Not sure why you should be measuring internal communications? Learn why this is so important for internal communicators, and how to implement a data driven communication strategy.
While everyone from internal communicators to marketers to advertisers like to think “content is King”, we’d like to introduce the King’s advisor: metrics.
Statistics show 41% of businesses have no way at all of tracking how much content is viewed on internal communications channels. That means 41% of internal communicators have no hard data they can use to prove their value.
Email metrics work both ways: they help you determine your best performing content, and they help you show how well your content is performing to others. That’s why ContactMonkey makes email tracking easier than ever with Outlook and Gmail. Book a free demo to see how to gather email data in real time:
Why Track Internal Communications?
There are countless reasons why tracking your internal communications will benefit you and your business, but we’ve boiled it down to three simple reasons:
Prove your value
Every now and again you might find your internal communications budget under pressure. And it can be especially frustrating to feel as though you have to justify your salary. You’ll need to be able to speak the language of key performance indicators, especially when speaking with business leaders.
Measuring your success gives you the ammunition you need to prove your value to the organization.
Maximize your budget
A data-driven approach to internal communications will help you identify content that your employees crave. But just as importantly, it will help you avoid ineffective content strategies.
With measurable internal communications, you can be sure that your employees are engaging with your newsletter content. Take the guess-work out of internal communications, and start saving time today.
Maximize your time
By keeping data on your internal communications efforts, it’s easier to prioritise which channels are worth your time.
You should also keep track of any time you spend clarifying and following up on each communication: if something is poorly explained it could result in dozens of follow-up calls or emails.
With email tracking tools, like ContactMonkey’s internal communications tool, determining which content creates the most employee engagement couldn’t be easier. Provide your employees with what they want to see the most by measuring your internal communications.
How Do You Measure Internal Communication?
We’ve identified 11 key performance indicators (KPIs) that can help internal communication professionals measure and quantify the value of their work. We further broke those communication measures and methods down into three distinct categories: Reach, Engagement, and Outcomes.
Internal Communication Metrics: Reach
Reach determines how many employees are able to access your communication. This can help you identify how many of your employees are adopting your platforms, logging in regularly, and opening your communications.
Let’s get into the internal communications metrics that best represent your reach.
Employee Adoption Rates for internal communications
Measuring Employee Adoption Rate is simple: calculate what percentage of employees have an account on a particular platform. The formula for Employee Adoption Rate is:
While Employee Adoption Rate can be insightful when comparing platforms, it doesn’t tell the entire story. Employee Adoption Rate is best used alongside the other reach metrics such as Log In Rate and Open Rate.
Log In Rate for internal communication platforms
Once you know how many employees have adopted a platform, the only real way to know if it’s working is to know how often your employees are logging in.
To calculate your Log In Rate for a platform, you need to find out what percentage of employees with an account visit the platform on a regular basis. Most platforms should have these statistics available for admins. The formula for Log In Rate is:
Log In Rate can be very useful for determining the engagement trends of your recipients. For instance, it might be normal to experience a significant dip in Log In Rate in December when employees are frequently on holiday.
On the other hand, if you notice log in rates are steadily declining—in spite of seasonal trends—you may need to refresh engagement on your platform.
Obstacles to your Employee Adoption Rate include:
- Platforms with auto log-out
- Platforms that are not mobile accessible
- Platforms that aren’t relevant to your employees’ daily workflow
The only caveat when looking at Log In Rate is that it doesn’t tell you who is looking at your content, only what percentage of your employees are eligible to see it.
Just like it sounds, Open Rate measures what percentage of eligible employees are opening your internal communications. Usually this means opening a newsletter, or opening a blog post on your intranet or corporate wiki.
The formula for Open Rate is:
Open Rate is the most popular reach metric: it’s easy to understand and any internal communications tool worth its salt will make it very easy for you to access this metric. Need to determine how compelling your communications are? Open Rate is the metric you want. Determine what content your employees want to see the most, and then give it to them!
Contactmonkey’s internal communications solution makes it ridiculously easy to measure email metrics like Open Rate and other useful measures of your email reach. Want to increase employee engagement using your internal communications?
Internal Communication Metrics: Engagement
Engagement metrics demonstrate how employees are interacting with your communications. They can help you identify:
- how many people are seeing your content;
- what people have to say about it;
- when they prefer to receive content;
- which teams are most engaged and
- how many employees would recommend working at your organization.
Click Through Rates
After sending your first newsletter to employees, you might take a look at your Open Rate and giddily report that everyone saw your email.
Not so fast!
Did they open your email, and then immediately close? Or maybe they skimmed the email, but didn’t click on any links?
Click Through Rate can apply to links and media in newsletters or blog posts. It determines who was engaged enough with your content that they wanted to learn more or take action.
