HR Program Communication


February 23, 2016

Analyzing Reactions to HR Program Communication

The best indicator of how effectively you have communicated the evaluation of an HR program is the level of commitment and support garnered from the management group. The allocation of requested resources and a strong commitment from top management are tangible evidence of management’s perception of the results of programs. In addition to this top-level reaction, HR staff can use a few techniques to measure the effectiveness of their communication efforts.

Whenever results are communicated, the reaction of the target audiences can be monitored. These reactions may include nonverbal gestures, oral remarks, written comments, or indirect actions that reveal how the communication was received. Usually when you present results in a meeting, you have some indication of how the group is receiving the results. During the presentation, the audience may ask questions or challenge some of the information. If you tabulate these challenges and questions, you can use them to determine the type of information to include in future communications. You should also note and count positive comments about the results, whether they are offered formally or informally.

HR staff meetings are an excellent arena for discussing the reaction to the results communication. Comments may come from many sources depending on the particular target audiences. Input from different members of the staff can be summarized to help judge the overall effectiveness of the communication.

The purpose of analyzing reactions is to make adjustments in the communication process—if adjustments are necessary. Although the reactions may involve intuitive assessments, a more sophisticated analysis can provide more accurate information to make these adjustments. The net result should be a more effective communication process.

Excerpted from Jack J. Phillips and Patricia Pulliam Phillips, Proving the Value of HR: How and Why to Measure ROI, second edition (SHRM, 2012).

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