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11/10/17 9:00 AM Stephanie Hunter

Every day, we are measured. There are endless examples of barometers that bombard our being. From the moment your feet hit the office floor in the early morning, it all starts. There is one measurement that we should pay more attention to — communication. Excellent communication can improve safety, employee engagement, and so much more. Really they all go hand in hand. But, how do you really know if your communications plan is effective?

Most things that we confront are straightforward measuring sticks:

  • Bathroom scale… let’s not go there
  • Alarm on your clock radio
  • Water reservoir in your coffee maker
  • Gas gauge in your car
  • Thermostat in the office

So, how you can you tell if the emails, training material, Vings, and conversations you're having at work with your employees are working?

 

The Perfect World: What Is A Communication Plan?

It is a roadmap to reach your target audience!

To develop an effective communications plan you need to address:

  • Who will be the key staff members doing the communicating?

  • What are the communications goals and objectives?

  • Who is the target audience(s)?

  • When and how frequently do you plan to communicate?

  • How to will you communicate the results to your staff?

  • What resources are available for communicating internally and externally?

 

After you have set your communication plan, the next (and key) part is knowing how to measure its effectiveness and when to make changes and/or abandon what is not working.

 

Six key parameters for measuring your communications plan:

  1. Did my target audience receive my communication(s)?

  2. When did they access my information?

  3. How much of my information did they “digest”?

  4. Did my target audience understand what I was trying to say?

  5. How can I tell?

  6. Finally, how can I make my next interaction with my audience more compelling?

 

Like your office thermostat, you want to know if your communication plan is at the perfect temperature. What five questions should you be able to answer to know if your communication is effective?

 

  1. Was My Communication Received?

Given that email  is still the the primary form of business communication, step one is to know that you communication was received.

 

  1. When Did Your Audience Access The Information?

Everything in our world is time sensitive, so "when was your information accessed" is critical. If you are communicating a training to your employees you need to know when they are accessing your information. You need to have real time analytics that point you to the date and time of interaction with your communication.

 

  1. What Parts Of My Communication Was Consumed?

Since our target audiences respond to different methods of communication, we are able to package communications in different ways: videos, images, spreadsheet, and documents into one packet. You need to be able to measure which pieces of the digital content was opened and consumed. It is not good enough to only know if someone received your information. You need to know if they understood the training and if they can act on the safety information they learned.

 

  1. Did My Target Audience Understand What I Was Conveying?

A vital piece for you to measure, did my recipients understand what I was saying? Face to face, you can read people’s body language, in the digital world, surveys, and feedback are the best form of measurement. Check your recipient's’ understanding by including a quick survey to solicit their feedback and check their reactions and comprehension. Your survey need not be lengthy. You can often know by just a few quick multiple choice, true/false, likert scale or short answers where your audience stands!

 

  1. Can I Improve My Communications?

What really closes the loop on measuring how effective your plan is to continuously improve how you share information. Nothing is static. Each time you convey information to either a new or existing audience, their responses may change. Analyze what worked and what didn’t and make necessary pivots in your plan.

 

Summary: A Tool That Does It All

Ving is a compliance and engagement tool that can easily be incorporated into your plan. You may include any number of assets (video, audio, documents, spreadsheets, images and even surveys) into one digital “container”. Once your target audience receives your Ving, you will start receiving real time analytics on which parts of your Ving are being interacted with. Most importantly, in addition to knowing what your recipients have consumed, you may check their feedback in your survey.

Ving closes the loop in your plan. It’s effective in internal communications (corporate, human resources: compliance/training).

 

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