We are at a pivotal time in the evolution of  employee communications. While the traditional focus has been on external communications, the demand for strong internal communications and engagement programs has increased. Current workforce demographics have most companies chasing “Millennial Love”, and with Generation Z coming out of college into their first jobs, the pressure for successful engagement strategies has increased.

When you put together a strategy that makes sense for your company, you need to consider how you will measure the effectiveness of your programs. With key data, you can pivot to what your employees want and need, and increase engagement.

Here are three simple steps to measuring the effectiveness of your employee communications:

Know your Channels

You need to know where your communications live in order to develop measurement tools. For example, we are conducting an internal communications audit for one of our clients, to see where the communications are generated from, and how they are being distributed. If you do have an intranet or microsite, include that as a channel, as well as social chat groups like Yammer, as well email, webinars and virtual town halls. Then identify who leads each communication type, whether it’s marketing, communications, the executive office or HR. From here you can set your KPI’s from which you can base measurement.

Quality, Quantify and Frequency

You want to know what resonates with your employees. In order to do that you need to measure the quality, quantity, and frequency of your communications plans. Social Listening is a good way to start, which indicates what content is being shared by your employees and where the pride and pain points are. If you have an intranet, you can build an analytics tool to uncover who, how often, and which content attracted the most views. If you are using email as a primary communications tool, you can embed tracking to show how many people opened, read or deleted the email, and which emails garnered the highest engagement. Pulse Surveys are a great way to gauge the effectiveness of your programs. Gear your questions towards rating content, frequency, and preferred channels, and keep the survey short and to the point. It takes time to develop a good survey. If you conduct these four times a year you will be able to continuously update the strategy and tactics based on the results. It also has an added benefit of giving your employees a voice and demonstrates that you are an employee first organization. Hold open discussion forums once a month so questions can be asked in real time. Finally, the good old-fashioned suggestion box can be updated by a dedicated channel where people can anonymously suggest ways in which you can improve the employee experience.

Success Factors

A great way to tell if you have an effective internal communication strategy is to look at metrics such as increased profits, decreased turnover ratios, and increased internal referrals. When employees are highly engaged, and exhibiting discretionary effort beyond their role, then you know your employee communications plans are strong. Conversely, if your numbers haven’t moved using the metrics above, you can hold focus groups to get a sense of where you need to change it up, and how.

Measuring the effectiveness of your employee communications plans can help you drive engagement and better understand the culture of your organization. According to Ring Central Internal Communications Survey, 95% of employees plan on using business communication tools over in-person meetings, and 44% want wider adoption of internal communications tools. Instant information that is timely, relevant and informative is the trend in engagement strategies. And as we all know, the quality and effectiveness of your employee communication programming have direct financial implications for your organization. If you focus your employee communications content on the “WIFM”, and measure and adapt to your audience, your employees will serve as your best public relations.

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