“When you take the time to actually listen, with humility, to what people have to say, it’s amazing what you can learn.” – Greg Mortenson
When you are trying to maximize internal communication, you must focus on outcomes, not outputs. In other words, you should not be nearly as concerned with how many times an article appeared in the company newsletter or how many times the home page of the intranet was visited. What’s most important is the impact of your communication strategies on workplace behaviors, like employee engagement.
Many factors affect employee engagement, but communication is the overriding factor. That’s because everything an organization does is communicating something to employees. As communication expert David Grossman of The Grossman Group says, “You can’t not communicate.” An organization’s working conditions, employee benefits offerings, policies and procedures, taboo topics and unwritten rules are all forms of communicating.
Getting as many employees as you can to become as engaged as possible in your organization’s success is a primary goal of effective internal communication. So, how do you measure engagement?
First, you must define what employee engagement is. That’s been a hotly debated topic over the past few years but here’s the definition I think makes the most sense: Employee engagement exists when an employee feels intellectually and emotionally connected to his or her work in such a way that the employee brings enthusiasm, intense focus and deep commitment to the success of his or her job and the organization.
According to Sue Oliver, founder of Kantana Partners, to determine the levels of employee engagement, researchers focus on these five employee areas and questions:
- Job satisfaction: Rate your overall satisfaction.
- Organizational favorability: I feel proud to work here.
- Organization values: This organization lives up to its core values.
- Intent to stay: If I had to do it over again, I would join this organization.
- Recommendation: I would recommend this organization as a great place to work.
To be regarded as a strategic communicator and an executive counselor, you must focus on outcomes that are meaningful to your organization, and then find ways to demonstrate the effectiveness of your work.
You can learn more about how to successfully measure employee engagement and the steps employees must go through to reach engagement in my book, “Maximizing Internal Communication: Strategies to Turn Heads, Win Hearts, Engage Employees and Get Results”, also available on Amazon.
David Grossman’s books “You Can’t Not Communicate” Nos. 1 and 2.
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