A year ago it was estimated that on average, the American worker gets 88 emails in their inbox every day. Of those, 76 of them are work-related, with another dozen classified as personal or Spam. In the 12 months since that number was determined, it’s almost certainly gotten worse.
So amid that daily tsunami of electronic mail, how do you create and distribute recognition messages that your target audience will actually read? That was the question posed, and answered in a 2016 RPI webinar that’s available for association members.
The 45-minute webinar is presented by Jessica Schwaller and Katherine Shick of Kforce, Inc., a Florida-based professional staffing firm which has been a Best in Class award winner for Standard 1:Recognition Strategy and Standard 4: Communication Plan for RPI’s Best Practice Awards.
To cut through the clutter that fills our inboxes every day, and create recognition programs that get noticed, they first focus on the company’s mission, which stresses that Kforce employees are recognized, inspired and valued.
Some tips from the Kforce recognition team:
- Be creative
- Subject lines are what first catch someone’s attention. Focus on them, as the front door to your email communication and your first opportunity to catch someone’s eye.
- Brainstorm with your team over coffee, and look for ways to make an emotional connection.
- Think outside the normal world of day-to-day corporate communications.
- Have goals
- Among their stated goals for employee engagement programs are to create company awareness, to recognize performance and to positively change behavior.
- Measure your success by looking at things like how many emails were opened, how many links were clicked, etc., and learn from the success or lack thereof from various campaigns.
- Be audience aware
- If you’re recognizing an employee (we’ll call him Steve) the message you send will surely be interesting to Steve. But work to make it engaging and interesting to Steve’s co-workers as well.
- Tell the whole story, including Steve’s background, and what Steve did to deserve recognition, so others see an example they can emulate.
- Try different vehicles
- Email has become the standard for office communication, and it’s very valuable, but don’t limit yourself to email.
- Use your company intranet. Send a postcard (everyone loves mail). Use your phone and YouTube to create a fun video. Hand out printed fliers in the office.
- And think about where you can use those vehicles, beyond just the recipient’s cubicle. Be creative with office common areas, and even outside the office to reach employees.
Schwaller and Shick use myriad examples of Kforce initiatives that give supervisors freedom to acknowledge the subculture of their own groups, and to provide input to tailor messages and efforts that are timely, touching and telling. They provide many examples in the webinar which have proven to be valuable to recognition professionals as they work on eye-catching efforts in their own settings.
For more information, please visit the RPI website at Recognition.org. Premium Practitioner Members and Business Partners get full access to almost 30 on-demand webinars. Basic Practitioner Members which is free get limited access to webinars.