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Measuring the Effectiveness of Employee Communications

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Title: Measuring the Effectiveness of Employee Communications


1
Measuring the Effectiveness of Employee
Communications
  • A General Motors Case Study
  • Kathy Collins
  • Director, Communications Research

2
GMs PR measurement process captures inputs from
many constituents
3
GMs recent history
GMs Market Share
50.0
45.0
40.0
35.0
30.0
25.0
20.0
15.0
10.0
5.0
0.0
1980
1999
4
Employees make a huge impression .
  • 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

5
A two-day corporate benchmarking symposium GM
hosts 13 world-class communicators
  • Royal Bank of Canada
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Southwest Airlines
  • SRC Holdings Corporation
  • Texas Instruments
  • Whirlpool
  • 3M
  • ATT
  • Florida Power and Light
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • IBM
  • Motorola
  • Ritz-Carlton

6
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
Measure Communication Performance
Craft Clear, Relevant Messages
Performance
7
GM deep dives into key communication elements
Improvement Process Structure
Improvement Process Objective To establish a
communications structure and process to improve
business performance
Message Content Message Development Process
External Bench-marking
Common Process
Media
Measurements
8
The communication improvementplan 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 sites process, capability and overall
    effectiveness will be measured and tied to
    business results

9
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

10
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 Capability
Process Audit
Overall Effectiveness
Scorecard And Insight Generation
11
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

12
Communication Scorecard Outline

FrequencyActual Occurrences Planned Occurrences
ContentStandards
Common Process Activity
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
13
The frequency audit measures actual vs. planned
occurrences of each common process activity
14
Each process activitys capabilities will be
based on specified attributes and established
goals
Exploded View of Standards for Department/Team
Meetings
15
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
16
A communication scorecard for a site could look
like this
17
The math behind the single communication
scorecard-type metric
Relevant to Msgs, SW, Media
Mechanism Capability
Actual Occurrences Planned Occurrences (Inventory
Audit)
Process Effectiveness(1)
Standardized Work
Score
Newsletters (Written Communications) Department
Area Managers Meetings State of
Business Meetings Diagonal Slice Meetings Busine
ss 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
18
Key Communications Effectiveness Measures (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.

19
Low scores on effectiveness should generate
insight and new business and communications plans
define corrective action
Identify common processes that do not meet the
standard
Is the effectiveness score over or under five?
Always do, regardless of score
Under
Over
Put plans in place to maintain good communication
environment
Review survey and/or focus group data. Identify
environmental elements that contribute to
communication effectiveness
Prioritize those elements that make most
significant negative Impact on communication
effectiveness
Review viewpoint survey and/or focus group data.
Identify environmental elements that Do Not
contribute to communication effectiveness
Develop corrective action plan to address
environmental issues. involve site steering
committee
20
Summary points
  • 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
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