You’ve created all this content for your employees, but how do you measure their engagement with it and to what level? Khaner Walker, Director of Global Internal and External Communications, and his team at Lenovo have built a real-time employee communications dashboard to measure just that.
Walker will be speaking at Storytelling for Internal Communications, March 17-19, 2020 in Washington, D.C., but to give us a little early insight into himself as a communicator and his session, he sat down with us to answer a few questions.
What’s new and exciting in your field today?
I think the digital transformation happening within Communications teams, and being able to provide a tangible answer to “what value did Comms/PR drive” is the most exciting transformation happening within our industry today.
When I worked at PR agencies, this was a frequent question by clients. You could see the impact “front page of USA Today” had on web traffic, but for the large majority of clients there simply isn’t the quantity of tier-one news to generate these types of results on a consistent basis. We now have the ability to show what type of lift/results an ongoing communications campaign has and the actual dollars that can drive within a company.
I think for internal communications teams specifically, there’s a really interesting intersection of this approach with employee engagement, employee ambassadorship, and ultimately employee retention.
What’s one thing you wish you could tell your past self?
I wish I was closer to the sales teams much earlier on in my career. It wasn’t something I thought much of until reaching Lenovo. How does Sales view Communications, how can they better take advantage of the work we do (I think there is a lot of opportunities here across our teams), and what can I learn from CRM tools and the customer journey? Our Marketing colleagues generally do a good job of understanding this last point, and I think it’s an area we need to admit not knowing much about and integrating more with.
What about this topic excites you personally?
Personally, I’m excited about building something new and something that has tangible benefits for the business at large. Our first employee engagement metric will undoubtedly be “wrong” but it starts the right conversation, and it’s something my team, my colleagues, and ultimately my replacement can take over, tinker with, and improve going forward. As mentioned above, I’m really interested in what connection we can forge with our HR team and what happens when we connect our data together.
Recommend a book or podcast.
I’m a picky book reader, and when I do find one I like I go through it slowly. But on average, I listen to two podcasts a day. As a communicator and someone who relies on context for their work, I make sure to listen to disparate types of podcasts: financial, news, culture at large, movies/tv, marketing, etc. The ones I’ve found the most useful for work are The Watch by the Ringer and Odd Lots by Bloomberg.
I’m fascinated with what’s working and why when it comes to the entertainment industry, as it’s just another type of communications, which makes The Watch so interesting to me. I love Odd Lots because it grapples with these large somewhat complex economic, political, and trade issues in a way I can digest and in turn think about in a new light.