COMMUNICATION AUDIT

BACKGROUND

All members of an organization use a large amount of their time for different types of communication. For key persons in important positions it is normally over 80% of working time. There is obviously a lot to be gained from increased effectiveness.

We know the risks with ineffective communication:
o Time wasted in meetings
o Misunderstandings and conflicts
o Lost or unsuccessful business
o Lack of commitment to changes
o Etc.

On the other hand, effective communication brings large rewards:
o Increased competitiveness
o Faster implementation of decisions and strategies
o Better relations
o Time and cost savings
o Etc.

Therefore it is of great interest to discover how this time is used, i e how much people communicate, with whom they communicate, how they do it, and above all: how effective are they?

Goldmann Communications offers two versions of the communication audit: ”normal” and ”light”. The latter is described here.

OBJECTIVES

Main objective:

To get a fast and simple overview of the communication of selected key persons.

Part objectives:

o To discover possible imbalances in the use of time (time devoted to different communication activities in relation to their impact on results).
o To review the use of resources in a group: the right person with the right tasks.
o To provide a base for development planning – individually and for a group.
o To make key persons more aware of the importance of effective communication in their own position.
o To increase understanding within a group for each others’ tasks, and for team spirit.

Target group:

The Audit can be used …
o … either for a key team, whose communication effectiveness strongly impacts the organisation (e.g. a management team)
o … or for a sample of key persons, whose personal communication effectiveness is important for reaching certain results (e.g. key account managers).

STRATEGY

Part 1: Mapping
Quantitative overview of communications:
o Time (hours per month / percentage of working time)
o Ways of communicating (face-to-face, telephone, written)
o Situations (presentations, negotiations, etc)
o Counterparts (up – down – in – out customers – out others)

Part 2: Assessment
Evaluation of effectiveness:
o Requirement levels
o Absolute effectiveness
o Relative effectiveness (percentage of requirement)

METHOD

Step 1: Choice of key persons.

Step 2: Meeting for key persons – explanation of the purpose and methods.
Discussion about the frequency and importance of different key situations. Decision about requirement levels (these should be approved by a superior). Time: about two hours.

Step 3: Key persons complete the Mapping form: estimation of own communication activities. Time: 30-60 minutes.

Step 4: Key persons complete the Assessment form: estimation of own effectiveness in different communication situations. Time: 30-60 minutes.

Step 5: Goldmann Communications’ expert interviews the key persons: adjustments of their own estimation lead to the expert’s evaluation. Time: about 45 minutes.

Step 6: Reporting and objectives:
o For the buyer. Time: about one hour.
o For key persons (in a group). Time: about 1-1½ hours.