The Click Through Rate formula is:
Click Through Rate is an extremely important internal communications metric because it can inform you of gaps in your communication strategy. If your Click Through Rate is lower than you would like, you can devise alternate strategies and mediums to help you achieve your desired engagement outcome.
ContactMonkey’s campaign dashboard can help you see your Click Through Rate quickly and easily, along with other important email analytics:
When you determine the peak times your recipients are most likely to engage with your emails, you can maximize your open rate and increase employee engagement. Gathering data on your internal communications is surefire way to hone in on your best content.
Responses and feedback
Wanna know a surefire way to know what your employees think about a business initiative?
Ask them; it’s that easy.
While other metrics can do a great job of showing how many people see and interact with your communications, direct feedback is the most accurate way to understand employee sentiment. Plus, the number of people taking the time to respond to your communications is a useful metric in itself.
Pulse surveys are important tools for measuring employee engagement, as they give internal communicators a snapshot of their employees’ feelings centered around a specific question. ContactMonkey has pulse surveys built into our drag-and-drop template builder, which makes it ridiculously easy to conduct a quick pulse check of your organization
For even more qualitative internal feedback, you’ll want to make it easy for employees to leave you comments.
Sending newsletters from a third-party no-reply email address completely discourages any kind of two-way communication. Instead, try using an Outlook-native newsletter platform like ContactMonkey to collect employee comments directly from your regular newsletter!
When you make it easy for your employees to tell you what they think, you’ll find droves of measurable and actionable insights! That’s why we love using feedback as an internal engagement metric.
The bigger your organization is, the more important it is for you to understand demographic trends within your company.
Age, location, and vocation could all affect your internal communications strategies. It’s critical to understand how these factors affect the adoption of platforms and the desired outcomes of your messaging.
This is another engagement metric that doesn’t have a direct ROI, but is invaluable for communicators looking to improve results in other key areas.
Peak times for employee engagement
Tracking the peak engagement times on your messaging can help you be strategic about when you’re sending communications. ContactMonkey helps internal communicators track when employees are engaging with their newsletters, and helps you schedule your newsletters so you’re never late for the peak engagement hour.
Our number one tip for measuring peak engagement times is to make sure your newsletter distribution lists are segmented appropriately! This can help you target different divisions, cultures, and time zones in a way that maximizes your content creation efforts!
Employee Net Promoter Score
Employee Net Promoter Score, or eNPS, measures how likely an employee is to recommend their workplace as place to work. This measures employee loyalty to the office, as well as their likelihood to recommend your products and services. eNPS is an indispensable employee engagement metric because it gives you a good benchmark of the state of your workforce, and can be directly correlated with profitable outcomes.
Not only does higher eNPS correlate with lower turnover, it also indicates that your employees are working harder. Engaged and loyal employees aren’t just doing the bare minimum, they’re putting in their best effort. This is called discretionary effort, which disengaged employees are more likely to reserve for their personal lives. Employees who spend their discretionary effort in your company are going above and beyond.
To measure eNPS, all you need is a single, standardized question.
On a scale from 0-10, how likely are you to recommend this organization as a good place to work?
Answers are broken down between Detractors (0-6), Passives (7-8), and Promoters (9,10). Detractors and Promoters will be used to calculate your score. Neutral answers do not get factored into the occasion, because their net impact cannot be defined as negative or positive.
One of the main benefits of eNPS is that it is standard across all organizations, making it possible to benchmark your success against similar enterprises.
ContactMonkey’s template builder allows you to drag and drop an eNPS question into your internal communications. All of your employee’s feedback will be displayed on your Campaign Overview page.
To get the most out of eNPS as an engagement metric, you should calculate it on a regular basis.
Internal Communication Metrics: Outcomes
So far we have discussed how to measure your reach and your engagement with your communications. But we have yet to explore measurable communication outcomes that affect the business broadly.
While your internal communications team may not be directly responsible for customer service, brand marketing, or recruiting, your team plays a pivotal role in enabling all of these functions. It is therefore very important to measure IC’s impact in these areas.
Employee Turnover Rate
Employee Turnover Rate is the net percentage of employees that leave a company within a certain period of time. You can measure turnover in short increments, like months or quarters, or in longer increments like years.
There are two types of turnover: voluntary and involuntary. Each type has their own set of business implications, and should be looked at separately.
Voluntary turnover is when employees are choosing to quit or willingly vacate their positions. This usually happens because they are unsatisfied with their role, have a better job offer, or are looking to change their skillset or career. Because voluntary turnover is often less planned than involuntary turnover, it can cause abrupt chaos in an organization as hiring managers scramble to fill open positions.
