Excerpt
  The following is an excerpt from a chapter in the manual "How to Measure Your Communication Programs" by Angela D. Sinickas
  copyright 2005 Angela D. Sinickas. All rights reserved.   ISBN 0-9661757-1-9
 
    11. Measuring Behaviors and Outcomes  
   
Ultimately, good communication does affect an organization's bottom line.  Proving the connection may be difficult, but not impossible.  Dr. Daniel R. Denison* at the University of Michigan tracked both financial performance and employee responses on attitude surveys for 34 companies over five years.  One of the attitude survey categories he tracked against financial performance was "decision-making practices," which includes the extent to which information is shared across levels of an organization before and after decisions are made.
     
He found that the group of companies that had the higher scores on good information-sharing practices performed better on both short- and long-term financial measures:
     
• Return on investment (ROI):  After starting out fairly similarly at
  about 10% ROI, the companies that did better on their
  information-sharing scores averaged a 15% ROI for the last three
  years while the lower-scoring companies dropped to 5%.

• Return on sales (ROS):   After starting out fairly similarly at
  about 5-7% ROS, the companies that did better on their
  information-sharing scores averaged a 15% ROS for the last
  three years while the lower-scoring companies slowly dropped
  to 4%.

• Industry rankings:  To eliminate the possibility that certain types
  of industries simply had better financial years, and that they
  happened to also get better attitude survey scores, Dr. Denison
  also tracked how the two groups' ROI and ROS numbers
  stacked up against other companies in their own industries.
  Here the results were even more dramatic.  On ROI, the
  companies with better information sharing in their decision-
  making started out at the 60th percentile in their industries (only
  40% did better) and steadily moved their average up to the 85th
  percentile by the fifth year.  The other companies started at the
  50th percentile and steadily dropped to the 30th percentile, on
  average, in their industries.  On ROS, both groups started out
  about at the 60th percentile on average.  The group of companies
  that shared information better again steadily rose to the 85th
  percentile while the others stayed at or just below where they
  started.
     
However, for most of us at individual companies, it is difficult to
prove that communication creates a specific impact on an
organization's financial measures because so many other forces might have played a role as well. It is much easier to track our
communication messages and media against specific actions or other measurable outcomes that have a clear connection with an
organizational goal. For example, it may be difficult to prove that
a communication campaign on workplace safety helped the company reach its profitability target for the year, but we might be able to track our communications against specific desirable employee behaviors that our communications reinforced.
     
Many measures of behaviors and outcomes are already being tracked by the Human Resources, Finance, Marketing, Information
Technology, Quality Improvement and other departments in your
organization.  If you obtain those numbers, you can track them
against your communication initiatives in either (or both) of two ways:
     
• Over time, before and after your communication.

• Across business units or different locations where you use
  various approaches (or no communication at all).
     
"This chapter will show you a number of ways to track communication success against various measures of organizational success, in terms of desirable outcomes and the employee or customer behaviors it takes to get there. You will learn to:
     
• Look at available data in new ways.

• Track employee or customer behaviors against the
  communications you use.

• Identify which communication channels result in bringing in
  more customers.

• Find horizontal communication "disconnects" among
  departments or locations in the operational work flow process.

• Analyze communication connections in the decision-making
  process.
 
   

(End of Excerpt)

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  Table of Contents   (To PREVIEW excerpts CLICK underlined text below.) 
     
