Guide to Choosing the Right KPIs for Internal Communication Success

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right KPIs for Internal Communication Success

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right KPIs for Internal Communication Success

Last updated on May 20, 2024 at 02:28 pm

Effective internal communication is crucial for the success of any organization. It is the backbone that keeps all departments and employees aligned, motivated and productive. However, in today’s fast-paced business world, simply having a few meetings and sending out mass emails is no longer enough to ensure effective communication within a company. That’s where Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) come into play. They are measurable metrics that allow organizations to track their progress towards specific goals and objectives. In this ultimate guide, we will delve into the importance of KPIs for internal communication success and provide valuable tips on how to choose the right ones for your organization.

What Makes a Good KPI for Internal Communication?

Companies lose $15,000 per employee every year due to ineffective communication. Poor communication is not only a massive waste of productivity, potential, and profit but also results in disengagement and misalignment. Essentially, internal communication can make or break a business. 

Now that we have established the importance of internal communication KPIs, the question arises: what makes a good KPI? A SMART framework provides the answer to this question:

  • Specific – Clearly define what you are measuring. Employee feedback is not a KPI; positive sentiment in employee surveys about internal communication is a KPI.
  • Measurable – Ensure that what you defined can be measured and quantified. Use percentages and numbers to measure KPIs.
  • Achievable – Setting an ambitious target for improvement is good, but be realistic with your expectations. Don’t hope that with an improved internal communication strategy, the email open rate will jump to 90% from 10%.
  • Relevant – The KPI should be directly related to the internal communication strategy. 
  • Time Bound – Ensure that there is a timeframe for achieving the KPI target. 

The best KPIs for your business must align with your business goals. While 66% of leaders think that they are aligned with their employees, only 44% of employees agree. An organization’s survival and success lie in its ability to understand and address this gap. 

Top KPIs to Consider for Internal Communication Success

Here are some top metrics and KPIs for internal communications:

Employee Engagement

Actively engaged employees are happier and more dedicated, as they feel respected and valued for their contribution to the company’s success. It is not about passively absorbing information but about actively participating in the communication flow and making their voices heard. Track metrics like survey responses, participation in internal events, internal social media engagement, and response rates to call to action. 

Content Consumption

Tracking consumption metrics like email open rates, intranet page views, or video completion rates tells you if your messages are reaching the intended audience. This also helps you understand the channels that your employees prefer to prioritize content delivery methods for maximum engagement. 

Feedback and Two-way Communication

Broadcasting messages to the entire organization is not effective communication. It must be facilitated as a two-way conversation. While informing employees about the latest updates is crucial, leaders must also create a space for employees to register their views, fostering two-way communication. It creates a sense of ownership, empowering employees to contribute their ideas and perspectives freely. Simple KPIs like response rates to surveys and employee comments on internal communication channels are helpful in gauging active engagement. 

Knowledge Sharing and Collaboration

Sharing information transparently and openly across departments will break down information silos. Employees from different teams can leverage each other’s expertise to collaborate and create innovative solutions. It nurtures a continuous learning environment where employees are comfortable sharing their knowledge and growing skills together. Tracking employee participation in knowledge-sharing platforms shows how many employees actively contribute content and engage in discussions. Employee referral programs can also provide critical data on how confident your employees are in referring their colleagues for open positions. Innovation metrics also show how employees build upon each other’s ideas to develop creative solutions. 

Choosing the Right KPIs for Your Organization

As about 44% of organizations follow a hybrid model, the internal communications team must develop robust measures to deliver messages effectively. There is no shortage of KPIs that you can track and monitor. However, ask yourself if your organization needs all of these KPIs. Selecting the right KPIs for your business context elevates their usefulness. Follow these steps to choose the right KPIs for your organization:

Step 1: Before choosing KPIs, define your internal communication strategy and be clear about what you wish to achieve. Do you want to improve employee engagement, knowledge sharing, or brand awareness within your company?

