Sponsor Insight: How to Set Up S.M.A.R.T. Internal Communication Goals
“Setting goals and objectives is the first step in developing a strategic plan.” Sound familiar? We’re sure you’ve heard this before. It’s not because you’ve read this article, but because it’s a best practice and goals are at the core of every strategy-defining process.
What do internal communication goals depend on?
At the beginning of each year, internal communication teams often find themselves swamped with questions they need to tackle before the next year. At this point, it’s crucial to have focal points and specific goals that aim to satisfy multiple stakeholders’ requests and needs.
Internal communication strategies need to be specific in order to work. Since there are endless possibilities and needs to be respected, this might be more complicated than it sounds. Especially since methods of internal communication have changed in favor of more digitized channels.
So how can you start to define your goals and objectives? Focus on the few major factors that your internal communication strategy depends on:
- Business objectives—Do you want to increase sales or improve brand awareness, or maybe aim for better customer satisfaction?
- Your people—Are your employees engaged and motivated? How can you improve your approach? How strong is your corporate culture?
- Communication channels—How do you communicate with employees? By email, text, newsletters, intranet? Where are the gaps in your communication? How advanced is your digital transformation?
After answering all these questions, you will have a clear vision of where you want to be and what you want to achieve. Base your communication goals on business objectives, vision, and the challenges you have identified.
Define S.M.A.R.T. communication goals
Choosing the right goals will define the way your team and work is organized, by providing structure and guidelines for the execution of your internal communication plan. Failing to define S.M.A.R.T. goals means that sooner or later, your efforts may wane during the implementation of your plan.
When setting goals, aim for the following qualities:
S – Specific
Goals should be as specific as possible. Provide a clear mission statement to describe what you want to accomplish by answering the following questions:
- What is your goal?
- How much or how often?
- Where and when will it take place?
M – Measurable
Identify the approach and means for measuring and analyzing your goals. This way, collecting and comparing feedback will be easier and you will have a quantitative (or qualitative) base for comparison over the next period.
A – Achievable
Goals should be challenging, but it’s also important that they are achievable. Goals can depend on multiple variables that risk becoming obstacles, making your goal unattainable. Take a second and third check against each of these factors. You might see a timeframe emerge or a budget limitation, or even lack of manpower.
R – Relevant
Keep it relevant, or by another definition, realistic. If your business objective calls for an increase in profitability, perhaps acquiring new customers is not what you need. You may want to focus instead on increasing employee engagement and productivity or providing better work conditions.
Make sure that the goal makes sense for you and that you don’t apply the same business goals as the sales or deployment departments. Your goals should be realistic and applicable according to your resources.
T – Timeframe
Timeframes are crucial to stay on top of your goals. Add a specific period for delivery, which will keep you accountable and help you stay productive. Aim for realistic deadlines, as the risk of losing team motivation increases when you fail to reach them.
Good versus bad internal communication goals
Which of the following goals is S.M.A.R.T.?
- Provide better employee training starting the new year.
- Increase our number of employees by 500 in 2020.
- Increase intranet adoption by 20% for frontline workers in the first half of 2020.
Looking at the first example, we notice many elements of S.M.A.R.T. that are missing. How will you provide better training? In what field do you want to train them? The goal is too general and doesn’t give the necessary details for implementation. In addition, if the execution starts at the beginning of the year, when and how do you plan to measure?
The second goal seems more simple, yet it covers a bit more of the S.M.A.R.T. checklist. We know that they want to recruit 500 new employees in 2020. You can easily measure it and show results. It’s clear that this is a task for HR and we know when to expect the results. But is this goal achievable and realistic? It might be for a company with 10,000+ current employees, but the same cannot be said for a workforce of 1,000 employees, as a growth rate of 50% is not easily attainable for every organization. Here we see the importance of aligning goals with an initial business situation analysis.
That leads us to the right answer: number three! Increase intranet adoption by 20% for frontline workers in the first half of 2020.
So what do we understand from this? A measurable 20% increase is needed for intranet engagement and activity from a specific group of employees in the first half of the year. Having the exact platform and a specific workforce segment mentioned in the goal indicates the communication channels that will be used. This is the minimum required to focus on initiatives. At first glance, this goal may not seem relevant to the business objectives, but for an organization with a big portion of frontline workers, keeping them connected and informed is crucial as they are the first point of contact with customers, ultimately influencing revenue. After answering all these questions you will have a clear vision of where you want to be and what you want to achieve. Base your communication goals on business objectives, vision and the challenges you have identified.
About the author / Asya Stamenova is an international content writer working in a global SaaS company. Using her experience in marketing and communication, combined with a strong interest in digital innovations, she seeks to share her deep understanding of the digital world in an original and engaging way.
Official Sponsor of World Conference/LumApps is a social and collaborative employee communication platform that houses all corporate content, business apps, social communities, and enterprise tools in one place. Natively-mobile and fully integrated with your productivity suite, LumApps serves targeted, relevant content to each user based on their personal profile, which ensures that employees will receive the information they need at the right time, and can access it from anywhere, on any device. Then with Employee Social Advocacy, a solution that enables quick and easy social sharing, you can turn all your engaged employees into powerful brand advocates with just one click. Visit https://www.lumapps.com/.