How to Measure Internal Communications: Defining Your Goals {Plus Worksheet}

 In Measurement

You have a merger coming. How will you make sure your employees get the message?

Reaching every employee is one of the top concerns internal communications leaders face, yet many don’t know how to tackle this issue or measure to know if they’ve been successful.

Hands down, the best way to improve your communications is to measure its performance. And once you understand the metrics behind your internal communications, you’ll know exactly what’s working and what’s not—and ultimately how to capture the attention of all your employees.

That’s why we’re launching a How to Measure Internal Communications blog series, a step-by-step guide with everything you need to know about internal communications metrics. We’ll address why measuring employee communications is essential, what and how to measure, and what actions you can take from the insights.

Our goal is to empower communicators to embrace analytics, so they can take the necessary steps forward to be a leading content creator, communicator, and internal marketer to reach every employee with the right message at the right time. 

 

Remove the Guesswork With Data

For many internal communicators, evaluating metrics is a weak spot. In our recent Mobile now, intranet later ebook, we discovered that only 56% of survey respondents tracked website analytics, 44% looked at email clicks, and 19% didn’t track metrics for employee communications at all. Moreover, only 22% were actually confident that the metrics they chose to track were effective in improving their content.

This lack of confidence translates into how little the data and resulting insights were used or shared. While more than two-thirds of internal communicators shared their metrics with their company’s executive teams, a staggering 70% reported that their leaders didn’t even ask for their metrics. Internal communications data was given very little attention, and sometimes completely ignored.

 

Jumpstart your internal communications strategy. Read our latest report: SocialChorus’ 2018 Comms Effectiveness Survey, which uncovers 10 proven ways communications leaders can increase employee engagement.

 

If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it

 

internal communications metrics 

You don’t need to be a data scientist, but you will need to learn the basics of defining your metrics for success, theorizing new ideas, testing them, analyzing, and then reporting those results to continually improve the important work you’re doing. In the blog series, we’ll cover these steps in more detail, plus we’ll publish a bonus glossary of internal communications measurement terminology.

 

Let’s get started!

Every enterprise and every communications team is unique. Your metrics for success will be specific to your goals and situation. And this is where measurement will narrow your focus on your desired outcomes and resources. So it’s important to set clear targets and objectives that are also actionable to work toward improvement.

 

Need help defining your goals? Use our free worksheet included here, and get started with these five steps to establishing your internal communications goals.

 

1. Identify your company’s goals to ensure alignment.

What are your company’s business strategies? If you aren’t clear, interview the executive team. Add them to the top of your goals worksheet. Record business strategies, such as employees meeting revenue targets, launching a new product, etc. Be sure that you know your company-wide objectives to inform and align your own communications goals.

 

2. Establish objectives for your communications.

Start with your current campaigns, programs, or initiatives. Ask these questions and fill in your goals worksheet:

  • What campaign or initiative do I want to run?
  • Which channels and vehicles are the best for this campaign?
  • What do I hope to achieve?
  • Which employees do I need to reach?
  • How will I measure success?

 

How to measure internal communications goals worksheet spreadsheet

 

For example, you have a new company initiative to reach frontline workers at retail locations and out in the field. You have a communications campaign to host your town hall meeting via livestream video, and you want to be sure to engage those employees that have been the hardest to reach.

How will you define success? Think about your past town halls; what did you do last year? Did your frontline employees participate at all? Were there any reasons why their participation was so low? What would you do differently this year? How can you increase their attendance to reach your goals?

One goal could be to increase the number of attendees from your frontline employee segment. Then establish a ratio or percentage to define the goal. For example, a 50% attendance rate (from all the employees in this group) could be your achievement. Then add this success definition to your worksheet.

 

3. Review what metrics are available and how best to use them.

Now that you’ve set objectives and defined what success looks like, you’ll create your strategy on how you’ll measure your campaign.

First, break down your campaign activities, so you can plan how best to communicate and measure them. Consider:

  • Which channels or vehicles are best to use for this particular campaign?
  • How will I test this?
  • How will I measure performance on that channel?
  • What are the metrics specific to the channel?

You’ll measure depending on the way you send out your communications. Each channel or vehicle you plan to use, intranet, video, employee engagement app, email, surveys—has a different metric.

For example, email performance is measured by open rates, click-through rates, unsubscribe rates, and more. If you’re using your branded communications app to send messages, your metrics would be engagement, measured with likes, comments, shares, impressions, etc.

And by measuring and later analyzing your outcomes, you’ll also establish a champion channel strategy. You may find that certain channels are best for specific communications, or that a multi-channel communications plan truly reaches every employee where they are.

Add your campaign activities, channels, and vehicles you’ll use to your worksheet. And remember, it’s optimum to focus on a few defining metrics rather than tracking every number possible.

 

4. Determine your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track the progress of your department’s initiatives in relation to company-wide objectives. A KPI is a measurable value that demonstrates whether an enterprise is achieving its goals. For example, as a communicator, your KPIs could be increasing employee engagement by 20% in a year or reducing employee attrition by 10%. Choosing the right KPI depends on what’s best for the organization.

Metrics, by comparison, are a way to measure the success of a specific campaign action, like a piece of content or an email newsletter. The difference is that KPIs usually connect to a larger business strategy, whereas metrics are more tactical. Metrics support KPIs, while KPIs support overall business goals. But both must be quantifiable.

 

How to Build a Business Case for a Workforce Communications Platform

 

Demonstrate to your entire organization the progress and impact of your communications and how the drive business outcomes by sharing both your KPIs and your metrics.

 

5. Choose the cadence to measure success.

Once you know what metrics you’re tracking, record them over a period of time using your SocialChorus dashboard or a simple spreadsheet (use the second tab on the worksheet to track your metrics) to evaluate your communications. For example, if you’re measuring video performance on your branded employee communications app, you’re looking at impressions, views, and engagement.

Use your workforce communications platform or spreadsheet, and note the metrics you want to evaluate. Then add the values over a time period. Perhaps every week, you’ll document the video content’s performance. After a month or a quarter, you’ll benchmark the data and determine how successful you are. And you can compare it to metrics from other videos that were posted on your branded communications app.

Later, you’ll analyze and create actionable insights, or value obtained from these metrics that will help you identify improvement opportunities. You may recognize that video content on your branded communications app is mostly watched when it’s new, during the first few days or week. You may decide to measure its performance during this time period an indicator of success. You’ll make more discoveries, such as the best types of content, length, time to post, etc. And you’ll think of ways to test your content ideas to improve.

By measuring and understanding the leading metrics for each channel, you’ll increase your communications’ engagement over time. You’ll make informed decisions going forward, and you’ll truly be the important link between your leadership and your employees driving business goals.

 

What’s next?

You’ve developed a success framework and defined what achievement looks like. We’ve covered a lot of terminology. In our next installment, we’ll post an internal communications metrics glossary, and then we’ll get started on aligning your team and creating a process to gain valuable insights from your metrics.

What metrics does SocialChorus look at?

We surveyed 840 employees and analyzed user event data from over 1.5 million employees in 20+ industries, from 180+ countries, all 50 U.S. states, and 6,400 U.S. cities. Read our latest Comms Effectiveness report now, which reveals 10 proven ways to increase employee engagement.

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