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Measuring the Effectiveness of Employee Communications. A General Motors Case Study Kathy Collins Director, Communications Research. GM’s PR measurement process captures inputs from many constituents. Key Events. Competitive pressures increase Market share declines

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Measuring the effectiveness of employee communications l.jpg
Measuring the Effectiveness of Employee Communications

A General Motors Case Study

Kathy Collins

Director, Communications Research



Gm s recent history l.jpg

Key Events constituents

  • Competitive pressures increase

  • Market share declines

  • Major internal reorganizations

  • Management goes through phases of denial, reorganizations, then recommits to business basics

GM’s recent history

GM’s Market Share

50.0%

45.0%

40.0%

35.0%

30.0%

25.0%

20.0%

15.0%

10.0%

5.0%

0.0%

1999

1980


Employees make a huge impression l.jpg

1 in 5 adult Americans knows and regularly talks with a GM employee

Employee contact is one of the most credible sources of information

about products

about the company

Employees make a huge impression ….


A two day corporate benchmarking symposium gm hosts 13 world class communicators l.jpg
A two-day corporate benchmarking symposium: GM hosts 13 world-class communicators

  • 3M

  • AT&T

  • Florida Power and Light

  • Hewlett-Packard

  • IBM

  • Motorola

  • Ritz-Carlton

  • Royal Bank of Canada

  • Royal Bank of Scotland

  • Southwest Airlines

  • SRC Holdings Corporation

  • Texas Instruments

  • Whirlpool


The process is based on seven building blocks of effective internal communication l.jpg
The process is based on seven building blocks of effective internal communication

Actively Engage Employees In The Business

Environment

Vision

Use Face-To-Face Communications

Leaders Must Drive Communications

Communicate With Employees Openly, Frequently,And First

Focus On Deeds Not Words

Craft Clear, Relevant Messages

Measure Communication Performance

Performance


Gm deep dives into key communication elements l.jpg
GM “deep dives” into key communication elements internal communication

Improvement Process Objective

To establish a communications structure and process to improve business performance

Improvement Process Structure

External Bench-marking

Message Content Message Development Process

Common Process

Media

Measurements


The communication improvement plan starts with best practices l.jpg
The communication improvement internal communicationplan starts with best practices

  • Business leaders will drive communications using face-to-face meetings and “Winning Together” theme

  • Sites will implement a common communications process

    • Common activities

    • Overarching theme and six key messages

    • Upgraded media tools and technology

    • Site Business Communications Integrators

Goal

  • Actively engage all employees

  • Improve business performance

  • Each site’s process, capability and overall effectiveness will be measured and tied to business results


Management leads communication measurement with these requirements l.jpg
Management leads communication measurement with these requirements

  • One number per location that local and divisional leaders can manage

  • Added to the overall divisional performance measurement process

  • Structured around common processes to be implemented at every site in North America


The internal communication process will be measured and tied to business plan objectives l.jpg
The internal communication process will be measured and tied to business plan objectives

Communication

Plan In Support Of

Business Plan

Problem

Resolution

Communicate

Messages

Measurements

Process

Audit

Process

Capability

Overall

Effectiveness

Scorecard And Insight

Generation


Metrics staged to accommodate variability of site communications l.jpg
Metrics Staged to Accommodate Variability of Site Communications

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3

Minimum

measurements

across the sites

Raise the bar

Part of the

performance scorecard

  • Communications Activity Inventory

  • Activity Process Audit

  • Mechanism Evaluation

  • Environmental Surveys

  • Business Goal Attainment

  • Communications Activity Inventory

  • Activity Process Audit

  • Mechanism Evaluation

  • Environmental Surveys

  • Business Goal Attainment

  • Communications Activity Inventory

  • Activity Process Audit

  • Mechanism Evaluation

  • Environmental Surveys

  • Business Goal Attainment

  • Process evaluations

  • Process evaluations

  • Standardized, numerically based metric for sites


Communication scorecard outline l.jpg
Communication Scorecard Outline Communications

FrequencyActual Occurrences

Planned Occurrences

Common Process Activity

ContentStandards

Effectiveness

Score

Department/Team Meetings

Diagonal Slice

Meetings

____%

____%

Number

Number

(X)

(X)

(=)

Newsletters/Written Communications

Quarterly

Business Updates

State of the Business

Meetings

Environmental Survey

Environmental Score

Total Score


The frequency audit measures actual vs planned occurrences of each common process activity l.jpg

Common Process Activity Communications

Minimum GMNA Level PlannedOccurrences

(Inventory)

Department/Team Meetings

Diagonal Slice

Meetings

Newsletters/Written Communications

Quarterly

Business Update

State Of The Business

Meetings

  • Monthly = 12

  • Each employee = 1

  • (execs w/ >100, monthly; execs with <100, quarterly)

  • Site newsletter — weekly = 48

  • Division newsletter — monthly = 12

  • Quarterly = 4

  • Annual = 1

The frequency audit measures actual vs. planned occurrences of each common process activity


Each process activity s capabilities will be based on specified attributes and established goals l.jpg

