In 2006, Melcrum lead a research project and best practices consortium called, ROI Executive Communication Forum. This group is still active and publishes research results periodically in service to business communications professionals. The ROI Executive Communication Forum is comprised of an ad hoc, invitation-only group of senior communication executives at Fortune 200 companies or their equivalent. The ROI Executive Communication Forum has accomplished work to define and measure the presence and effectiveness of Open Communication Cultures (OCC).
“An Open Communication Culture is one in which information flows freely and is easily accessible to both insiders and to the public at large. Consistent with the culture and values of the organization, its leadership enables, advocates and provides open access to information in which employees, customers, shareholders and the general public have a legitimate interest. Proactive communication initiatives and dialogue with and among the various stakeholders are the primary means for achieving open communication objectives. Among the obvious exceptions to the rule are proprietary, regulated financial and competitive information or confidential employee, customer or client information. (melcrum.com
Their definition can be summed up as an environment and culture where all information that is not proprietary or confidential is shared openly internally and with the public.
Research that supports the purpose and effectiveness of OCC, and the business case that underlines the need for investing in adopting best practices in communications is convincing:
— The cause-effect relationship between employee and customer satisfaction (Northwestern University).
— Communicating a clear vision of the future is the number one factor in building employee commitment (Melcrum).
A culture of communication, integrity and innovation increases employee discretionary effort (Corporate Leadership Council).
— The primary driver of employee satisfaction is effective communication (Northwestern University).
— Satisfied employees create loyal customers. A 5 percent increase in customer loyalty yields a 25 to 95 percent profit increase (Author Frederick Reichheld in The Loyalty Effect).
— Internal communication is the top factor in determining a CEO’s reputation, which in turn is critical to shareholder value (Burson-Marstellar).
— Companies that effectuated their plans for effective communication had 47 percent higher total returns to shareholders over the five-year period (Towers Watson, mid-2004 to mid-2009).
—Companies with high levels of employee engagement had a return on assets six times higher than those with low engagement levels (Towers Watson 2010).
If you need help measuring the effectiveness of your business communications or want to learn more about best practices for business communications, contact us today. Change Management Communications Center specializes in helping leaders implement communications best practices and powerful communication plans that lead to higher profits.