Impactful Internal Communication
Updated: Aug 17, 2019
Communication is the sister of leadership, yet in many organisations and across our profession, we fail to demonstrate the impact of effective internal communication.
If leaders and managers want to achieve their potential, they need to embrace the power of effective communication on organisational culture and performance. Therefore, professional communicators need to demonstrate their worth. We need to evaluate our own performance and we need to be data smart, positioning communication as the sister of leadership.
Earlier this year I wrote for Communication Director Magazine about both the theory and practice of evaluation in internal communication. An article for both students and practitioners, where I showcased the evaluation model used across government departments in the UK.
The Evaluation Council of the UK’s Government Communication Service developed an evaluation framework for all its services. This framework supports a more consistent approach to evaluation across government communication – it is a tool that helps practitioners align outcomes to objectives. It covers valid metrics for media, marketing, digital, stakeholder engagement and internal communications.
My top tips for evaluation
In addition to having a robust and consistent framework for internal communication measurement, my practical top tips are:
know your evaluation audience - who are you providing an evaluation report for and why?
be data smart - improve your own knowledge of data and analytics and be smart about the statistics that you can use
evaluate to improve and get better - not to exaggerate, don’t fear failure and therefore don’t measure, be objective and curious, not judgemental
demonstrate reputational and external benefits of great internal communicatio - the power of internal advocacy on external reputation is still hugely underplayed
Communicators can make an impact with internal communications and they can demonstrate this impact to business leaders. Through understanding the business and coaching colleagues in the tools, techniques and channels available to them, they can demonstrate how communications can affect trust, engagement and innovation. They can demonstrate case studies of where it has worked well and not so well.
Internal communication is no longer the post room for the chief executive. It is a powerful and strategic management function with the ability to build advocacy and drive an organisation to adapt, improve and to do great work. Implementing high quality evaluation frameworks, like the ones illustrated above, is key to helping organisations realise the potential and value of internal communication and engagement.
Read the full article in Communication Director Magazine, Making an Impact in Internal Communication.