You can’t improve what you can’t measure.
So, to truly understand if you are progressing in an area, you need the ability to track your performance. That’s why data is so important. It will allow you to see if you are moving toward a goal or objective. But you have to decide what exactly are the right things to measure. A goal such as increasing the effectiveness of internal communication in your organization can be measured by looking at Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
However, internal communication KPIs aren’t immediately obvious from a first glance. Here are some simple tips for measuring whether or not your internal communication is effectively meeting the needs of your employees.
1. Set a baseline.
You’ll need to figure out what you’re measuring to determine the effectiveness of your current efforts. Take stock of what metrics your organization is following, how those metrics are followed, and what the current numbers indicate. In other words, set “ground zero” numbers that will serve as your reference point to measure your work going forward.
2. Responses and Feedback
If you aren’t already surveying your employees, now is the time to start. Surveys can be the best way of understanding what your employees have engaged with when it comes to internal communication. Typically, people are more willing to provide honest answers if they feel that there is anonymity to their responses. No one wants to ‘call out’ a supervisor for not doing their job or a company for lacking in clear employee communication. In a survey, data is collected in clear and concise ways that allow a company to address the problem areas.
Asking questions like ‘On a scale of 1 to 10, how has this company effectively demonstrated its ability to communicate internally?’ is an objective way to get the information you need. Also allowing for comments after a question can allow employees to elaborate on an unclear topic. Do not just sent out one survey to all your employees. Make sure to segment out your employees by job/title/location and send them surveys tailored to their position in the company. Also, be sure to make the questions clear, with nothing vague or open to interpretation. You’ll need the most concise and direct answers possible. Another tactic is to run in-person focus groups with employees. This way, you can generate real conversations that dig into issues in a way that’s deeper than just answering survey questions.
3. Track Engagement
Employees may receive information, but are they really reading what they have been sent? Implementing a platform that tracks employee engagement with internal communication enables an organization to identify areas of concern. By tracking this information, employers can better understand a company’s weaknesses and then act upon them. In a digital world, it is inherently necessary to use digital tools to track every aspect of a company’s performance – and that includes communication.
What kind of engagement numbers are tracked? If you asked most managers or HR personnel, they would tell you email open rates or intranet logins. However, this only tells you a tiny part of the story. A more effective way of measuring might be email CTR (click through rates), or forwarded email and shares. Email open rates and intranet logins only show that an employee is aware of information being distributed by your organization. But, measuring the number of links in the emails that are clicked on, or company news that is forwarded to colleagues or shared on social media indicates that your employees are truly engaging with your company’s message.
Employees who are happy with their employers tend to stay in the same job for a longer time. And unhappy employees begin to look elsewhere for work. Common sense, right? By tracking a company’s turnover rate, you can better understand the effectiveness of your internal communication. When employees feel like they’re “in the know,” they feel a greater sense of respect and trust from their employers. If that level of trust and respect is missing, then employees will lose their enthusiasm for a company. This reduces productivity and eventually leads to turnover. This is an easy KPI to track. The challenge is making sure that it’s tied to internal communication.
This internal communication KPI can be often overlooked. Two of the biggest issues in modern workplace communication are the number disperse workers and the inefficiency of the current intranet systems. Almost one-third of employees never visit the intranet, and 43 percent of employees work from a remote location at least part of the time. Measuring the percentage of employees who can even be reached may be more important than any other metric. If a company memo is sent out and nobody is reading it, does it make an impact?
6. Employee Advocacy
This is another internal communication KPI that is often overlooked. And this goes hand-in-hand with employee engagement. Transforming your employees into passionate advocates for your brand can make a huge impact – not just in terms of social outreach, but also employee morale. When your employees become advocates for your company, it’s because they feel more connected and tied to organizational mission. This is important in helping you retain your top talent and also increase productivity. It also turns your workforce into a small army of PR machines. When employees are empowered to share approved company news and announcements on social media, you immediately can generate a countless number of people sharing, liking, tweeting and retweeting your message to the world of social media.
It’s often hard to measure where your strengths and weaknesses are when it comes to a company’s internal communication. By setting clear KPIs that make sense for your organization, it’s easier to collect data that will help move the business forward. That data can enable a company to track the progress toward meaningful goals.
Internal communication plays a key role in a company’s success and overall morale. By effectively tracking the progress of the goals you implement, you will improve the efficiency of communication and the engagement at your company.