Despite their best efforts, most companies struggle to find an efficient way to measure their KPIs—getting even the most basic of communication metrics can require hours of head scratching and manual work. Historically, internal communication professionals have not been equipped with the right tools to easily obtain the data they need. In fact, a recent Institute of Internal Communications survey found that 37% of members wanted more support on measurement and evaluation.
Without this support, one too many internal comms professionals are unable to realize their full value and make the much needed impact within their organizations. After all, if you aren’t able to measure outputs, how will you be able to understand which of your efforts are working and which of them need adjusting? Or justify the need for an increased budget?
In this blog post, we’re sharing how the right internal communication metrics can give you the power to influence your organization's decision-making to ensure that it succeeds.
Realizing the Full Power of Internal Communications
While many leaders might believe that simply communicating a message merits full attention and understanding, the reality couldn’t be more different. Employees often have to navigate between all of their organization's different apps, so missing a message is easy; irrelevant messages to the wrong audience desensitizes employees to important future ones; impersonal messages lead to disengagement or even enough frustration that, over time, can drive employees to seek other jobs.
The best internal comms professionals, however, are aware of these challenges and understand the numerous benefits that their work can unleash throughout an organization. Let’s review these advantages so we can truly understand why this area of business deserves more authority and support.
Effective internal communications have the power to engage, inform, and inspire employees. It can teach workers how to do their best work, give them self-sufficiency by informing them of what resources they have, and keep them up-to-date with any process changes as the business adapts and grows. It can tap employee knowledge so they feel heard, which leads to employees feeling valued by their business and more committed to its overall success. It can build trust between top-level executives and the rest of the company, between managers and their direct reports, as well as between peers, all of which can foster a more productive and loyal workforce.
Capture the Right Metrics
Not all metrics are created equal—measuring and understanding the right ones are key to getting internal communications viewed as an essential business function. Below are some of the basic metrics that every internal comms team should be measuring:
- Employee engagement rates: Since employee engagement is one of the main benefits of internal communications, it’s crucial to measure this and see how it trends with other KPIs that we share below.
- Read rates: Open rates are helpful but they don’t tell the full story. It’s more important to gauge how many employees are actually reading your communications instead of opening them and immediately filing them away.
- Page visits or log-ins: If you’re using a communication tool such as a company intranet, it’s important to track how often employees are logging in to view content, whether they’re interacting with the content, and also when they’re active on the intranet. This can help you plan the best times to schedule announcements.
Beyond capturing these basic metrics, though, internal comms professionals need to measure their organizational impact. This can be achieved by establishing baselines for key performance indicators (KPIs), distributing communications, and then re-measuring the same KPI to analyze the impact on your organization. Below are the five most important organizational KPIs that every business should be tracking, which we developed with measurement experts from the Institute for Public Relations:
- Productivity: The quantity and quality of work output based on resources
- Innovation: Thinking differently and experimenting with new approaches, ideas, or behaviors related to the organization
- Reputation: Stakeholders’—both internal and external—evaluation of an organization based upon personal and observed experiences with the company and its communication
- Employee Retention: The percentage of employees who remain employed after X period of time
- Safety: Employees’ freedoms from physical and emotional harm, injury, or loss
If these metrics seem overwhelming to measure, fear not: Sparrow has made it a breeze for leaders to go beyond simple metrics with automatically generated and easy-to-understand dashboards. This gives you the exact information you need to understand which communication strategies are working and which ones are underperforming. Our platform can even give you access to read and comprehension analytics before you publish any communications—letting you fine-tune your message for the optimal content length, readability, tone, sentiment, and more before it even goes out. With all of this information at your fingertips, internal comms professionals can now easily justify the time and money invested into their efforts by proving tangible ROI.
Earn a Seat at the Table with Sparrow
Your team deserves the best communication tools out there so you can engage your employees, boost productivity, and bring value throughout your workforce. Go beyond basic metrics and realize your full organizational impact with support from the right technology. At Sparrow, we believe in the power of workforce communications and can help your business stay ahead of the competition. Book a conversation with us today.