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  • Presented to IIPR Conference in Toronto, 25 January 2001
  • GM has many measurement systems in place to help us better understand what’s going well and what’s not among the many constituents that are important to us and our business success. Early feedback - both qualitative and quantitative - gives us time to adjust our positioning, our statement, our actions. Today, I’m going to focus on how we developed and refined one of those “sense and respond” systems among one our of most important constituencies -- our employees.
  • Let me go into a little GM history GM was dominate force in 1980 - more than 45% market share - Chrysler near bankruptcy Then, fuel shortages and high interest rates impacted the industry - Industry sales fell from 11.3 million to 7.9 million from ‘89 to ’92 - Toyota increases sales on low cost fuel-efficient cars GM had become dominant with the help of its inter-competition principal - It also drove competing systems and cultures within the same company - GM had to address its fundamental structure in order to respond to the changing market
  • We knew from other ongoing research that our employees were highly effective ambassadors for the company. They frequently talked with many outside the company and were seen as very credible and reliable sources of information about our products, our company, our management, our stability as a company. We believed that employees could play a crucial role in improving our business position; we needed to get more information to them so they could be effective ambassadors for the company.
  • So we held a symposium among the companies with the best internal communications processes in the world Outside corps. were used in benchmarking Selected due to their “most admired” status This was an invigorating exercise and the exercise helped lead us in the right direction From this GM felt empowered to develop common approaches across all GM Divisions
  • The benchmarking symposium led to the development of the seven building blocks of effective internal communication. They are: review above And now I’ll get into the measurement portion...
  • Development began with an assessment of the communications current state of communication at 14 locations. The findings were used to establish a baseline for improvement opportunities The NSB established six “deep dive” teams to focus on key aspects of Internal Communications --- Benchmarking, Messages, Common Process, Media, Measurements, and integration The external benchmarking findings were used as inputs for the development work for messages, common process, media and measurements. It was a logical connection for the measurement team to focus on common processes, these were visible processes that could be managed -- but more on that in a minute
  • Key points: The goal is to engage all employees and improve business performance This will be actively achieved through: All leaders communicating to their employees primarily through face-to-face meetings with focus on listening and responding to employees Every site will use a common communications process to ensure consistency across NAO Measuring the communications process as it supports achieving business results
  • Each of the teams mentioned earlier had GM Board-level operations people assigned to them. The Measurement Team included plant and marketing operations people. Their approach to measurement was that it had to be something they could manage (like a the operations scorecard presented to you earlier).
  • The team developed this model for internal communication and agreed that they would develop a tool to measure these areas (in box)
  • This was the scorecard that they developed The next slides explain greater detail
  • The first column focuses on a simple measure of the process intervals. We developed significant revelations from this slide alone. It was the first time we actually looked at how many times we formally try to reach our employees. If it were advertising time this would be to total number of impressions we would have on our employees in a year. That thought alone could drive significant focus to the communication process
  • The second column of the scorecard measures against established content standards that make each communication activity capable These standards require communication planning, discipline and pre-work to meet the requirement. This is also where we can measure if specific messages were communicated.
  • The third column took the key elements from the Quality Network Communication action strategy and applied it to qualify a level of effectiveness in stages leading from information, understanding to commitment and action
  • Key Points: This is what a completed scorecard looks like. We understood that internal communication is much more than this That’s why we included an environmental score -- to help us understand some of the cultural or systematic drivers of communication effectiveness
  • 1
  • We also used the scorecard as a launching point, leading us to those systematic communication problems. We understood that -- even if we communicate consistently and professionally -- people still may not be satisfied. So we developed a process to identify the causes and generate specific action plans to address those issues and, with hope, communicate better. Now let me show you a few completed scorecards and talk about what behaviors they are driving.
  • To summarize...

PowerPoint Version PowerPoint Version Presentation Transcript

  • Measuring the Effectiveness of Employee Communications
    • A General Motors Case Study
    • Kathy Collins
    • Director, Communications Research
  • GM’s PR measurement process captures inputs from many constituents
  • GM’s recent history GM’s Market Share 0.0% 5.0% 10.0% 15.0% 20.0% 25.0% 30.0% 35.0% 40.0% 45.0% 50.0% 1980 1999 Key Events
    • Competitive pressures increase
    • Market share declines
    • Major internal reorganizations
    • Management goes through phases of denial, reorganizations, then recommits to business basics
  • Employees make a huge impression ….
