Thursday, August 28, 2008

Need Some Suggestions

Granted, I am not the best communicator in the world. In fact, I'm rather terse and misanthropic so I would not be insulted if I'm not on our succession planning path for Communications Director or Manager.

I was asked to create a survey for our employees to rate our recent benefits changes/offerings. It is completely anonymous and they had two weeks to complete the survey. About 1.5 weeks into the survey they asked me to send out a reminder.

Here is what it read:
Reminder: Benefit survey.

If you have already completed the survey, thank you for your feedback. There is no need to reply or take further action. The results will be shared by the VP of Benefits in the next newsletter.

However, if you have not completed the survey, please follow the link below and complete it.

Within a few moments of sending it out, I get multiple replies/phone calls to the effect of:

"IVE ALREADY TAKEN THE SURVEY, DO I HAVE TO TAKE IT AGAIN"
"I WENT TO THE SURVEY, AND IT WONT LET ME TAKE IT AGAIN"
"WHEN ARE WE GETTING THE RESULTS"
"DOES THIS MEAN YOU LOST THE RESULTS AND WE HAVE TO TAKE IT AGAIN???"
"HOW COME I'M GETTING THIS EMAIL, CANT YOU SEE IVE TAKEN IT???"

My boss gets phone calls asking similar questions, some border on hostile.

So apparently, I wasn't clear with my reminder. Any suggestions of how to word my email differently? I have a few, but my much nicer and wiser boss won't let me put them in.


I have several new entries for "THE LIST"

2 comments:

Dave Ferguson said...

Some suggestions:

Subject line: "If you haven't completed the XYZ survey"

(Rational: people get too much email. Use the subject line to tip them off. The "if you haven't" might help lower the temperature.)

Opening:

Because the XYZ survey is anonymous, we can't tell who's responded. If you already completed your survey, thanks. No need to keep reading.

Rational: explain why you're following up, and let the people you like most -- those who've taken the thing -- off the hook early.

If you haven't completed the survey yet, it takes about X minutes. Click (this link) when you want to begin.

If you're not able to get to the survey, please... (whatever you want them to do).

...As tempting as it is to keep a list, it adds to bad karma. Anyway, when people get blank List forms, HR is already printed on them.

Evil HRISguy said...

Good points, and Ive discussed some with the Hr Machers.
Now if I could only get them to read the email before reacting to it!

Then again. If it werent for bad karma, I wouldnt have any!