The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Using Strategy And Measurement To Break The Barriers To Internal Communication
Effective employee communication matters. It matters to your employees, it matters to your managers and it matters to your shareholders. Research conducted by the HayGroup showed companies with engaged employees generate 50% more returns for stakeholders than their competitors. Effective communication and financial performance are strongly related. According to Towers Watson research, companies that are highly effective at communication are 1.7 times as likely to outperform their peers.
However, if you ask an internal communicator for a list their biggest challenges and I’m sure you will hear that getting a seat at the strategic decision making table and being able to measure are high up on that list. In 2014 we conducted as survey with Ragan Communications and found that only 4 out of 10 IC departments find it easy to get senior leadership support and in 2016 when we asked this question again, we found that it hadn’t improved.
So why does the internal communication function still struggle to be seen as a strategic player?
You can see from this newly published infographic from Newsweaver entitled ‘Internal Communications Measurement and Strategy’ that 36% of internal communicators admit to having no strategy in place.
Shockingly, 12% are still not measuring any of their communications! As a communicator how can you tell which elements of your communications strategy you can improve?
View the infographic below for tips on creating and reviewing your strategy for your internal communications and how to measure employee engagement with your internal communications.
Click to open / Right-click for save options
INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS ON MEASUREMENT & STRATEGY
36% of Internal Communicators admitted to having NO strategy in place!
Do YOU have a formal internal communications (IC) strategy, if yes, how frequently is it reviewed?
- Internal communications should be reviewed Quarterly (18%) or Monthly (4%)
- Only 64% of Internal Communicators have a strategy in place
- Of this 64% only 22% review it frequently enough
- 18% Quarterly
- 4% Monthly
- 24% Upon Request
- 25% Annually
- 28% Every 6 Months
- 1% Never
Do the employees in your company understand the organization’s strategy?
Within your organization, does IC have a voice at the top table?
Communicators who align their communications strategy to their organization’s strategy are more likely to have a seat at the top table!
- 33% say they do
- 67% say they don’t
- 65% say yes
- 35% say no
“77% of Internal Communicators say that enabling employees to understand strategy is their most important job. However, without measurement, it is impossible to know if this is being achieved.” Andrew Harvey, Director of Internal Communication, VMA Group
How to design a strategy
Strategy on Page (SOAP)
Strategy is the foundation of any well structured Internal Communication plan. SOAP is designed to clarify the organization’s purpose through seven questions designed to get your strategy on a page. Linking the organization’s purpose and strategy with your internal communications strategy is key for engaging employees. It is a demanding, time-consuming exercise but it is powerful and fruitful!
- What is your big aspiration?
- What are your values or top 3 golden rules?
- Where are you now?
- What will success look like in the long term?
- What opportunities do you have to process?
- What risks do you face that may hold you back?
- What are your three mid-term priorities?
“By failing to develop and regularly review a strategy, these teams are essentially setting themselves up to fail.” Andrew Harvey, Director of Internal Communication, VMA Group
Employee engagement is known to have a variety of positive impacts on the organization
According to studies, strong employee engagement, of which internal communication is a key component can lead to 300% faster profit growth, 87% more employee retention and 200% higher customer loyalty!
71% of US employees are not fully engaged.
Only 16% of Internal Communicators are satisfied with their ability to measure!
Without being able to bring critical data, insights and KPIs to the leadership table, the struggle continues. Having access to tools that can give you these insights is critical.
Current Trends in Measurement
A surprising number of Internal Communicators still have no form of measurement. Measurement helps keep you afloat, without it you could be sinking without knowing!
12% of IC are not measuring anything!
Communicators are settling for what they can measure not what they should measure.
Engagement metrics, open & click rates, are available to less than half!
Measurement is vital to getting IC a seat at the strategic table.
Without measurement, the effect of IC can often can often be misunderstood or underestimated.