The world of professional communications is changing every day, so your enterprise must as well. Individuals responsible for continuity planning and risk management clearly understand the importance of maintaining a solid, documented, and rehearsed multimodal communication process in place. This can include the use of services such as SmartNotice so that targeted communications to groups, shifts, or the general employee population are distributed with just a few clicks of a mouse.
However, in today’s world where we hear frequent stories of hackers and security breaches and are told to be weary of providing personal contact information, there may be reluctance by your employee base to commit to doing so. The strength of your emergency communications and your ability to share the right information at the right time to the right people depends on your ability to collect this important data. You must be able to reach people during and after business hours by personal cellphones, emails, and texts.
With this in mind, below are several best practices to help garner voluntary internal participation for your mass notification program. These ideas can help you shift hesitancy to willing participation.
- Education is key. Let employees understand firsthand what emergency notifications are and how they can help the organization. Request a free vendor demonstration to help employees better understand how their information is protected and guarded, when and how their data will be used, and discover real life use cases where company notifications made an impact on someone.
- Promote inclusion. Be sure to emphasize, “We don’t want anyone to be left out of the loop during an important event; therefore, we need each of you to participate so that all employees remain informed and safe during any type of incident.” Employees generally want to know what is occurring within their workplace, so a sense of inclusion can make them feel empowered. Well informed employees are typically more engaged and willing to participate in new programs and activities.
- Periodic encouragement – A well thought out mass communication system relies on self-registration or self-update features that employees can manage themselves. This enables employees to directly add or update contact details without having to provide the information to other personnel, further providing an additional sense of personal work-life balance. You can assist the process by sending annual or bi-annual employee reminders, prompting them to log into the registration site to update any information that may have changed.
- Create a new engaged culture. Encourage business leaders to openly participate in and support your employee notification program, as attitude starts from the top. Advertise your solution by posting flyers in common areas, referencing in company newsletters, and asking business leaders to discuss during department meetings. Let the idea sink in that there is a new and improved way to communicate where everyone stands to benefit.
- Set, and then meet expectations. Again, to be successful, you must start by being clear on the purpose of why you need an employee notification system in the first place. For instance, is it just for emergencies, routine updates and business news, or a combination of both? Be sure to notify different groups who may require information for more than one purpose and set reasonable expectations of system use. For example, the IT Group may receive routine maintenance reminders, while the rest of employee groups will only receive emergency notifications. By applying business logic to your communication plan, you can better communicate contextually relevant information to employees.
- Incentives. Everyone loves receiving recognition or an incentive to try something new, and employees are no different. If you want people to sign up and share their personal contact information, provide an extra incentive for doing so. These incentives can range from a “casual dress” day at work if a certain % of enrollments occur on or before x date, or that the first 100 people enrolled receive a small giveaway/token.
- Go beyond just personal buy-in. Regardless of if employees wholeheartedly participate in your mass notification system process, you still have an obligation to protect your organization. Do more than just provide email, text, and voicemail alerts. Be sure to incorporate desktop alerts, API integrations with digital signage, etc. These types of alerts are harder to miss because employees are often in front of their computer screen for long periods throughout the day.
There are many more tips and actions you can use to kick start your employee notification enrollments, but these are just a few which might be able to help you foster greater participation and help to spread resilience throughout your business. A little knowledge can go a long way to support generating interest and results to help drive improved safety throughout your organization for the most efficient emergency alerting for business.
For additional information and ideas, please be sure to contact your SmartNotice Account Representative at 866-939-0911 or share your best practice ideas with us and be featured in a monthly client newsletter as a SmartNotice success story!