Step 2: Collecting, analyzing, and monitoring data requires resources. Consider your company’s context when choosing KPIs. For smaller organizations, employee surveys and focus groups may be sufficient. Larger organizations spread across multiple locations need more sophisticated data to evaluate enterprise-wide communication effectiveness. The KPIs must have a direct relationship with your specific industry. Fast-paced tech startups need to focus on knowledge sharing and innovation, while financial institutions must focus on compliance communication. 

Step 3: Find relevant KPIs that align with the communication goals defined earlier. Choose SMART KPIs that give clear and measurable data. 

Step 4: Prepare resources and systems to gather and track the chosen KPIs. To access employee engagement data, you can use survey software and analytics platforms. 

KPIs must evolve as your organization grows. When you change your communication strategy, revisit your KPIs and make adjustments to reflect your current priorities.  

Also Read: Internal Communications Metrics to Look Out For in 2024

Going Beyond the Numbers: The Importance of Qualitative Measures

Quantitative data on internal communication is just one aspect to focus on. While you intend to strengthen internal communication, 38% of employees feel that they receive an excessive volume of communication in their organization. Instead, communication leaders must pay attention to how well the employees understand the information and how much it is useful for their success.  

Quantitative data only tells you the “what” – how many employees opened the email or participated in the survey. In addition, qualitative feedback unlocks the “why,” revealing your employees’ perceptions, opinions, and underlying sentiments. Here are some ways you can incorporate qualitative measures to enrich your internal communications strategy:

  • Formal Feedback: Formal feedback collection through periodic employee surveys is golden for internal communication. These surveys allow you to rightly understand the pulse of your organization’s employees. In large organizations, they can uncover the need for targeted communication for specific employee groups. Exit surveys also provide valuable insights into employee turnover rates. 
  • Informal Feedback: Offering every channel possible for employees to register their voice fosters two-way communication. Tracking employee comments on intranet posts, their responses to emails, and social media posts on the company will help gauge employee sentiment. A simple act of walking the floors of the office during a big announcement will help you catch the non-verbal cues of the employees. 
  • Pulse Surveys: Short and focused pulse surveys every three weeks will help employees share their views without fatigue. No one has the time to answer tens of questions during a survey, but your employees will be more than willing to take a short survey to express their genuine opinions. 
  • Employee Focus Groups: Gather a small representative group of employees to discuss company initiatives or specific topics. The group’s facilitator will use an interview guide and establish themes to explore. Every member of the group can be encouraged to discuss the theme openly. The facilitator should avoid sensitive topics and understand group dynamics to ensure honest discussions. 
  • Suggestion Boxes: To promote equity and diversity, group discussions alone are not sufficient. The suggestion boxes allow employees to express their views anonymously. This allows everything to say what’s on their mind without worrying about repercussions. 
Also Read: AI for Internal Communications: Enhancing Enhance Engagement

Let’s Sum Up

Choosing the right KPIs for internal communication is pivotal to the success of any organization. By focusing on metrics that align with your business objectives, foster employee engagement, and provide actionable insights, you can create a robust framework for continuous improvement. Remember, the key is not just in selecting KPIs but in regularly reviewing and refining them to meet the evolving needs of your organization. With the right KPIs in place, you can ensure that your internal communication efforts are effective, transparent, and contribute significantly to overall organizational success.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How often should I track and measure my internal communication KPIs?

The frequency depends on your goals and communication strategy. Some KPIs, like open rates, must be tracked regularly. At the same time, some measures, like focus groups, can be taken less frequently. The goal must be to identify employee sentiment and trends for longer-term impact.  

2. What should I do if the KPIs reveal areas of improvement in internal communication? 

Analyze both qualitative and quantitative metrics to understand the ‘why’ behind the issue. Create targeted communication strategies to address the specific needs identified. Based on the feedback, make adjustments to communication channels and content. Ensure that you communicate the changes and the rationale behind them to your employees. 

3. Are qualitative measures as important as quantitative measures?

Quantitative measures give you a numerical value that can be easily compared to benchmarks and previous data to evaluate success. However, it doesn’t show whether your employees understood the message and resonated with it. So, qualitative data is crucial to uncovering these aspects.

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