business person

Building an effective internal communication system—a set of communication tools that work together to reach and engage employees—requires high-performing channels, such as newsletters, social networks and meetings.

But how do you determine if your channels are doing their job? Conduct a simple assessment to evaluate the effectiveness of your channels and understand if they’re aligned with employee communication best practices.

The results will help you identify opportunities for short- and long-term improvements that will support the overall communication system.

Evaluate each of your core channels with this eight-question channel assessment:  

About the channel overall

Why is this important?
Does it have clear objectives and is it achieving them?
If a channel doesn’t have a clear purpose, it will be difficult to measure its effectiveness.
Is the information architecture clear? Best practice channels are organized so employees see the most important information first.
Does the channel use navigation cues (e.g., subheads, links, etc.)? If employees can’t easily find the content that’s relevant to them, they will give up and move on.
Are there opportunities for audience participation (e.g., comments and likes)? Employees want the chance to ask questions and/or share opinions about a specific topic.

About the content

  Question Why is this important?
Is the content easy to read and understand?
To ensure employees at all levels understand your message, you should aim for a seventh grade reading level.
Is it scannable (i.e., short <250 words, uses subheads and bullets)? Keeping content short and breaking it into chunks helps employees to dive in and remember key points. 
Does the content describe what the issue means for employees? If your message isn’t relevant to employees, they’re less likely to care about it or take action.
Is it visual? Using visuals, such as charts and infographics, makes your content more interesting and easier for employees to understand.

If you answered “yes” to most of these questions, your channels are on the right track.

But if you answered “no” or “maybe,” you may want to do more research, such as conducting an employee focus group, to identify ways to improve your channels.