Internal communicators should pay attention to voluntary turnover and exit interviews when strategizing ways to make an impact on the organization at a broad level. Feedback is crucial in determining how satisfied your employees are; you can make an immediate impact on employee engagement by listening and responding to feedback.
On the other hand, involuntary turnover happens when an employee is terminated or laid off. Usually this happens because of unsatisfactory job performance, inappropriate behavior, or company downsizing.
Better training materials and culture standards can reduce the likelihood of undesirable work performance and behaviors. By investing proactively in creating a positive culture, the organization is less likely to hire the wrong fit, and thereby saves time on recruiting and training potential misfits. If your organization has a high involuntary Employee Turnover Rate, it may be worth assessing a potential gap in communication somewhere in the recruiting and training processes.
Measurable behavioural outcomes from internal communications
If you’re ever trying to justify the effectiveness of a specific medium, or you need to emphasize the impact you make on the business when negotiating for budgets, outcomes are everything. The tricky part is that there are no standard metrics for outcomes, so you need to create your own.
First example: When introducing a new benefits platform, you might measure enrollment in a new app.
For instance, you could get 30% of employees enrolled with the first introductory email, another 25% in a followup email, but when your CEO mentions it at the quarterly town hall enrollment shoots up another 30%. You need to measure things like that so you can be more strategic with your communications.
ContactMonkey in action
One of our clients, Exemplis, uses ContactMonkey to help with a similar problem.
According to Corey, the engagement and communications lead at Exemplis, the receptionist would email: ‘Hey, whoever left their coffee mug in the sink, please clean it and take it back to your desk.’ And it’s like, okay, that just went to 200 people.
With a team of over 1000 employees spread across multiple offices in the United States, Corey and her boss needed a way of sending out meaningful content and evaluating how employees were interacting with it. They use ContactMonkey to get pulse feedback on the adoption of new policies, as well as using it to see what areas employees crave more information.
“We’ve started to use ContactMonkey for our manager workshops. It’s a much smaller group, so we have 100% Open Rate, but the important part is seeing what links they click on. This helps our Training Manager know what material managers are searching for in between the workshops and shapes future training.”
By prioritizing communication, feedback, and engagement, the leaders at Exemplis is able to specifically assess the effectiveness of training materials and adjust course to ensure that all training outcomes are met.
Core business metrics
All the metrics we mentioned above are important for measuring communications, but when discussing your impact with business leaders you need to be aware of how you are influencing their success metrics. While it’s well known as a standalone fact that engaged employees are better performers, you want to be able to show how you are affecting those metrics.
While there are dizzying amounts of business metrics and related acronyms, here are a few key areas to watch:
- Customer Success Metrics
- Marketing Engagement Metrics
- Recruitment and Candidate Funnel
Customer success metrics
It’s no secret that happy employees make customers happier. Temkin’s 2016 Employee Engagement Benchmark Survey found that companies that excel at customer experience have 1.5x more engaged employees than companies with poor customer experience.
Customer experience metrics shouldn’t be your primary priority, but you should be able to correlate some of your internal communication with your customer experience improvements.
As an internal communicator, it is your responsibility to rally employees towards engagement. Your efforts in creating engaging newsletters and communication materials make a tangible difference in the quality of your customer service.
One of marketing’s core roles is to define the values, vision, and mission of the company—internal communications can help with this by ensuring that employees are on the same page.
At its core, internal communications is really just brand advocacy. Your brand advocates are more likely to pollinate their social media and word-of-mouth channels with positive buzz about your brand. They might share blog posts on LinkedIn, recommend your products in earnest, or even become your customers.
Don’t underestimate internal communication’s potential to help marketing increase impressions and engagement on your advertising materials.
Measuring the impact of internal communications on recruiting
Everyone has (or is) that friend who absolutely loves their workplace. They’re excited to come to work every morning, they’re energetic and productive throughout the day, and the odds are good that they’re friends with their coworkers outside the office.
From a recruiting perspective, hyper-engaged employees are highly likely to refer candidates for open job postings.
Not only is it the role of internal communication professionals to cultivate these advocates and monitor them through eNPS surveys, internal communications can also help the advocates recruit their network.
Develop a Data-Based Internal Comms Strategy
Listed above are just some of the ways internal communication professionals have a measurable impact on other areas of business. With the right tools, you can get the most out of your content and staff using Outlook or Gmail.
While metrics and numbers may not be intuitively related to the art of communication, they’re still invaluable for proving the impact of soft skills in a business. If you’re trying to solidify your value in the organization, you need to measure communications.
Have any questions about how you can start measuring the impact of your internal communications? Book a demo with one of our internal communications experts to show you how ContactMonkey helps you measure the impact of your internal communications.