If you're not routinely measuring internal communication, you're missing an important opportunity to demonstrate the effectiveness of the key ways you reach employees, such as town halls, the newsletters and your intranet.
That's reason #1 to measure. Here are 15 more reasons to make measurement a priority:
- What language do senior leaders speak? Data, of course. Measurement helps you speak the same language, which makes you more influential.
- Having survey and measurement data helps position you as an expert. You move from "the person who helps us get communication done" to "the professional who knows what employees need."
- You never have to say, "I feel . . ." when making your case. Instead, you can say, "The data indicate . . ." or "Employees prefer . . ."
- Measurement gives you the evidence to counsel someone with a better title, a higher salary and more clout than you. Data levels the playing field.
- Knowing your audience helps you communicate more effectively. It's relatively easy to gather demographic data (age, job levels, locations, ethnicity, etc.) on employees, and that information is usually quite insightful.
- When you analyze demographics, you may be surprised to find out you're one of the few people in your organization to do so. That will make you look especially smart.
- Web trends and electronic metrics are getting easier to obtain and are increasingly sophisticated. These metrics measure what employees do while online, so they give you a reliable sense of what's working and what needs improvement.
- Even simple surveys have value. For example, invite employees to take a five-question survey after the next town hall meeting.
- If you develop a consistent set of questions, it's easy to make comparisons. Keep asking the same town hall questions, for example, and you can compare last quarter's session to the one you hold next quarter.
- You don't have to be great at math to be good at measurement. And most surveys just require arithmetic (no algebra or trigonometry!) to calculate findings.
- It's not difficult to design, manage and tabulate a survey with helpful software like Survey Monkey.
- While it's true that survey questions can be tricky, you can find lots of advice. For example, my firm offers this on-demand learning module, Write Better Survey Questions.
- Employees have great ideas about how to improve communication. So simply ask the question, "What is one thing we can do to improve . . .?" and you'll get lots of suggestions. You can ask other open-ended questions to explore more specific topics.
- Almost every form of measurement suggests quick wins as well as major areas to improve. So you can act immediately to make your program better.
- Only measurement gives you the power to determine what's really working.