Host: On the last episode of ICTV, Sean Williams explained that creating objectives that align with the larger goals of your organization are key to setting yourself up for success and proving the ROI of the internal comms function. So, this week, communication and measurement expert Sean Williams is back to give you a tactical example of how to set objectives that contribute to reaching your company’s goals.
Sean Williams: What we want to do when we’re defining value is we want to know how the organization is going to define success. And it sounds really obvious, but you’d be absolutely amazed how many companies really don’t understand how it is they can contribute to the bottom line.
On screen text: Can you give us an example?
Sean Williams: What we want to do is get with the stakeholders, and say “for open enrollment, what does success look like?” Is it enrollment in a specific type of a plan? Is it overall enrollment? Is it people agreeing to contribute more to United way? What are those things that are going to define value from the overall perspective, and then we can use that to define the value of the communication activity that we do. A lot of times, we stop at awareness, and awareness is just the beginning of the process. What we want is we want to change behavior and we want the behavior to be aligned with what the business objectives are. We have to have that, and we have to be willing to change what it is we’re doing with our strategy and our tactics in order to match those things and be responsive.
But here in the States, it’s pretty commonplace that we’re supporting HR in trying to get people to sign up for benefits. So maybe as an organization, we say we want more people to take advantage of the higher deductible and the health savings account that we have in the traditional programs. So, what we want to do is create our strategy that is geared toward helping to explain the benefits of each. Then we can measure the extent to which the content is resonating with people. That’ll give us some clues as to what the actual interest is in these two plans. So, if we measure just using your normal SharePoint data, or the information from your app or whatever, just using that to see what it is that’s resonating with people, then we can create programming that accentuates that, that takes full advantage of it.
The last bit on open enrollment: we don’t want to stop with just the output metrics. We also want to look at the actual enrollment that’s happening that can lead us to make decisions about what it is we’re going to communicate at given times. So you start to see that measurement isn’t an event, measurement is a process. Measurement is something that’s baked into our strategy that helps us deliver the best communication that we possibly can.
Host: Aligning your internal communications objectives with your organization’s goals is incredibly important when planning a communications campaign like open enrollment, in order to really make a difference on the bottom line of your organization. To recap, you need to: (1) understand how your company defines success by communicating with stakeholders and understanding the business’ objectives. (2) Use that information to set SMART objectives for your communications campaigns. And (3) measurement is a process. Don’t stop with just the output metrics — track and watch the behavior of your employees to be able to change your tactics to ensure you achieve your objectives.
Next time on ICTV, Sean Williams breaks down how you take your goals and actually begin measuring your impact. If you like this episode of ICTV, share it and subscribe. And to see the other episodes of our ROI series, go to theemployeeapp.com/videos/.
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