Measurement Matters

– writing a book about the value of communication and engagement research

Archive for February, 2010

Brand matters

Posted by susanewalker on February 25, 2010

Interesting conversation with Simon Barrow and Jenny Davenport at People in Business about employer branding and Simon will be sending me a few well thought out words on the topic. We also talked about mergers and acquisitions and this really brought home to me that this was an ommission so far in the book. With so many organisations joining together (e.g. Kraft and Cadbury) with their very different cultures, this has be be a vital issue increasing in importance. It can cause much concern (sometimes well founded) but is clearly an opportunity for research to help guide and direct these changes. So am on the case now!!

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Great feedback…

Posted by susanewalker on February 23, 2010

Yesterday met with Lyn Roseaman, a former colleague at MORI, who had kindly agreed to look at my first section: The basics. This turned out to be most valuable – sometimes one can be so close to the subject that some obvious points get overlooked. Lyn asked how is employee research different from other types of research – I had overloooked  this basic point thinking it as a given. But not as Lyn pointed out, for some readers. She also spotted some research “jargon” which I need to simplify. Jonathan at Gower is a great editor but it can also be useful to get other experts in the field to look over what you have written. There may be some aspects/points that you forgot to include – I certainly did, so thank you Lyn!

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Getting engaged…

Posted by susanewalker on February 19, 2010

Now looking at “engagement” for the next section. This has almost become as bewildering as statistics! There are so many definitions and “models” that the whole scene is obscure  rather than clear. It could be argued that definitions don’t matter that much – but if you are not clear what you are describing then it is impossible to measure it..

Joined a great site about employee engagement where there is lots of discussion – and also different definitions. As they say; “you know it when you see it”.

There’s one thing that always puzzles me over engagement: surely it is a two way relationship but mostly it focuses on what the employee can give the organsiation – not a lot on what they can expect back. Is that any basis for a marriage?

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Think I am getting there…

Posted by susanewalker on February 12, 2010

Following the advice of stats expert Ken Baker I have (eventually) redrafted the statistics chapter. it has certainly been the most difficult to write – as Nick Grant says in his comment here, too much detail can obsure the main messages so I hope that I have the balance this time between accuracy and abstruse…  I can depend my Gower editor to tell me the truth in due course!

I am finding the feedback via this blog (and elsewhere) very useful so keep the comments coming in!

By the way if any of you out there are interested in literary festivals Sunday Times Oxford Literary festival is on 20-28 March – measurement does not feature as a topic but social media expertMarc Wright, editor of Simply, is speaking on the wed 24th 6pm – find out more on the website http://www.oxfordliteraryfestival.com/index2.php

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Snowed in with statistician

Posted by susanewalker on February 10, 2010

Well, not quite – but it was snowing when I drove to meet statistician Ken Baker for further help on my stats chapter. I am finding this one quite difficult – on one hand it’s essential for comms and Hr people involved in the research to understand the reliability of the results and implications of sampling but one has to be a statistician to be able to undertake techniques like  multivariate analyis. When I joined MORI Sir Robert Worcester gave me some good advice: he told me that you do not have to be a statistician but understand what stats has to offer and then consult an expert statistician who can help. For the amateur researcher however it is important to understand reliability to make sure that differences between groups are “real” and the implications of sampling – so am trying to get that over in simple language…

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Back to the stats

Posted by susanewalker on February 4, 2010

I do know how important statistics are to ensure that the information from research is both reliable and robust. As a non statistician I found that chapter particularly hard to write -on one hand it had to be accurate, on the other not to get tied up in knots with lots of formula…

Help is on hand as one of the UK’s top statisticians is coming to my aid. I did consult him before writing the chapter but wanted him to check it over…Ken Baker kindly said “I know what you want to say”…and offered to meet up to  go over the text. Thank goodness – and thank you Ken – who incidentally was in the same class as me at school. Obviously he was much much better at maths!

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