    • 1 in 5 adult Americans knows and regularly talks with a GM employee
    • Employee contact is one of the most credible sources of information
      • about products
      • about the company
  • A two-day corporate benchmarking symposium: GM hosts 13 world-class communicators
    • 3M
    • AT&T
    • Florida Power and Light
    • Hewlett-Packard
    • IBM
    • Motorola
    • Ritz-Carlton
    • Royal Bank of Canada
    • Royal Bank of Scotland
    • Southwest Airlines
    • SRC Holdings Corporation
    • Texas Instruments
    • Whirlpool
  • The process is based on seven building blocks of effective internal communication Actively Engage Employees In The Business Leaders Must Drive Communications Focus On Deeds Not Words Use Face- To-Face Communications Communicate With Employees Openly, Frequently, And First Measure Communication Performance Craft Clear, Relevant Messages Environment Vision Performance
  • GM “deep dives” into key communication elements Improvement Process Structure Message Content Message Development Process Media Measurements External Bench-marking Improvement Process Objective To establish a communications structure and process to improve business performance Common Process
  • The communication improvement plan starts with best practices Goal
    • Actively engage all employees
    • Improve business performance
    • Sites will implement a common communications process
      • Common activities
      • Overarching theme and six key messages
      • Upgraded media tools and technology
      • Site Business Communications Integrators
    • Each site’s process, capability and overall effectiveness will be measured and tied to business results
    • Business leaders will drive communications using face-to-face meetings and “Winning Together” theme
  • Management leads communication measurement with these requirements
    • One number per location that local and divisional leaders can manage
    • Added to the overall divisional performance measurement process
    • Structured around common processes to be implemented at every site in North America
  • The internal communication process will be measured and tied to business plan objectives Measurements Communication Plan In Support Of Business Plan Process Capability Process Audit Scorecard And Insight Generation Problem Resolution Communicate Messages Overall Effectiveness
  • Metrics Staged to Accommodate Variability of Site Communications
    • Communications Activity Inventory
    • Activity Process Audit
    • Mechanism Evaluation
    • Environmental Surveys
    • Business Goal Attainment
    Stage 1
    • Communications Activity Inventory
    • Activity Process Audit
    • Mechanism Evaluation
    • Environmental Surveys
    • Business Goal Attainment
    Stage 2
    • Communications Activity Inventory
    • Activity Process Audit
    • Mechanism Evaluation
    • Environmental Surveys
    • Business Goal Attainment
    • Process evaluations
    Stage 3 Minimum measurements across the sites Raise the bar Part of the performance scorecard
    • Process evaluations
    • Standardized, numerically based metric for sites
  • Communication Scorecard Outline Frequency Actual Occurrences Planned Occurrences Content Standards Effectiveness Score Environmental Survey Total Score (X) (X) (=) ____% Number Number ____% Common Process Activity Department/Team Meetings Diagonal Slice Meetings Newsletters/Written Communications Quarterly Business Updates State of the Business Meetings Environmental Score
  • The frequency audit measures actual vs. planned occurrences of each common process activity Common Process Activity Department/Team Meetings Diagonal Slice Meetings Newsletters/Written Communications Quarterly Business Update State Of The Business Meetings Minimum GMNA Level Planned Occurrences (Inventory)
    • Monthly = 12
    • Each employee = 1
    • (execs w/ >100, monthly; execs with <100, quarterly)
    • Site newsletter — weekly = 48
    • Division newsletter — monthly = 12
    • Quarterly = 4
    • Annual = 1
  • Each process activity’s capabilities will be based on specified attributes and established goals Exploded View of Standards for Department/ Team Meetings Common Process Activity Department/ Team Meetings Attendance Operations content Area/Dept goals content External content Dialogue, Q&A time 100% 35% 25% 10% 30% Total Content Standards Capability Goal
