Good communication can be an indicator of financial performance and a driver of the employee experience. For example, companies that communicate effectively have a 19.4% higher market premium and are 20% more likely to report lower turnover rates, said David McCullagh, national practice leader, communications, with Buck Consultants in Toronto.

But what is effective communication? Ideally, you have to look at the organization’s business plan and what you’re trying to achieve (or measure) and how your strategy can support that objective, said McCullagh. Some areas of measurement include cost savings, employee satisfaction or retention, increased revenue or employee productivity.

McCullagh presented one case study of a large bank, the goal of which was to reduce its operating costs. The bank, he said, produced a number of publications but employees weren’t reading many of them. The bank put a two-week stop on the publications (except critical business messages) and researched what interested its stakeholders. The bank discovered that it not only duplicated its efforts in production, design and distribution, it also duplicated its effort in information.

The bank created a communication and publication model with one voice, which resulted in a reduction of a number of internal publications. This produced a 60% cost savings, a 40% reduction in paper and an 87% increased employee satisfaction and readership.

McCullagh says that when a company starts any kind of communication project, it needs to make a commitment to measurement. Next, the company has to identify the objectives that management is most concerned about. Finally, it has to tie the communication goals to these objectives.

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