Internal-communications assessment highlights retention, engagement opportunities
Andrea Smith, associate vice president of Strategic Communications, presented an overview of the University’s recent communications assessment, which aimed to better understand the current state of campus communications and how to improve communication to support student retention and employee engagement.
Student-communication analysis findings
Overall, students have an extremely high level of knowledge and trust when it comes to information shared by MSU Denver.
- 84% trust the info they receive.
- 76% feel they get the info they need as a student.
Students’ most desired information topics include registration and degree-progress info, scholarships, financial aid, and health and wellness. However, respondents reported challenges in navigating the University’s website, specifically the Student Hub. They also cited a lack of onboarding and were largely unsure where to go to get specific information.
Additionally, students want to feel more connected to the University and to hear more directly from professors and advisors. Most expressed a desire for hyper-personalized information but did not want to see an increase in overall communication or any new communication tools. While students don’t mind redundancy, a lack of varying mechanisms leaves no distinction between high-importance messages and others of less importance.
Similarly, employee trust in formal communication is high, but communication processes vary widely across departments, teams and branches. As MSU Denver remains a highly relational organization, department-/office-level communication, roles and responsibilities are often unclear.
Employees also reported a desire for improved event communications, more thorough onboarding, more accessible and transparent University data, more people-centered storytelling, increased personalization and an improved website. Employees expressed a need for communications training and tools and a preference for existing communication tools as well as a more robust Faculty and Staff Hub design and better utilization of SharePoint.
Next, the University Communications and Marketing team will plan and implement prioritized actionable recommendations, including improving website-search functionality, providing communications standards and a resource tool kit, integrated communication and content-calendaring system, reinventing student and faculty/staff hubs and much more. See the recording for the full presentation and next steps.