Is evaluating internal communications metrics a strong skill in your organization? Internal communicators often face the battle of proving the business value and impact of communications to business leaders.
Lack of analytics and measurement was the third biggest challenge for internal communications teams in 2022, according to Gallagher’s State of the Sector report.
Communication does not happen in a vacuum and it can sometimes be difficult to isolate the impact of communication versus other factors.
If you have a long term employee communication plan in place you’re off to a good start. But how do you measure and analyze your efforts to ensure the effectiveness of your communications?
This guide will help you get started with measuring internal communications in your organization.
Why Measuring Internal Communications is Important
Successful internal communications are built on measurement. Quantifying value is essential in recognizing just how much internal communications contributes to the organization.
Selecting the right tools with the right tracking helps connect the dots between internal communication, employee engagement and financial performance.
If your existing communications channels don’t provide reliable measurement of outcomes, how can you know what’s effective and what’s a waste of your time and investment?
Understanding what works and what does not allow you to better allocate resource and budgets. It also helps in selecting the best channels for delivering key messages.
When Should We Measure Internal Communications?
Annual in-depth engagement and satisfaction surveys provide insights into the effectiveness of internal communications.
At intervals to track attitudes, regular measurement helps communicators to gauge the ever-shifting feelings and attitudes within an organization. It also allows them to tailor messages to make sure they are appropriate to their audiences.
Prior to a new communications campaign, you should measure existing knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of employees. Establish a baseline to compare campaign results with your usual performance.
After a campaign, measure the effectiveness and impact of significant communications programs and initiatives. This allows you to tailor internal communications to make sure they are effective and deliver quantifiable business value.
Communication Metrics & KPIs
Measuring engagement from your communication efforts can be done by identifying delivery rates, open rates and click-through rates. This can provide valuable insights on who is receiving, opening and interacting with your communications.
Take pulse and temperature checks through employee engagement surveys following organizational change. Understand employee attitudes and tailor messages appropriate to each audience.
Were messages seen as relevant, consistent and credible? Were the messages understood? How well do employees feel they are being supported?
Change in behavior
The objective of most internal communication is to change the attitudes and behaviors of employees. Therefore, it is valuable to identify and measure factors such as: What changed? Was there more or less of a behavior? What is now different?
Staff surveys and quizzes can measure shifts in behavior, plus dive into the causes of any changes. Identify lifts in customer satisfaction and staff retention as a result of changed behavior.
Impact on business goals
Aligning communication KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) with business KPIs ensures your activities support and drive the wider company strategy.
Communication measurement should enable internal communicators to quantify the impact of communications on business objectives. For example:
- The number of employees who signed up for share scheme (following its promotion)
- The shift in attitudes regarding customer service and the projected impact of increased customer retention
- The number of usable suggestions submitted via an employee suggestion initiative (and the financial value of those suggestions)
- The improvement in retention of good staff and reduction in employee turnover rates
How to Measure Communication Effectiveness
Measurement is a key part of all successful internal communication strategies. This includes:
- Setting objectives – defining SMART goals with quantifiable KPIs.
- Check-ins – assessing current performance at different timelines to track success in real time.
- Analyzing results – using both qualitative and quantitative measures.
To measure communications effectiveness there are a few techniques you can use.
Free form answers in surveys
Open-ended questions in employee surveys are used to capture employee sentiment in their own words. These are usually optional rather than mandatory questions and can provide valuable deeper insights into issues of interest or concern.
When surveys rely on employees to opt-in or 'self-select', you may hear from only those people with an agenda motivating them to participate. Employ random sampling and escalation options in your surveys to help ensure that data collected is representative of the whole organization.
Face-to-face interviews and focus groups are often the best option for qualitative communication measurement. Some of the challenges to consider with focus groups is encouraging participation, plus managing attendance and required resources (people, venues, catering etc.).
Internal social media can be a rich source of insights into employee sentiment and attitudes. Set up employee discussion forums to investigate specific issues. Monitor comments made in discussion forums to gather qualitative measures of how employees are thinking, feeling and behaving.
Control groups involve isolating a group, such as employees in a single remote location, and not communicating with them about a specific initiative or goal.
Targeting features make it possible to pilot and pre-test communications within a specified group of employees. You can then analyze how their actions differ from groups you have communicated with.
Tools for Measuring Communication Success
SnapComms customizable reporting makes measuring communication effectiveness easy. Delve into the detail of which channels perform strongest – or take a holistic view of performance across your whole comms platform. The power is in your hands.
These can be used to collect insights into the effectiveness of internal comms. Flexible question formats and simple data exporting make this a highly effective quantitative measurement tool.
Recurrence, random sampling and escalation options help ensure that representative measurement data is collected from across the organization.
These tools can collect information from employees regarding their demographics and information preferences. Targeting groups can then be set up based on this information. This functionality allows demographic surveying, for example to collect responses from employees with families versus those without.