How to Boost Your Employee Communications Stats
Written by Rachel Folz, Cerkl.
Of course, you want to grow your stats, it’s how you measure your success. But a boost is more than an up-trending graph; a true boost can change your perspective and grant you the ability to see more of the playing field.
Like it or not, data is one of the best ways to prove the impact of your work. Whether you are judged solely on turnover at the end of the year or not, an understanding of the stats that can have an impact on turnover or show you if there is a potential problem lurking in the shadows will make you a stronger internal communicator. If you’re not tracking, you have no way of improving and making your case internally.
To begin, you first must define what you will measure and why it is important to your company. “Understanding how an organization, department, team, and individual all define engagement and assessing where there are gaps in those respective definitions, is important to creating an employee engagement strategy that can have a universal impact,” suggests Mark Darren Gregor, VP of Client Experience for Sloan Group International.
Data = C-Suite Catnip
As an internal communicator, you are accustomed to fighting back a wave of uninteresting and un-engaging content. Your education and training have prepared you to be great, but your leadership may not think like communicators. Data can help.
Arming yourself with stats that help the C-Suite understand the why behind your battle cries for brevity and beauty will make the war easier to win. You will be able to demonstrate in a measurable way the reason behind your choices and the impact those choices will make on business outcomes.
Figuring out the best way to increase the ROI of your work will help further position you as a key strategist in your organization. If you’re just getting started – you can’t measure everything. Here are the stats you should be tracking, along with tips on how to improve them.
Your intranet analytics should be easy to access and interpret. We love Google Analytics, but it can be a bit cumbersome to understand. If you need help getting started or mastering Google Analytics, check out Google Analytics Academy. These free, online lessons are easy to absorb and put into use.
Even the most seasoned communicator will learn something. Plus you get a little LinkedIn bling.
Time on Intranet
One of the key things to track on your intranet is simply how much time people are spending there.
This stat helps you figure out if your staff views your intranet as a valuable resource that improves their work life or an antiquated, difficult to navigate portal. Look at the pages viewed per session to see if associates are easily finding and consuming your intranet offerings.
Capitalize on Desirable Content
Sometimes the content we want people to read and the content they actually do read isn’t the same. “If the cafeteria lunch menu has the highest amount of views don’t bemoan this fact that they ‘should’ be reading the CEO’s message but rather use it to your advantage,” suggests Karolyn Hart, Co-Founder of InspireHUB.
“Offer a free lunch voucher to watch the video and complete a survey at the end for feedback. When you meet your staff where they are at you will see your internal communications thrive.”
Cross-Pollinate Your Content
One great quick win for your intranet is to find related content and link it to the stories that your employees are reading.
This one’s a triple threat. It will increase your time on site, reduce your bounce rate and increase employee content engagement.
You can do this in two ways:
- Guess by diving into your analytics and tracking content tags to actions.
- Or, use automation to pull through what content matches.
Searches aren’t really a stat per se, but they are a great way of knowing what your employees are interested in.
Are you getting a ton of searches for travel reimbursement forms or health benefits forms? If this content is hidden, you may want to think about pulling it to the home page or making it easier to find. This will lead to your staff spending less time searching and more time doing. Also look at the unsuccessful searches to see what information may be missing from your site.
One of our healthcare clients’ internal research revealed that if an employee were to read every email that was sent to them, it would take 140 hours each week. Shocked? Probably not.
Your communications should save time and add value to your employees’ lives. Start by measuring what they are reading, then begin to apply what you learned to reduce the noise and increase engagement.
The open rate is one of the easiest email stats to understand. It is simply the percentage of emails that are open from the overall amount that are delivered. One thing that we have found very successful at Cerkl is using personalized subject lines.
When people know that they are going to be receiving a personalized email (and you back that up with strong content), they are far more likely to be repeated openers.
The click-through rate is a measure of success for your email campaigns. A higher click-through rate means a more engaged audience.
This ratio is crucial for measuring if the content you are delivering in your corporate communications is of true interest to your team members. A great click-through rate drives traffic to your intranet and video content. Not every message is right for your whole staff, so begin creating or refining your staff segments.
You can segment by location, job duties, or on the org chart. Heck, do all of it. Segments aren’t perfect, but they get you a little closer to matching your message to your staff audience.
Content Best Practices
Your carefully considered words can get lost in the shuffle if you don’t let your user data guide the way.
Timing is Everything
Learning when staff at your company are most likely to read the content you spend so much time creating is a great way of maximizing the impact of your most important communications.
This is going to vary by industry and company, so we suggest taking a look at your analytics to really maximize your impact on your audience. Review the last 30 messages you sent or shared, put them into a spreadsheet that includes the title, channel, views, and most popular view time and day. Look for patterns in the data that you can test moving forward.
Check out your analytics to find out what devices and browsers your employees are using to access your content. You might be surprised to find that a large majority of your page views are coming from mobile devices.
“Ensuring that your content is utilitarian and easily accessible is really important to driving engagement,” says Karolyn Hart, Co-Founder of InspireHUB. Work with your web team to make sure that your employees are having a good experience with your communications and intranet, no matter where they are.
If your employees aren’t engaging with your communication, go talk to them. Not just a survey, a real honest conversation with your organization’s influencers. Look for keywords, acronyms, and internal phrases they use so you can write how they talk.
Breaking down this language barrier is helpful for existing employees, but Steve Pritchard, an HR Consultant from Anglo Liners says this jargon could slow down the onboarding of new hires, “Every company has its own informal vocabulary of terms and phrases that are unique to them. This can be confusing for new hires or other employees who aren’t familiar with all of the terms that employees throw around, which can lead to a breakdown in communication, delaying tasks and wasting company time.”
If you want some dynamite onboarding content, Pritchard suggests creating a living internal dictionary document to help document and define jargon, “New hires can then use this to get to know the different terms used as soon as they start, and existing employees can use it as a go-to source whenever they hear a term they aren’t familiar with.”
Define the Place for Celebration
The success of your organization doesn’t rest with the successes of the C-Suite, it’s the staff that moves the ball forward each day. Uwe Weinkauf, CEO of MW2 Consulting suggests giving staff a place to publicly recognize the contribution of staff, “Try creating a public channel through Kudos and Slack, where members of a company can publicly offer praise to team members on a daily basis.”
This page or channel will be a must-stop destination for your employees.
Don’t Give Up
Growing employee engagement is a game of inches. Remember, your position is the most important one in your organization. You help retain your company’s most important asset, the employees. Armed with data, and these new employee engagement tips, you will elevate your position and create meaningful change for the employees you serve. Happy engaging!
[Original Post: How to Boost Your Employee Communications Stats]
Want to learn more? Attend the Strategies for Measuring and Improving Internal Communications Conference, September 25-27 in Nashville.
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