Communications Metrics: How to Make Your Words Really Count

HR Communications metrics employee communications internal communications

Nothing makes our clients squirm more than the words “communications metrics.” For our clients – who are either “word people” or “people people” –  there can often be a powerful intimidation factor around business terms like metrics, data, and ROI.

As human resource professionals, however, it is your job to help your employees move the needle forward on important business goals. Proving your value in your role, then, requires that you get comfortable planning and reporting on your communications metrics.


“Strategic communications incorporate metrics that gauge interaction, engagement, and behavior change.”

Click here to download your copy of our Strategic Communications Checklist.



Before your next communications campaign, consider these prompts to help you develop a strategy for measuring your impact.

  • What is your purpose?
    • What do you hope will occur in response to your message?
    • What action do you hope your employees will take?
    • What business goal will the targeted response support?
  • Do you have current baseline metrics?
    • Who else in your company might be able to provide some supporting metrics to help you establish a baseline?
    • Will your campaign be the first step in creating a baseline for future campaigns?
      • NOTE: Having the courage to establish a baseline where none has previously existed is one of the most powerful things you can do as a business leader.
  • What strategies can be embedded in your communications to help you measure their impact?
    • Can you customize promo codes or create vanity URLs to track which pieces are generating the most traffic or referrals?
    • Can you embed key phrases or hashtags that can be tracked when employees share or comment on this topic?
  • How will you measure progress and outcomes associated with your communications?
    • Will you be targeting qualitative outcomes such as raise awareness of key business objectives?
    • Can you measure a reduction of undesirable incidents (such as workplace injuries, customer service complaints, reports of harassment) as a means of improvement?
  • When will you collect data to assess your campaign’s impact?
    • Should your campaign be delivering results in the short- or long-term? This will be a key driver of how soon and how frequently you should be collecting data and possibly revising your communications strategy.
    • Employee Surveys are a great time space to gather feedback on more long-term outcomes and changes. Be sure to advocate for measuring your communications’ impact by including a few questions on this topic in these sorts of annual surveys.

On the surface, that’s a long list of questions to consider for every little email or poster you put up in the office. However, these are just a few of the questions we help our clients answer when developing a strategic communications plan.

There’s no rule saying that a thoughtful and impactful communications plan has to be complex – but you have to set some baseline level of standards and reporting mechanisms in place if you expect to drive targeted business results through your communications.


It’s a tall order to change anyone’s behavior – especially across an organization. If you’re tired of going through the motions and not seeing any real change then it may be time to get more strategic in your approach.

Our Strategic Communications Checklist is a great place to start. You can download it free here.

Be sure to pay close attention to the last standard on the Checklist—it just might be the most important tip!