by Gareth Francis – Jul 24, 2020
While identifying objectives should be your first step in building a successful internal communications strategy, showing results is the key to keeping, or increasing, your budget.
But measuring the value of your campaign can be tricky. To help, here are some ways you can show your stakeholders that your strategy is working.
When you have decided what you want to achieve, you need to agree with your stakeholders what success looks like up front. In some cases, this might be very straightforward. For example, if your goal is to migrate all employees to a new way of working by a certain date, you could agree what percentage of your workforce must achieve it for your campaign to be deemed a success. Other objectives may need more nuanced measurement. For example, if your goal is to embed new company values, or to boost engagement, a variety of assessments will be needed.
One of the best things about internal communications is that you have something of a captive audience. Whereas you are more reliant on an audience coming to you to give you their feedback on external communications, there should be very few reasons you can’t reach out to colleagues across your organisation to gather a range of opinions on your campaign.
However, forming relationships takes time and effort. Making in-roads with different stakeholders early means that when the time comes, they’ll be more inclined to feedback their thoughts and to help you gather the information you need to show whether or not your campaign was successful.
Cold, hard numbers can often be the best way of showing that a campaign has had the desired effect. In some cases, the data may be available to you without even having to commission or gather your own research. For example, if there has been a reduction in accidents or an increase in the reporting of accidents, and these reductions correlate with your latest safety campaign, you can make a strong case that your work has made a difference.
At other times you may need to do some surveying of your own. For example, if you want to find out if your internal communications magazine is hitting the mark with your readers, you’re not going to find that data elsewhere. When this is the case, make sure your questions are focused and concise. Most colleagues won’t thank you for taking up too much of their time.
While numbers tell you what your employees think, they can’t always tell you why they think it. This is where qualitative data comes in. Using open-ended questions, rather than asking people to rate your communication on a scale, or to agree or disagree with pre-prepared statements, allows you to gain insight into how a piece of internal communication has made your people feel. These can be included in surveys, but we often find the best information can come from a few focus groups. By gathering a smaller number of employees but offering them the time to express their feedback, you can dig deeper and find out what is working or generate action points for improvement.
Hopefully we’ve given you some food for thought on why measurement is important and how you can gather some of the information you need. As always, you can get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss things in more depth. In the meantime, it’s worth bearing in mind this quote from Baron Kelvin: “If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.”
Published Jul 24, 2020