  • Each process is measured by degrees- from being informed - to taking action 0 = No business information available through this process 1 = Business information is barely available through this process 2 = Occasional reference to business goals in this process 3 = Business information is generally available in this process 4 = Dialogue is taking place regarding business issues in response to this process 5 = This process helps explain how business goals affect employees 6 = Employees can describe how local leadership is involved in supporting business goals as a result of this process 7 = Employees can articulate personal role in business issues 8 = Employees can explain what actions they personally need to take in support of their locations business goals as a result of this process 9 = Employees can describe what actions they took to support business goals as a result of this process 10 = Employee actions resulting from this process have improved business performance Communication Action Strategy Correlation Information Understanding Commitment Action Business performance improves Score/level of action taken by employee
  • A communication scorecard for a site could look like this… Common Process Activity Department/Team Meetings Diagonal Slice Meetings Newsletters/Written Communications Quarterly Business Updates State of the Business Meetings Frequency Actual Occurrences Planned Occurrences Content Standards Effectiveness Score =4.3 =7.2 =4.3 =3.5 =4.5 Environmental Score Total Score 6.5 =30.3 80% 90% 75% 70% 90% 90% 100% 95% 100% 100% 6 8 6 5 5
  • The math behind the single communication scorecard-type metric Notes: (1) Gathered from CC Integrator Process Evals & Standardized Work feedback: obtain general level of EE understanding of key information Standardized Work Newsletters (Written Communications) Department & Area Managers Meetings State of Business Meetings Diagonal Slice Meetings Business Updates (Satellite Broadcasts) Actual Occurrences Planned Occurrences (Inventory & Audit) Mechanism Capability Process Effectiveness (1) Score Max = 10.0 Max = 10.0 Max = 10.0 Max = 10.0 Max = 10.0 Viewpoint Score Total Score Max = 10.0 Max = 60.0 = __ (number) = __ (number) = __ (number) = __ (number) = __ (number) Relevant to Msgs, SW, & Media = __% Actual Planned Capability Goal Attain Total (  X i )/n = __% 0 2 4 6 8 10 = __% Actual Planned = __% Actual Planned = __% Actual Planned = __% Actual Planned 0 2 4 6 8 10 0 2 4 6 8 10 0 2 4 6 8 10 0 2 4 6 8 10 Capability Goal Attain Total (  X i )/n = __% Capability Goal Attain Total (  X i )/n = __% Capability Goal Attain Total (  X i )/n = __% Capability Goal Attain Total (  X i )/n = __%
  • Key Communications Effectiveness Measures (Base for Environmental Score)
    • My supervisor acts on my ideas, suggestions and concerns.
    • I have the opportunity to participate in solving problems that affect my job.
    • My supervisor is kept well-informed by upper management.
    • Communication here is well-planned and efficient.
    • My plant or staff is well-organized and efficient.
    • Management and employees here are all working toward the same objectives.
    • I have the tools and information I need to make a full contribution here.
    • My plant or staff provides me with information about the company.
    • I understand the reasons for decisions within my plant or staff that affect me.
    • Top management is visible and accessible.
    • Overall communications are improving in my plant or staff.
  • Low scores on effectiveness should generate insight and new business and communications plans Always do, regardless of score define corrective action Identify common processes that do not meet the standard Develop corrective action plan to address environmental issues. involve site steering committee Prioritize those elements that make most significant negative Impact on communication effectiveness Put plans in place to maintain good communication environment Review survey and/or focus group data. Identify environmental elements that contribute to communication effectiveness Review viewpoint survey and/or focus group data. Identify environmental elements that Do Not contribute to communication effectiveness Is the effectiveness score over or under five? Under Over
  • Summary points
    • Process
    • GM has a common process for communications across North America
    • Management and Communications have a common process they can communicate through together
    • Scorecard
    • Scorecard balances different elements (frequency, content, effectiveness and third-party surveys) to create credibility
    • Management has a measurement tool that they understand and accept
    • Management drives the process and manages the measurement
    • Scorecard facilitates implementation and improvements
    • Communications people now have data to take to management — not just “feelings”