messages will be seen by your employees.
Other features of the software include being able to send video content, scrolling tickertape desktop feeds, corporate screensavers, corporate wallpapers, and corporate newsletters.
DeskAlerts can send quizzes, surveys, and polls to your employees where you can have instant results – in real time – when you need feedback on any issue.
You can send to unique, custom audiences – such as the cohorts mentioned above – which can help you determine what internal communications issues may be present within different sections of your workforce. You can also use this feature to deliver tailored, targeted communications to these same cohorts.
Best of all, with DeskAlerts administration access you can see instantly which employees have seen and acted on your messages, and which ones haven’t, giving you solid, measurable metrics to inform your analysis of your internal communications campaign.