Measurement is the only way to know if something is working or not. Just like we use a thermometer to measure our temperature when we are sick, we need a way to measure if our team is performing and communicating better. This is often overlooked. Companies spend lots of money trying to improve communication and performance without a way of knowing that it worked or not. Even a subjective measurement or survey is better than nothing.
Where to Start
The difficult part about metrics is finding out what to measure and how to measure it. The most important part is knowing what the desired outcome is. If it is employee satisfaction, then measure that. If it is low turnover rate, measure that. Don't fall into the fallacy of measuring the inputs and not the outputs.
For example, one might measure how many employees attended communications training. This does not tell you if the training improved employee satisfaction. You would most likely need an employee satisfaction survey for that.
You Need a Baseline
Without a baseline, how do you know that you made any improvements. In the case of employee satisfaction, you would need to run a survey before and after training to see if it made a difference. You might forgo the baseline and just say that you want an 80% employee satisfaction rating after the training. However, it is possible that employee satisfaction was at 90% before the training. Without this baseline, you wouldn't know that the training actually reduced employee satisfaction.
A Better Way
Companies measure the performance based on project metrics such as budget and timing. Or they look at overall productivity and profits. These are, of course, very important. However, it is difficult to know if and how much communications training programs contributed towards those metrics.
Sometimes they measure the amount of communication (by counting emails, texts, etc.). Or the effectiveness of a communication campaign (how many clicks, or emails opened). However, these don't measure how well employee and teams are communicating between each other.
A better way would be to measure the communication itself. Are the communication skills being taught, in fact, being used. Our proprietary system does just that. We measure how well each team member is communicating by thorough and meticulous analysis of the conversations between them. This is done via video analysis of the team while they play our adventure games. We can look at the context, body language, and tone of voice for each message and score it based on the skills being taught.
It is important that this feedback gets back to the members. It is the only way they can pinpoint areas needing improvement.
Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to know more about our training playground for team communication.