Browsing articles from "June, 2014"
Jun 30, 2014

Data and Analytics: The Next Big Thing for Communications

In my last blog, I alluded to big data and analytics when I spoke about engagement, business performance, and their connection to communications. My belief is that if you can use data and analytics to understand the relationship between engagement and business performance, why can’t you do the same for internal communications? This area of measurement is a passion of mine, and as such, I’m working to build out a capability around communications analytics – the analytical side of how and what we communicate to our audiences.

While I’m on this journey, I’d love for you to ask me about my thoughts on the subject, especially if you’re interested in focusing on measurement in your own organization. We need to have a consistent approach to measurement once and for all, and I think targeting big data and analytics is the next big opportunity for communications – it’s where we can crack the code on how we create business value.

In the coming weeks, my blogs will highlight several areas of the big data/communications analytics journey. I hope you’ll take a look and let me know what you think. Ultimately, my goal is to make the communications profession as a whole think differently about the idea of measurement, assessing the value and impact of communications, the way we do our work, and the types of skills we need to try to bring the analytical mindset to communication.

Jun 25, 2014

Why Engagement Has Become All Talk and No Action

Last month, I participated in a panel discussion as part of an event hosted by the Engage for Success Cross-Cultures Subgroup on engaging across cultures. One of the points I made was about how the engagement narrative needs to evolve. I made that point largely because of the opportunity I see in how we can progress the engagement narrative within Coca-Cola Enterprises.

While the research is clear that organizations who engage their employees see better business results, we’ve taken that research for granted and missed an opportunity to make the research relevant by asking, “How does engagement drive performance, shareowner value, and productivity in OUR organization?” Answers to these questions really resonate with leaders and managers, but since these questions haven’t been asked enough, the engagement narrative I’m driving is boiling down to a message of “driving engagement for engagement’s sake.” I’m sure I’m not the only one at this place.

From a communications perspective, one of the main responsibilities we have is to make engagement important for leaders and line managers. We can do this by shifting the conversation away from simply keeping employees engaged to discussing where the business is struggling and talking about the relevant engagement gaps, which, if closed, will help address these struggles; it’s a nuance, but it’s a critical one.

For example, one of the things we can study at CCE is the relationship between line performance and employees feeling like their leaders have everyone working toward a common goal and that they’re making decisions promptly. We are seeing that typically, line performance is better – as is engagement – in locations where employees feel good about these leadership actions. If our engagement narrative talks about this relationship, it will be much stronger and drive more business value. Then our leaders and managers can target their engagement actions in ways that will measurably improve not just engagement, but also key business metrics. This is how we can partner with the business to drive engagement.

As communications professionals, we can take the lead on the engagement narrative, and as we’re developing it, we can ask questions to help us understand specifically how engagement actions will impact business results. If we make this change in our Well-Being strategy, what will it improve? What about Learning and Development – what will it improve? If we make this change to our Health and Safety plans, what will it improve? This will be the way we can evolve the engagement conversation.