Manage Measurement Gaps by Taking the Long View

Linda Dulye's picture
In many ways, tracking the effectiveness of communications and operational effectiveness has never been easier. Free online survey tools enable leaders to take get a read on things quickly, but the age-old problem remains: measuring the wrong things.
Dulye & Co. recently conducted a roundtable focused on internal communications measurement. The key takeaways reminded us that organizations need to recalibrate on what matters when capturing employee feedback.
We often see communications metrics that are designed around activities, not outcomes and impact. For example, most organizations can tell you precisely how many users visited a blog post or web page but what they can’t pinpoint is the impact of the information exchange on an employees’ knowledge or actions relative to operational practices, such as safety or customer service. 
Okay, 8,000 employees clicked a link to an internal news story. What are employees thinking or doing differently after reading this story? Are they more productive? More positive? More focused on quality? These dynamics are the meaningful target for measurement and demonstrating value.
No longer can organizations wait 12 months for this kind of data. Although the notion of measuring effectiveness in real-time may cause heartburn, the fact is you need that steady stream of performance data to understand and address the current state of workforce readiness. 
We recommend that measurement improvement start with a pilot case. Develop new metrics and measurement tools that focus on outcomes and test them over a three-to-four month period with a department, a project team or specific site.
Use daily or weekly pulses to capture meaningful assessments of what’s clicking and what’s not with front-line associates. Once you’ve established a measurement rhythm, expand to another work group.
Soon you’ll have a broad view of employee engagement, process shortcomings or whatever your key performance indicators are. Then you can transform survey data into a high-powered operational tool.



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