If you work in internal communications, you have likely struggled to quantify the work you do.
External communication efforts are generally much simpler to measure. Your marketing team can share social media metrics such as likes, follows and shares. For your external-focused teams, an increase in sales always serves as the strongest indicator that communications have been effective.
Employee communications can be much more challenging to measure, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t KPIs and targets you should aim for. Seth Godin reminds us that “what you measure usually gets paid attention to, and what you pay attention to, usually gets better.”
What are you measuring? Which KPIs do you track to show the impact of your work?
Here are six recommendations for measuring the impact of employee communications in your organization:
1) Employee engagement rates
Start by conducting an employee engagement survey through a company like Culture Amp or TINYpulse to understand your current state. Ask specific, communication-related questions such as “On a scale of 1-10, how well does your current supervisor communicate with you?” and “Do you know about corporate initiatives, company goals, and events happening on a weekly basis?”
After establishing a benchmark, set goals for increasing your employee engagement rates with a specific goal to improve performance on communication-related questions.
2) Open/read rates for messages
You may spend lots of time crafting messages for your employees, but do you know if anyone is reading them? Company-wide emails have an average read rate of 36.5%, but targeted channels such as Red e App boast average read rates of 60-80%+ for corporate messages.
Use digital tools for communication as much as possible so that you know what your current open rates are, and establish goals for increasing your open rates.
3) Adoption rates for new tools and benefits
If you’ve implemented a new employee recognition program, do you know how many of your employees are participating?
If you started promoting your new employee app, do you know how many employees have downloaded it?
If you are communicating effectively, your employees should know about your new initiatives and they should understand the value enough to participate. You are doing your job well when your efforts gain traction and you get at least 50% of your employees to join in.
4) Responses and feedback
How often do you receive and respond to questions from employees? Successful internal communications professionals don’t just push information out to employees, they create a dialogue. Set up simple suggestion forms, ask for feedback, and utilize platforms that make it easy for employees to engage with you.
Encourage employees to engage in 2-way communication with peers and managers, and create events (digital and in-person) to help facilitate dialogue.
5) Employee turnover
If you have higher-than-average industry turnover this is probably already on your radar. Employees who are highly engaged and feel a strong connection to their companies rarely leave.
The number one reason employees leave their jobs is because of their relationship (or lack thereof) with their boss or immediate supervisor. How are you facilitating communications from the top down and at every layer in-between?
If you see an organization-wide decrease in employee turnover, this is a great sign of a job well done for an internal communicator.
6) Contributions to organizational goals
Ultimately, the internal communications professional’s job is to contribute to overall company goals, which likely include increased sales, better product quality, improved customer service, and lower costs.
Employee communication plays a role in helping every company achieve these goals. Keep an eye on your company’s biggest targets and ensure that you are aligned and supporting these efforts with your communications.
Are there other KPIs that your team tracks in internal communications? I would love to hear your ideas! Find me on Twitter at @_hannahbeasley or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.