Leverage feedback from focus groups and surveys to revamp communication vehicles.


If you’re like most communicators, your primary employee communication channels—from the weekly e-newsletter to the home page of the intranet—have been around for a while. Perhaps you’ve contemplated a few upgrades. And you may have thought to yourself: “Do they make a difference?

It’s time to understand if they’re contributing to your objectives or holding you back. Here's how you take the next step:  ​Ask employees what they think. Here’s how:

Start with the data you have, especially participation data. For example, do employees read posts on the intranet, attend the town hall or use social tools? Low or no participation is a strong signal that your channels aren’t meeting employees’ needs. Now you can dig into why.

If you need a quick assessment
In this situation, my go-to method is a focus group (or two). It’s an efficient way to gather ideas for improvements, understand employees’ behaviors (for example, how do they use channels?) and assess the value channels provide (for example, do they help employees understand the company’s direction?).

If you have time
By combining a few research methods, you can develop a more comprehensive view of effectiveness, such as starting with a quick seven-question survey and following up with a few focus groups. Across these two methods, you can uncover what breaks through for employees, why they use your channels (or not) and ideas for improvements.

Let the results tell the story of where you need to make changes: maybe it’s time to stop the weekly e-newsletter or change the way stories are written. 

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