Business measurement is the key to strategic employee communication. Firstly you identify a business issue and then decide how you can measure the impact your employee communication strategy had on the improvement of that issue. The main point here is that you need to be clear about what business outcomes an employee communication strategy can impact and then to agree with line management how you will measure the impact on the business. Lets now take a look at these two aspects.
Firstly the issue should be centered around the customer experience. Generally this will involve a process that the customer must engage in, in order to obtain your product or service. At every step of this process employees are able to make improvements, so it appears a natural choice. The important fact to consider is the external factors that may be impacting on the situation. Therefore you need to ensure that your employee communication strategy will be able to influence a positive outcome and there wont be overriding factors outside your control. The second aspect about measurement is that at the outset you and the client area need to agree on how you will measure the impact of your strategy. If you do this at the beginning it will be easier to control any discrepancies that may occur throughout the project. For instance, a major product fault causes an overload of enquiries via your call centre. So, the time customers need to wait on hold for their call to be answered is not reduced, but instead is significantly increased, the direct opposite results your employee communication strategy was to achieve. So when working with an operations area be clear about the work environment and factors that will impact on the measurement of your strategy.
How Do You Decide Which Business Objective Employee Communication Can Impact
The business objective should be an issue that connects employees and customers and can quickly indicate results. The more complicated the business objectives are, you will require a more detailed plan for all aspects of the project. For instance, a new advertising campaign, an upgrade in technology, and other issues may all impact on the level of success in achieving your employee communication objectives. If there is a clear plan, defining roles and responsibilities, actions and timeframes, this will provide a framework against which the employee communication strategy can be measured. Business objectives and issues will be clear early on.
How To Determine What Is The Realistic Impact And Measurement For Employee Communication
We have examined how to decide on the business objective, here we are looking at measurement. You need to be able to measure results in a tangible way. These may include:
• Reduction in customer complaints
• Improvement in time spent waiting on hold in a call centre
• Increased sales for a particular product or service
• Improvement in customer satisfaction tracking research
• Human resources indicators such as reduced absenteeism, increased productivity
These are some suggestions, there are of course other fields that can be used for measurement. The key is to ensure that the method of measurement is tangible and can be achieved.
So the suggested next steps are:
1. Identify a business issue you think employee communication can impact on.
2. List the employee communication strategies you could implement.
3. List how you think the employee communication impact could be measured in business outcomes.
4. Identify the reasons why you think these measures will be achieved.
By doing the above you will be well on the way to demonstrating to the senior executive team that employee communication is a strategic partner in the business, not a support service.