How to Measure Corporate Leaders’ Effectiveness at Boosting Internal Engagement and Experiences

It’s a little secret of PR that internal communications just might be the most difficult part of a communicator’s job. This edition’s Roundtable explores internal communications, as does this Measurement article.

In our April 3, 2018, edition, Patricia Bayerlein of the Institute of Public Relations (IPR) Measurement Commission and Gagen MacDonald wrote about the importance of creating engaging employee experiences, which boost internal engagement and profitability. Companies with engaged employees, she wrote, see a 29% increase in operating income, according to Aon Hewitt, the global consulting firm.

Communicators’ role in boosting employee experiences often centers on improving internal communications, measured via email open rates, video views, intranet visits etc.

While those data help communicators understand “how strong a company’s information flow is and identify where gaps exist,” they are incomplete, Bayerlein argues, since they fail to measure “the most important communications channel—the company’s leaders.”

To fill that gap a series of analyses can be used, measured using the dashboards below. The first four collectively represent what Bayerlein calls a Culture Communications Scorecard. Its goal is to create an index so an organization can better understand how to leverage culture, purpose and values to improve employee experiences and business performance.

Gaps indicate where leaders need to use communications to further culture and where leader behavior needs to be improved to deliver a more connected employee experience.



Table 1 measures understanding of values, the first step on the adoption curve. Table 3 measures how well values are lived and if employees have reached adoption/advocacy. Table 2 summarizes themes from open-ended questions that capture employee feedback and ideas on what information and tools they need to drive a high performance culture. Table 4 provides insight into the business impact in terms of employee engagement and advocacy. Communications or HR administer the surveys, which are filled out using a Likert scale.

Table 5 shows results from a short, quarterly pulse survey, capturing what employees are thinking, feeling and believing about their company and dimensions that drive its reputation. Again, its results inform leaders and communicators about core messages and the effectiveness of leader communications.

Table 6 is a business transformation communications scorecard capturing employee awareness and understanding of why transformation is occurring and the business impact. It tracks these measures against an overall employee engagement score and leader and supervisor/manager communication behaviors.

NOTE: This article first appeared in the July 2018 edition of PR News. For subscription information please click here

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