“Now that everyone is working remotely, how do I make sure that our employees are engaged and getting our messages?”

Wondering if all those faces arrayed before you on Zoom or Teams are really paying attention? How can you be reasonably certain that you are connected with your employees? Do any of them even bother to get dressed? Does it matter to your business?

The best way to find out is to ask them with a survey

If you want to measure change in morale, shifts in perceptions, or even understanding of strategy, a survey is the best tool. (To find out how just how useful a survey can be, see “I can’t do a survey; so why can’t I just look at social media to see what people are thinking?”.) If you are now doing any regular evaluation or measurement of your internal communications, then you probably have a recurring survey to use again.

If not, then you will want to do some baseline measurement to get started. First, find out where and how your internal stakeholders are getting their information, and what sources they trust. Next, you need to establish a baseline of what is an acceptable level of attention and engagement. See “Six Steps to the Perfect Internal Communications Measurement Program” for more on both baseline projects.

Now do your survey. Don’t expect quick answers, though. It will take at least a quarter, if not six months, for employees to change in response to your messages, and then for you to detect that change.

So pay careful attention to your timeline. It should include:

  • Four months for a message, organizational realignment or other change to circulate and be understood.
  • One month to draft a survey, get it approved, assemble your lists, and get senior leadership to send out the cover memo.
  • Two weeks to field the survey
  • One-two weeks to analyze the responses.
  • One week to prepare a report and discuss it with senior leadership.

The good news is that once you’ve crafted your survey the first time, you can field it again a few months later pretty easily. I recommend quarterly surveys, but very few companies will actually do them. Every six months is a minimum.

Internal comms measurement for COVID times

Staying aware of and in touch with your employees is bigger than doing a regular survey. Doing good internal communications, and measuring it properly, is vital. Visit this page for a list of our articles on how to measure internal communications.

You say your internal comms measurement is not yet part of your dashboard? Then you need to read Why You Need to Integrate Internal Communications Into Your Measurement Dashboard Now.

Our major societal challenges of 2020 are addressed in Pandemic Priorities: Measure the Human Connection. It is a guide to our entire Measurement Advisor issue that tackles two major subjects: measuring diversity and measuring virtual events. Visit this page for a list of our articles on COVID-19 communications measurement.

Although it was published three years ago, The Future of Internal Communications Measurement lists societal changes that have impacted internal communications, and is surprisingly apropos for these difficult times. It also provides seven specific recommendations for how to adapt internal comms measurement to this new environment.

Finally, for a lighthearted look at working from home, check out our Pop Quiz! this month: Working From Home: Insanity or Psychosis? Who cares if anyone’s wearing pants?

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Photo by Magnet.me on Unsplash.

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