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Internal Communications: How to Measure Key Metrics

6 minute read

If internal communications is your job, you know better than anyone else in the company how crucial effective workplace communication is for performance, engagement, and ultimately to reach your business goals.

But how do you convince upper management of this desperately-needed truth? How do you get the green light — and the budget — for an overhaul of the company's internal communication channels to bring them up to modern standards?

You'll need more than a vision. You’ll need hard data.

And here's where we see a striking difference between internal and external communications. While measuring metrics is a standard practice in external communications, Epicom’s 2020 Study for European Internal Communicators suggests that less than 50% of internal communication professionals measure their success.

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What makes measuring workplace communication such a challenging job?

  • Internal communications metrics spread across departments, channels, and platforms.
  • Business owners and CEOs don’t always see internal communications as a strategic priority worth investing in.
  • KPIs for internal communications are not in line with company goals, so what exactly are you supposed to measure?
  • Misconceptions about internal communication make it hard to understand what it really means.

Six steps to measure the effectiveness of your internal communications

1. Take stock of existing measures (if you have any)

Many companies have already acknowledged the importance of internal communications in the workplace. However, their methods are usually outdated and, therefore, ineffective. To optimize your internal communications' effectiveness, you must first know how your current efforts are performing. Create a report or simply write down what you're measuring at the moment, what the results are so far, and set a baseline that will serve as your reference point.

2. Define your goals

What is the big business goal, and how does your workforce affect it? Which communication channels provide the best possibilities to monitor the results of your internal communications? Set up a strategic plan for the overhaul and one that specifically caters to your workforce. For example, deskless workers require particular internal communications methods since most of them only use smartphones, tablets, or just casting screens. At this point, it's essential to determine what type of communication your workers are comfortable with: top-down, bottom-up, or a combination of both. Defining your goals in detail will give you an idea of what metrics you should focus on to reach them.

3. Gather feedback

Implementing internal communications methods in your workforce is one thing, but making sure they are actually sufficient and functional is different. How do you find out what your employees feel about the company? Are they generally satisfied and happy with the work culture? The first step to measuring the influence and effectiveness is to ask for their opinion directly. Online surveys and polls will help you determine whether employees are satisfied or not and how connected they feel to the company.

4. Maximize reach

Perhaps the biggest challenge in internal communications is to reach your dispersed workforce, especially in organizations with many departments and thousands of employees. In contemporary times of COVID-19, ensuring you can communicate swiftly and conveniently with your employees is essential. For example, how many of your non-desk employees are instantly aware of the latest changes in policies, shifts, inventories, etc.? More importantly, how do you reach your dispersed workforce in case of emergencies? If your solution does not come to mind immediately, chances are your reach is highly unsatisfactory.

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5. Don't neglect engagement

How engaged is your workforce, and how can you measure engagement? Mobile-first employee apps usually offer insights into employee engagement by helping you track and measure how users interact with the app, shared content, and important news updates. Not only is this more convenient than, for example, tracking tedious emails and company newsletters, but you can also gather all data in one place.

6. Switch to a solution that makes measuring more convenient

Finally, you'll have to decide on the channels that will allow you to keep track of all important metrics. Wouldn't it be great to find one tool that gives you everything you need? Many internal communication professionals have asked themselves this question, and the majority have opted for an employee communication app as a stand-alone solution. A good employee app offers powerful options for measuring and analyzing the impact of your communication efforts. Best part? You're always sure that that right message reaches the right employees at the right time. You'll always know who opened and read your messages, how many employees shared the content, filled out the survey, answered the poll, and so on. 

Conclusion

Although most companies claim to prioritize their internal communications department, it often ends up being overlooked since there is no routine checking or tracking of their strategies performance. This leads to decreased employee engagement, productivity, motivation, cross-departmental collaboration, and stagnant business. By measuring your internal communications techniques, you are able to spot what works best for your employees, what doesn't hit the mark, and use this information to enhance the methods and strategies. The impact of a competent and effective internal communications department should not be underestimated so quantify your system today to ensure you are implementing only the best and most constructive policies.

Interested in the latest on internal communications? Download our infographic 10 Internal Communication Statics To Take Your Business Into 2021.

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