  1. Communicate with a Measurement Mindset
    - How Effective are Your Own Communications?
    - Why Bother Measuring Communications?
    - How to Use the Manual
2. Section I: Measurement Tools a la Carte
    - A Beginner's Measurement Toolbox
    - Administering Various Tool
3. Measuring Messages
    - Content Analysis
    - News Release Content Analysis
    - Communication Pattern Analysis
    - Adapted Starch Test
    - Knowledge Testing
4. Measuring Publications and Audiovisuals
    - Objective Media Review
    - Reading Level Test
    - Readership/Viewership Surveys
    - The Semantic Differential
    - Distribution Analysis
    - Minisurveys
5. Measuring Memos, E-Mail and Phone Mail
    - "In-Box" Analysis
    - Content Analysis
    - "Memo Mania" Tracking
6. Measuring Intranets and Web Sites
    - Measuring Outcomes Against Objectives
    - Measuring Web and Intranet Usage
    - Conducting Research with Your Website Users
    - Using Intranets and Web Sites as Measurement Tools
7. Measuring Media Relations
    - Typical Analysis of Clips
    - Advertising Value Equivalency (AVE)
    - News Release Content Analysis
    - Track Avoidance of Negative Coverage
    - Surveying Reporters
    - Adding Questions to Existing Market Research Studies
    - Tracking Behavior Changes Against Media Coverage
8. Measuring Face-to-Face Communication
    - Analysis of Supervisor Communication Skills
    - Communication Diary
    - Analysis of Meeting Effectiveness
    - Network Analysis
    - Message Diffusion Tracking
9. Measuring Feedback Systems
    - Official Feedback Programs
    - Measuring Unsolicited Feedback
10. Measuring Communication Climate
    - Critical Incident Analysis
    - Communication Climate (Attitude) Analysis

11. Measuring Behaviors and Outcomes
    - Looking at Existing Data in New Ways
    - Tracking Behaviors
    - Identifying Sources of New Customers/Employees
    - Operational Communication Analysis
    - Decision-Making Communication Analysis

12. Section II: How to Conduct a Communication Audit
    - Beyond the Beginner's Toolbox
    - In This Section
    - Choosing the Right Research Methods

13. Getting Buy-in for the Audit
    - Doors and Windows of Opportunity
    - Shopping for Buy-in
    - Preparing Your Proposal

14. Working with Your Task Force
    - How Large a Task Force
    - Selection Criteria
    - Meeting Site Selection
    - Tools and Materials

15. First Task Force Meeting
    - Agenda for the first Task Force Meeting
    - Meeting Leader's Help Sheet

16. Developing Questions for Interviews and Focus Groups
    - Developing Your Own Unique Questions
    - A Starter List of Questions

17. Recording Responses from Interviews and Focus Groups
    - Inter-Departmental Information Flow
    - Effectiveness of Communication Media

18. How to Conduct Executive Interviews
    - The Purpose of Executive Interviews
    - Fulfilling Your Personal Objectives
    - Similarities to Journalistic Interviews
    - Differences from Journalistic Interviews
    - Announcing the Interview
    - Practicing Your Interview Technique
    - Conducting the Interview

19. Second Task Force Meeting
    - Agenda for the Second Task Force Meeting
    - Meeting Leader's Help Sheet

20. Preparing to Conduct Focus Groups
    - What Constitutes a Focus Group
    - Focus Groups vs. Study Groups
    - How Focus Groups Relate to Study Groups
    - How to Select Focus Group Members
    - How to Invite Focus Group Participants

21. Facilitating Focus Groups
    - Scheduling Focus Groups
    - Location and Room Arrangements
    - Note-Taking vs. Recording
    - Choosing a Facilitator
    - Tips for Facilitating the Sessions

22. Third Task Force Meeting
    - Agenda for the Third Task Force Meeting
    - Meeting Leader's Help Sheet

23. Constructing Survey Form Questions
    - Determining Topics to Include on the Survey
    - Phrasing Questions for Clarity and Impact

24. Developing the Format of Your Survey Form
    - Designing the Survey's Overall Effect
    - How to Record Answers
    - How to Structure Responses
    - How to Organize Responses

25. Administering Survey Forms
    - Who Should Be Surveyed
    - When to Conduct Surveys
    - How to Distribute Questionnaires
    - How to Collect Questionnaires
    - Administering Your Survey

26. Analyzing Your Results
    - Organizing Your Overall Results
    - Detailed Analysis

27. Reporting Your Results
    - Types of Reports
    - Sections of a Report
    - Some Guiding Principles

28. Final Task Force Meeting
    - Agenda for the Final Task Force Meeting
    - Meeting Leader's Help Sheet

29. Index
 
 
 

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