When a pilot navigates an airplane the dashboard provides crucial and timely information to help make important decisions. Considering a lot is at stake for the airline and staff, knowing the health of the engines and how the aircraft is faring vis-à-vis its external environment is comforting for the pilot and provides insights on the plane’s future performance for the ground staff to analyze.
Similarly, for a communication team – at any organization and in any industry, viewing the performance of its team, channels, content, and processes can allow leaders direct resources and make course corrections when needed.
Measure and improve
A dashboard isn’t to be confused with a report. Often communication functions struggle to prove the value of their work, are unable to comprehend why the outcomes don’t match with the effort invested, what interventions can be made to improve programs in the future and how the team compares with the best in the industry.
By knowing the current state of your communication (internal and external), understanding what works, what can be improved and reinvesting resources and effort to improve future performance can lead to better impact and increased support from stakeholders. In that sense, the communication dashboard can be repurposed to share with stakeholders in a time-bound manner. You can also choose to highlight key milestones and success stories along the way.
Make quality decisions
You need to be monitoring and measuring your systems, interactions, and interventions to get started. A dashboard is incomplete without data points. From the number of views on your company intranet to the state of conversations that people have about your brand on social media, you need to acknowledge the range of insights you can gather to make better decisions for your team and for the organization overall. The dashboard is a ‘here and now’ decision-making tool – not something to consider when you want to prove a point with your management.
To begin, consider the following questions –
– Is the function aligning with the company’s objectives or goals set for itself?
– Are the channels performing optimally?
– Do your audiences understand, act and make changes to behaviors basis messages you are sharing?
– Is the team benchmarked against the best in its field?
Drive a strong communication culture
To identify metrics that can be part of the dashboard consider using listening, monitoring, and evaluative tools – some are free, some come at a price. Having useful data points to refer can help you become stronger in delivering better outcomes.
Dashboards give you trends, help you appreciate your employees, customers or readers better. As a leader, it allows you to stay on top of your work and be more connected. If you are starting out, your dashboard will evolve over time as you get a better sense of what your outcomes are and how they are measured. Building a communication culture takes time – gives it time.
Keeping your dashboard updated constantly thinking about your audiences, listening to them more intently and asking a lot more questions about the engagement you see. It is also motivational for the team to know what they are measuring against. Finally, it helps to keep teams focused on metrics that impact the business.
Does your team have a communication dashboard? What do you think about these insights? Please share them here.