I often get questions about measuring impact of communication from members, and this recent member discussion on measuring internal/employee communications effectiveness in our Employee Communications Discussion Forum caught my attention. The member posing the question asked about ONE metric to track effectiveness of employee communications, rightfully noting that “Communications measurement is always a bit challenging and I want to make sure I sign up for something meaningful and achievable.”
This got me thinking: is there such thing as ONE golden metric? Probably not, as we discussed in a December webinar around communications measurement – one of the myths about measurement is that more metrics ≠ more demonstrable value. The discussion forum responses echo this idea but also give some clues to getting measurement right. Here are 3 tips to keep in mind:
1. “Focus on outcome measures rather than output”: I really like this response as it hits on a key teaching that should guide every communication activity – what is the outcome you are trying to achieve (starting with the business outcome and incorporating the related communication outcome), and building your communication plan around that outcome.
- Members: to help, we have created an outcome-focused communication planning toolkit, which will guide you through the process of creating comms plans (and incorporating metrics in the process) that are based on outcomes.
2. “Worth considering are behavioural change and business impact”: This one really captures our recent insights about the drivers of behaviour change. Our research around Communicating for Action found that there are 3 drivers to behaviour change – individual attitudes, capability, and social cues – of which, attitudes have the least impact on behaviour.
- Members: Read more about how behaviours are formed with this primer on behavioral psychology and check out tactics for how to transform yourself from attitude influencer to behaviour driver and influence business outcomes.
3. Follow a return-on-objective approach: What characterizes the responses in the discussion forum, as well as leading approaches to measurement, is that it is possible to deconstruct business outcomes into communication activities, and measure in turn comms metrics that, while maybe not too different from the usual metrics you track, help provide a clear link to a business objective. We call this a “Return-on-Objectives” approach. The trick is to start with the business objective (and not the communication output, which would be the natural inclination).
- Members: Listen to this webinar replay to learn how to apply the return-on-objective measurement framework.
CEC Related Research:
- Tactics to Improve Communications Measurement and Reporting
- Measurement and Reporting Topic Center
- Communicating for Action: From Changing Minds to Changing Behaviors
- Toolkit for Building an Outcome-Focused Communication Plan
CEC Related Blogs:
- How to Become the King of ROI
- 4 Steps to Demonstrating Communications Impact
- Your Employee Newsletters Don’t DO Anything
- The Magic Formula for Measuring Employee Engagement