3 Tips for Tracking Internal Company Communications

Date: 06-Oct-2023

Internal Communications in the workplace

“The capability or readiness of Internal Communications to start making data-driven decisions has long been criticized. Given that internal communications frequently have an indirect impact on the business, it is challenging to quantify these effects.”

Unlike Procurement, we don’t instantly cut costs; unlike Sales, we don’t directly increase revenue by signing new clients; and unlike the board, we rarely attend meetings. However, there is one thing we are certain of our absence is harmful to businesses and their most valuable asset — their employees.

1. Determine a focus

We need to stop measuring so many things and start measuring the ones that really matter. Quantitative information can be found in data, but narrative is found in language. Now things begin to take an intriguing turn.

Many people think of data as being made up of numerical values and graphical representations of those values. Data, however, is merely a factual representation of the world as it actually exists. Pattern recognition is not restricted to numerical data; it can also be applied to text.

  • Why, for instance, don’t we track how often particular words are used in our digital workplaces, social intranets, and Enterprise Social Networks (ESNs) after an official message has been broadcast
  • Consider this: if we’ve recently rebranded our company and introduced new brand values, shouldn’t the frequency with which these concepts are mentioned online be indicative of their importance?

Certainly, some ideas to consider.

How to Evaluate What Matters is a research report written by an Internal Communication consultant that helps us begin to expand our perspective beyond the narrow lens of Return on Investment (ROI) and into the realm of more meaningful data. Without the stress-inducing, defensive mentality that has plagued previous attempts to prove the value of Internal Comms, a framework for doing so is finally taking shape.

2. Learn the habits and interests of your audience’s search behavior.

Although it seems obvious, this isn’t always used in Internal Communications. Page/post views, “likes,” and total comments are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Internal Communications metrics.

Consider the company’s internal search tool. Data can be both quantitative and qualitative, making it a powerful tool for gathering information about employees. The frequency of alternative terminology (‘performance optimization’ vs. ‘cost-cutting’) can be evaluated in addition to the popularity of search terms.

There are ways to examine the geographic and demographic patterns in people’s use of particular search terms. Changes in terminology and cultural norms can also be monitored and quantified over time.

3. Find out how effective internal communications have been. How?

We’ve all had trouble with this despite the fact that we know the cost of not having Internal Communications can be high. There are two factors that make it hard to quantify our influence:

  • Internal communication helps with both incremental performance gains and reaching binary (all-or-nothing) goals, which is why return on investment is a linear metric.
  • Success in making changes and accomplishing goals often depends on factors that are difficult to quantify, including the impact of internal communications.

As a result, a fresh methodology for gauging Internal Communications has emerged. There are three Internal Communications metrics that should be considered when comparing communication investments to other investment types:

  • How much of a shift in behavior is expected?
  • How much money this adjustment will make or save?
  • The amount of weight that should be given to a particular communication strategy, or what Mike, the internal company communicator, calls “The Comms Factor.”

The “Comms Aspect” is a compromise between the Comms department and the company’s management. The beauty, perhaps, lies precisely in that.

For a long time, we’ve said that one of the biggest obstacles to effective internal communications has been gaining support from the C-suite and other top-level executives. Making them an integral part of the discussion about what makes us successful is the best way to involve them.


So what’s the one way that can boost your employee engagement?

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