No matter what industry a business operates in, one almost guaranteed characteristic is that there will continuously be a flow of internal communication. From structuring projects and planning out future advancements to simply discussing certain functions across team members, internal communication allows companies to thrive.
Yet, despite its importance, 60% of companies don’t have any form of the long-term strategy set out to improve how their business communicates internally. Without a clearly outlined technique for setting communication goals, measuring them, and working toward reaching them, this vital part of the business can often stagnate.
One way to radically increase how effective a company’s internal communication can be is to turn toward data analytics. In this article, we’ll explore four key ways that incorporating data analytics into internal communications can help to improve them.
- Quantitative basis for communication
- Setting smart working goals
- Gathering information
- Understanding employee demographics
Let’s get right into it.
Provides a Quantitative Basis For Communication
The vast majority of internal communications in your company will be qualitative. By this, they will avoid any facts or data and simply discuss opinions or ideas. While this can be a valuable form of communication, especially when brainstorming new concepts for a project, its subjectivity can also be its downfall.
When your company moves to data analytics and makes their findings available for employees to use, you allow them to bring in a whole other form of communication style – using quantitative data. Instead of suggesting opinions simply because an employee may feel like they have a good idea, they’re then able to use hard data to demonstrate exactly why they think this.
By combining opinions with quantitative data from data analytics, you instantly enable your internal communication to become based on data. With this in mind, conversation will become much more evidence-based, helping to increase the efficiency with which teams can make decisions. Instead of going back and forth on what is the right decision, the data will point to a clear route that the company should follow.
Setting Smart Working Goals
When team leaders want to incentivize their teams, they often focus on an increase in output equalling a reward for the team. However, without data analytics, teams can often be left in the dark as to what exactly they should be doing to work toward those goals.
By incorporating data into conversations about goals, team leaders are able to ensure their wishes are more effectively communicated to their teams. Instead of an ambiguous goal like, ‘Work harder this week’, team leaders can use analytics like ‘Produce 5% more content than last week’ in order to convey their desires. With this in mind, incorporating data analytics into internal communications allows for much better goal setting within teams.
After all, the second letting in SMART, the famous goal-setting acronym, stands for measurable, with the ability to accurately use data to measure and conclude, allowing project managers to create much more realistic and visual goals to work toward.
HR Servers To Reflect Engagement
Employee engagement, especially in this era of remote working, is notoriously difficult to track. While some businesses attempt to set productivity goals, that word is so subjective that it’s nearly impossible to track or define what it really means. Instead of this, businesses can start sending around employee engagement surveys to all of their staff.
A good practice for these surveys is to make them completely anonymous, allowing employees to have a space where they can be completely honest. These surveys should balance questions that allow for quantified responses and written responses. For example, how would you rate your own engagement with the work you conduct on a daily basis on a scale of 1-10. After that, you can include a textbox where they can include further written details if they would like.
By collecting all of this information, then routing it to your company’s all-in-one delta lake to store the data, your teams can then conduct analysis to determine exactly how the workforce as a whole is feeling. Instead of just hoping that employee engagement remains high, you’ll be able to actively track this metric through these surveys.
With this, you can then go about setting goals that address the metrics you’re surveying, allowing you to increase employee engagement over time. Equally, if engagement seems to be falling, you can look at what’s changed in the company since the last survey, pinpointing the reason for the decrease.
Using metrics like these within internal communications allows for HR teams and businesses as a whole to better understand their workforce, contributing to a much more effective and direct form of internal communication.
Employee Demographics to Shape Communications Going Forward
A final circumstance that data analytics significantly helps when it comes to improving internal communications is taking a company-wide scan to see current demographics. The past two years have demonstrated just how much of working time is wasted in meetings. In fact, around 9/10 people daydream in meetings and feel that they’re a waste of time.
This is especially the case with younger workers, with employees between 20-30 showing the highest rates when it comes to believing that meetings are pointless. Using data analytics, you can scan your company and look at the demographic. If you have a resoundingly younger work base, then moving your internal communication to asynchronous meetings allows people to view the content whenever they would like.
With this shift, meetings no longer become a burden, but something that can be opted into whenever an employee would like. By using modern internal communication tools like Slack, this also means that people can respond to individual meetings without disrupting the whole team chat.
Considering your employee demographic and adapting your communication steams to benefit them is a fantastic way of using data to empower your teams.
The conversation is inherently ambiguous, as language is often hard to pin down. Numbers, on the other hand, are a concrete figure that businesses can rely on to give their internal communication more structure. By relying on data analytics and the insights they produce, you can allow your employees to express their options and base them directly on facts, giving them more weight and helping decisions to be made faster than ever before.
Equally, data analytics allows you to understand your workforce on a deeper level, helping you to plan for the future and ensure that company productivity and workplace satisfaction continue to improve. Internal communications are vital, but adding another layer through the incorporation of data analytics allows them to become much more precise.
Balancing internal communication with data analytics is an incredibly effective method of boosting the power of communication in your business and pushing forward development.