Independent communications practitioner Jane Revell shares her secrets to effective IC measurement.
Wherever I go a recurring theme is raised by internal communications people: the ongoing challenge to measure our work and demonstrate return on investment.
Research by Newsweaver shows that although 95 per cent of internal communications professionals say measurement is important, it is the activity people spend the least time on.
With more information at our fingertips than ever before, measurement must not continue to be our Achilles heel. Here are three simple ways to get into the measurement cycle today.
1. Know what you want to achieve – what do you want people to think, feel and do as a result?
Measurement is often considered only after the work has been done. This needs to change.
Whether you are launching a new digital tool, holding an employee event or creating internal videos, you need to set out the purpose of your internal communications (what you want people to think, feel or do) from the outset as you plan your activity.
Set SMART objectives and know how and when you will measure before you start.
2. Make time to measure monthly
Measurement is regularly put to the bottom of the ‘to do’ list and often ‘bumped’ for something ‘more important’. It needs to be prioritised with time set aside each month to measure against the objectives set.
Measuring monthly with a quarterly review is a good approach. A top tip is to establish a process of reporting on findings to senior leaders to demonstrate the value of internal communications and our role in helping to achieve business goals.
The measurement you do will depend on the objectives you have set, however, tools you can use include:
- Pulse surveys (well-designed questions that focus on finding out if you have achieved the objectives set)
- Focus groups and interviews with employees
- Analytics (intranet, email, apps, microsites)
- Event feedback
- Quotes from conversations with people across the organisation
- Conversations and comments via internal social media, blogs and direct to leaders and managers.
3. Create a measurement dashboard
This isn’t as scary or complex as it sounds. The idea is to simply reflect on measurement results so you can track trends and identify any challenges or issues so that you can review and change your approach.
An internal communications measurement dashboard should include:
- An overview of the business goals you are working towards
- Overall communications aims
- Sections for each objective set with a summary of the measurement findings under each to show process against the objective
- Visual aids, graphs, pull-out numbers, direct quotes from employees.