48% of employees say that their sense of job satisfaction is impacted – for better or worse – by workplace communications. Over 40% also say that poor communication erodes their trust both in the company leadership, and in their team.
These numbers highlight the importance of Internal Communication in keeping employees informed and engaged. And that’s just the start. This business function also plays a vital role in creating workplace culture, growing cross-business networks, sharing learnings, calibrating the collective workforce mood, and uniting colleagues around a shared purpose and values.
Done well, Internal Communication is a potent driver of success. Done badly, it can contribute to dissatisfaction, quiet quitting, and employee churn. So, how do you gauge the effectiveness of your communications?
Measuring the impact of Internal Communication
Assessing the effectiveness of individual campaigns
Small-scale Internal Communication success can be measured by looking at the impact of individual campaigns. Start by identifying what your campaign aims to achieve - for example, driving behaviour change or building familiarity with a new concept. Then choose the tools that will best support you to measure those outcomes. You might:
1. Run a Pulse survey – essentially a short questionnaire completed before and after your campaign. This would ask key questions about the action or behaviours you’re looking to introduce: highlighting how employee attitudes have shifted as a result of your communications.
2. Use Sentiment analysis. These are tools that explore the comments and feedback employees are making about the subject. They surface words and phrases that reveal how people are feeling about a topic: and how engaged (or not!) they are with it, highlighting trends in employee sentiment.
3. Establish feedback loops – continuous feedback mechanisms that allow employees to communicate their ideas. Ask for feedback about the topic you’ve just communicated and measure the percentage of employees who provide it.
4. Carry out Qualitative Assessments. Use focus groups or listening exercises to gain in-depth insight about employee understanding of a given topic. Your metric could be based on the percentage of employees who say they understand it.
5. If you are providing in-depth content about a new concept on a website, use a heatmap to measure how employees are engaging with the page. A heatmap is software that colour codes the elements on the page that are being used most (usually picked out in red) and least (usually picked out in blue). This gives you a visual overview of the most popular content.
6. Employ a Likert scale. This is a tool that asks employees to choose one response – from a provided list – that sums up how they feel about a key statement, or question. For example, you could ask, Do you feel confident about our new approach to customer engagement? The responses could be: Very confident. Confident. Neutral. Unconfident. Very unconfident.
7. Measure the adoption rate – the speed at which a desired employee action is taken, and the percentage of employees who take it.
8. Use data analytics like email open rates and click-through rates to measure how many employees are engaging with the content.
Creating metrics to capture overall success
Over the long-term, you also want to gather data that measures wider Internal Communication success: and its impact on your company culture, employee engagement, and turnover. To do this, invest in one dashboard to track all your metrics.This supports you to keep up with, and share, your metrics internally. Then you might...
9. Use business metrics and map your communications against organisational priorities, tracking correlations between communication and retention rates or productivity metrics.
10. Carry out regular employee engagement surveys. Use in-depth questionnaires to gather insight about your messaging, its frequency, and the channels you’re using to connect with employees. This should include questions to gauge:
- How effectively different messages are landing
- How well employees feel that their feedback is responded to
- How connected employees feel to the purpose and values of the organisation.
Comparing your results allows you to track how well you’re doing. This should be done regularly: ideally every six months, but at a minimum, year-on-year.
11. Track employee advocacy rates – for example, the reach and engagement of content shared externally by employees – as supporting data points.
12. Map your average employee Net Promoter Score (how likely your employees are to recommend your organisation as a good place to work).
Being mindful about your metrics enables you to quickly understand – and adapt to – the shifting moods of the workplace. In turn, this supports you to remain sensitive to employee needs, and to land the right tone and approach in your messaging.
Importantly, it also allows you to highlight the number of changes that have been implemented in the business as a result of employee feedback.
This all enhances engagement. Research from McKinsey shows that for a median-sized S&P 500 company, the estimated cost of employee disengagement and attrition starts at $228,000,000. That’s over £180,000,000.
In other words, the savings that effective metrics support – in both performance and talent retention – can equate to millions of pounds. These are measurements worth investing in.
At Caburn Hope, we’re specialists in employee communication: from creating compelling content, to tracking its success. If there’s something we can help you with, drop us a line.