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The Only Employee Communication Assessment You'll Ever Need

Posted by EmployeeChannel on 9.14.2017

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As the budgeting cycle begins for most companies, it’s time to consider next year’s strategy and budget for employee engagement and communication.

A critical first step in the process is to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your current internal communications.  This assessment will serve as a starting point for identifying priorities for the new year and the best way to achieve them.

Begin by performing an employee communication assessment that will measure the impact and effectiveness of past communications. The ultimate goal of the assessment is to provide a foundation for creating a unified and coherent strategy across multiple channels of communication for the coming year. 

An employee communication assessment should answer basic questions in six key areas:

1. Communication Strategy

This part of the assessment is designed to determine how well you are performing against the current year’s strategic goals for employee communication

  • What were the 3-5 major goals for internal communications? Were they specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely?
  • How did the internal communications strategy support your organization’s overall business goals?
  • Was your employee communication strategy documented and presented to key stakeholders, particularly key communicators who had well-defined roles and responsibilities?
  • Did you establish key performance indicators (KPIs) for internal communications? How well did you perform against those KPIs?
  • What were the biggest challenges to executing your communication strategy and will those challenges recur in the next year?

2. Communication Model

In this part of the assessment, you review the tactical framework or operating model that was used for internal communications.

  • What were the 3-5 major internal communication programs that were identified in support of the overall communication strategy?
  • Were there multiple campaigns in support of each major program? How well did each campaign support its associated program?
  • What were the key messages for each campaign?
  • How effective were the key messages in achieving your campaign and program objectives?

3. Message Development

This part of the assessment focuses on a review of key messages, their content, and the communication skills of key publishers.

  • Who authored key messages? What was their role and responsibility in the internal communication strategy? Did they link key messages back to the overall business objectives?
  • Did each key message have a clearly identified audience and purpose?
  • Did each key message have content that was clear, concise, consistent, and compelling?
  • Did each key message include graphics and/or navigational cues that were consistent with the text content as well as your internal brand?
  • Did key messages solicit audience feedback that could be used to refine message development?

4. Target Audience and Reach

In this part of the assessment, you are trying to determine whether you consistently reached the right audience with the right message.

  • Did each key message have a clearly identified audience?
  • Were you able to segment your employee audiences and develop segment-sensitive messaging?
  • Was there a desired outcome from each target audience? Was the desired outcome achieved?
  • Were key messages personally and professionally relevant to the individuals in the target audience?
  • Were the tone and style of the message consistent with the desired outcome?

5. Channel Impact

The goal here is to determine the effectiveness of each channel of communication and its impact on the goals of the internal communications strategy.

  • Which channels (e.g., email, intranets, chat, group meetings) were used for internal communications?
  • How were channels selected for internal communications? Based upon the program, campaign, or key message, the targeted audience, and/or the desired outcome? 
  • Which channels were most effective in reaching the targeted audience with the right message?
  • Does your communication strategy require new channels of communication for constantly changing employee audiences?

6. Employee engagement

Last, but certainly not least, you’ll want to determine whether employees were connected, informed, and engaged by internal communications.

  • How many key messages were published? Average number of publications per target audience? Per employee?  Average number of surveys per employee?
  • How many employees were targeted and reached?
  • What was the level of employee interaction with key messages (e.g., open rates for messages, number of intranet searches, chat sessions)?
  • What was the level of employee feedback (e.g., likes, comments, survey responses, help desk tickets, telephone calls)?

These are only a few of the basic questions an employee communication assessment can pose to measure the impact and effectiveness of your current internal communications strategy. 

The resulting assessment can then serve as a solid foundation for the coming year’s strategy and budget for employee engagement and communication.

Topics: internal communications, employee communication

Human Resources Today