Once a year, we recommend you do a comprehensive audit of your internal communication program. During this assessment, you survey your company and look to gain insights that are statistically relevant for the different personas (i.e. clusters of people) you are communicating with throughout your workforce.
If you’ve never participated in a communications audit before, the most common objectives are:
- Determining how much of the workforce is being reached
- Effectiveness of each channel
- Effectiveness of the communications
- Opportunities for improvement and change
Doing an audit is an important step when creating and updating your communications strategy, which should be done regularly. The audit allows you to remove personal bias from those involved and instead use data to answer core questions. For example, you might not like email as an internal communication channel but perhaps you find out that the majority of your organization does. The next logical question is why do they like it? It could be because of the generational makeup of the workforce (see our article on channels for multi-generational workforces) or because the other channels that have been made available to your workforce are so poor than only email works. There are only two ways to find out:
- Via an audit
- If you are using an internal communication platform today then you could look at its analytics
An audit doesn’t need to be an onerous process provided you have a platform that supports you getting the information you need, as we do with Sparrow.
The audit should be grounded in a few key categories:
You should be able to group communication you have sent over the last year into themes. For each theme, which is also often referred to as a topic, you would like to understand:
- Level of awareness among each of the groups (aka segments or personas) within your workforce ?
- How well informed do each workforce segment feels about the theme/topic?
- What channels do each workforce segment use to learn about the theme/topic?
You want to stay away from asking general questions that lump all topics together, topics, and personas are likely to have a different preference for how and where they want to receive their information.
You want to ensure that the questions you are asking are neutral, do not contain any bias, are not leading and get you to a great conclusion.
We believe that modern communication platforms should answer the questions below via their analytics. It is way more effective to have actual data based on usage than anecdotal information via a survey (Sparrow provides you these reports out of the box). We are including the questions here because not every reader would have deployed Sparrow or a similar tool:
- What percentage of the employees in each workforce segment have access to different channels?
- What is the preferred publication frequency of each channel?
- For each channel:
- Is the length of the articles good?
- How about the tone and sentiment?
- Are you receiving too much, too little or the right amount of information through different this channels?
Under this category you are looking at some very important attributes of your communication including:
- Is internal communication accurate?
- Is the communication timely?
- Is the communication relevant?
- Does it include both good and bad news and information?
- Are you receiving too much, too little or the right amount of information?
Organization specific questions
Your organization is unique, and so has been your communication efforts for the previous year. You should ask direct questions allowing you to connect your communication efforts to behaviors in your organization. For example, if your organization had two initiatives:
- COVID-19 protocols
- Understanding of the 2020 strategic principles
Then you should ask specific questions about awareness and behaviour as related to those two initiatives. For example:
- Are you aware of the corporate social distancing protocol in place at your branch?
- Which 2020 strategic principles can you explain to your colleagues?
Measurements is one of the hottest topics in internal communication today. At Sparrow, we’ve developed a communication platform that can automatically measure the impact of your communications across multiple digital channels (MS Teams, email, intranet, and mobile). Feel free to reach out to us and we would love to show you our innovation in the area of measurements or just say hi – we promise to say hi back.
When it comes to communications platforms, the Sparrow teams aims to not only to deliver the best value product but to also be the partner that’s there for you. We work closely with our customers, sharing where we’re going, listening to what they would like to see in our platform, and always thinking about how we can make them even more successful with our platform. At Sparrow, we believe that corporate communications can be transformative. Sparrow – Built for Communicators. Book a conversation with us today.