Common Process Activity Communications

Content Standards

Capability

Goal

Attendance

Operations content

Area/Dept goals content

External content

Dialogue, Q&A time

100%

35%

25%

10%

30%

Department/Team Meetings

Total

Each process activity’s capabilities will be based on specified attributes and established goals

Exploded View

of Standards for

Department/Team Meetings


Each process is measured by degrees from being informed to taking action l.jpg
Each process is measured by degrees- from being informed - to taking action

Communication Action Strategy Correlation

Score/level of action taken by employee

0= No business information available through this process

1 = Business information is barely available through this process

2 = Occasional reference to business goals in this process

3 = Business information is generally available in this process

4 = Dialogue is taking place regarding business issues in response to this process

5 = This process helps explain how business goals affect employees

6 = Employees can describe how local leadership is involved in supporting business goals as a result of this process

7 = Employees can articulate personal role in business issues

8 = Employees can explain what actions they personally need to take in support of their locations business goals as a result of this process

9 = Employees can describe what actions they took to support business goals as a result of this process

10 = Employee actions resulting from this process have improved business performance

Information

Understanding

Commitment

Action

Business performance improves


A communication scorecard for a site could look like this l.jpg

Frequency to taking actionActual Occurrences

Planned Occurrences

Common Process Activity

ContentStandards

Effectiveness

Score

Department/Team Meetings

Diagonal Slice

Meetings

Newsletters/Written Communications

Quarterly

Business Updates

State of the Business

Meetings

90%

100%

95%

100%

100%

80%

90%

75%

70%

90%

6

8

6

5

5

=4.3

=7.2

=4.3

=3.5

=4.5

Environmental Score

6.5

=30.3

Total Score

A communication scorecard for a site could look like this…


The math behind the single communication scorecard type metric l.jpg

Capability to taking action

Goal

Attain

0 2 4 6 8 10

Actual

= __%

Planned

Total

(Xi)/n = __%

Capability

Goal

Attain

0 2 4 6 8 10

Actual

= __%

Planned

Total

(Xi)/n = __%

Capability

Goal

Attain

0 2 4 6 8 10

Actual

= __%

Planned

Total

(Xi)/n = __%

Capability

Goal

Attain

0 2 4 6 8 10

Actual

= __%

Planned

Total

(Xi)/n = __%

Capability

Goal

Attain

0 2 4 6 8 10

Actual

= __%

Planned

Total

(Xi)/n = __%

Relevant to Msgs, SW, & Media

The math behind the single communication scorecard-type metric

Mechanism

Capability

Actual Occurrences

PlannedOccurrences

(Inventory & Audit)

Process

Effectiveness(1)

Standardized

Work

Score

Newsletters (Written Communications)

Department & Area Managers Meetings

State of Business

Meetings

Diagonal Slice

Meetings

Business Updates (Satellite Broadcasts)

Max = 10.0

Max = 10.0

Max = 10.0

Max = 10.0

Max = 10.0

= __ (number)

= __ (number)

= __ (number)

= __ (number)

= __ (number)

Viewpoint Score

Max = 10.0

Total Score

Max = 60.0

Notes: (1) Gathered from CC Integrator Process Evals & Standardized Work feedback: obtain general level of EE understanding of key information


Key communications effectiveness measures base for environmental score l.jpg
Key Communications Effectiveness Measures to taking action(Base for Environmental Score)

  • My supervisor acts on my ideas, suggestions and concerns.

  • I have the opportunity to participate in solving problems that affect my job.

  • My supervisor is kept well-informed by upper management.

  • Communication here is well-planned and efficient.

  • My plant or staff is well-organized and efficient.

  • Management and employees here are all working toward the same objectives.

  • I have the tools and information I need to make a full contribution here.

  • My plant or staff provides me with information about the company.

  • I understand the reasons for decisions within my plant or staff that affect me.

  • Top management is visible and accessible.

  • Overall communications are improving in my plant or staff.


Low scores on effectiveness should generate insight and new business and communications plans l.jpg
Low scores on effectiveness should generate insight and new business and communications plans

Is the effectiveness score over or under five?

Identify common processes that do not meet the standard

define corrective action

Always do, regardless of score

Under

Over

Review survey and/or focus group data. Identify environmental elements that contribute to communication effectiveness

Put plans in place to maintain good communication environment

Review viewpoint survey and/or focus group data. Identify environmental elements that Do Not contribute to communication effectiveness

Prioritize those elements that make most significant negative Impact on communication effectiveness

Develop corrective action plan to address environmental issues. involve site steering committee


Summary points l.jpg
Summary points business and communications plans

Process

  • GM has a common process for communications across North America

  • Management and Communications have a common process they can communicate through together

    Scorecard

  • Scorecard balances different elements (frequency, content, effectiveness and third-party surveys) to create credibility

  • Management has a measurement tool that they understand and accept

  • Management drives the process and manages the measurement

  • Scorecard facilitates implementation and improvements

  • Communications people now have data to take to management — not just “feelings”