Twenty years ago, communicators didn’t need to worry about measuring their employee communication programs. Today, senior leaders want to see hard numbers. Having data to make the case will position you as an expert and enable you to identify gaps in your communication program so you can take action.

Here are five reasons to gain valuable employee insights and how to do it:

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WHY Senior leaders want to see the numbers. Having data on hand will boost your credibility and help you make your case. 

HOW Collect metrics
Track participation with your communication vehicles by collecting newsletter and portal hits. Many platforms include analytics already built in to gauge opens, clicks and how long a user stays on an intranet page, which will help you understand areas of interest to employees.

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Tip: Don’t forget to share your results! Create a scorecard or report to demonstrate the statistics.

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WHY You will be positioned as the expert. Knowing what employees want will move you from “communicator who helps get stuff done” to strategic advisor.

HOW Create real-time polls
Polls are a fun, engaging way of getting real-time feedback to a question. Nowadays, you can generate them straight from your smart phone or intranet site.

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WHY You can locate opportunities for improvement to strengthen your communication program.

HOW Distribute pulse surveys
Follow up town halls with a spot survey. It will help keep your finger on the pulse and learn about employees’ reactions. A good rule of thumb is to come up with four "strongly agree/disagree" questions and one open-ended question. Something like: "The town hall helped me learn about the direction the company is headed." Use the 4-point Likert scale to pinpoint satisfaction.

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WHY You never have to say, “I feel…” when making your case. Instead, you will have the knowledge to say, “Employees prefer…”

HOW Conduct interviews
Interviews, whether phone-based or in-person, are a great way to get one-on-one feedback from your audience. Draft a series of questions and schedule time when you are both available. It can take as little as 20 minutes to complete.

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Tip: Don’t send questions ahead of time, (unless, of course, the interviewee insists). It is more informative when responses are candid.

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WHY Employees know what they want and have great ideas on how to improve communication. Why not go straight to the horse’s mouth?

HOW Hold (fast) focus groups
Focus groups don’t have to be long, arduous undertakings. Consider a quick, virtual focus group where you simply ask the question: "What is one thing you would like to change about communication?" You may find yourself with lots of new ideas.

 

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