How do firms gauge effectiveness of internal communications?

March 9th, 2009 - 12:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, March 9 (IANS) Most companies consider internal communication important enough for their health, but have no formal methods in place for the purpose.
New research has found that most businesses measure the effectiveness of internal communication in the most obvious way - by asking staff what they think.

But because this is done informally it may not be an effective measure, said communication researchers from Massey University College of Business.

Kate McDavitt and Bruce Faull had surveyed about 100 businesses to find out how they measured the effectiveness of their own communication practices.

They found that while 89 percent businesses that responded to the survey agreed it was important to measure the effectiveness of internal communication, the most widespread method was anecdotal evidence - including chatting over a coffee.

McDavitt said the findings show willingness to improve professional practice but few adopted tangible practices. Lack of time, lack of budget and lack of management support were seen to be the main barriers.

“These barriers reflect the findings of similar international surveys,” McDavitt said. “What they don’t tell us is why these barriers persist.”

Faull said it was disappointing to find that many participants knew there were more credible methods but did not employ them, said a Massey release.

These findings were presented at the New Zealand chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators.

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