Drip, Drip, Drip to Educate Your Staff

How do you get your employees to understand the procedures and rationale for all the things you do in your office?

You can prepare a training manual and issue it to the newbies on day one. But will they read it? And if they do, will they really get it?

I don’t think so. It’s all too much, too soon.

It’s tough to absorb all the information coming your way in the first few weeks on the job. Your trying hard to remember where the bathroom is and how to log in to your computer. It’s probably asking to much for someone to really understand why you treat the clients the way you do and how you go about marketing your firm.

I came across something that struck me as a great idea on the Duct Tape Marketing blog the other day. John Jantsch suggested that his readers use an email campaign manager, like AWeber, to train their employees. AWeber is an autoresponder. It’s used to send out emails on a prearranged schedule to people on a mailing list.

We use AWeber for marketing our firm to create “drip marketing” campaigns. I’ve used it in a variety of different ways, but haven’t ever directed my email internally to communicate with or train employees.

In the same way that email helps remind prospects of your services, drip marketing to your employees can remind them of what’s important.

The way these services work is that you draft a series of emails that are saved and then sent out to a list over time. A subscriber to the list will receive the first email on day one. They then get each successive email at the interval you’ve preselected.

You can set up as many emails, to be sent out over time, as you have the capacity and creativity to write. You can set all sorts of rules about how and when the emails are sent. You can mail only on weekdays and you can even determine the time the mail is sent.

What I envision doing is drafting emails to our employees that explain the things that everybody needs to know. For instance, I can explain our core values and firm purpose. I can then go into why we engage in marketing. I can talk about our customer service policies and practices.

Once I’ve drafted my emails they’ll last forever. When we have a change in employees I can simply add the next employee to the list and they’ll start to receive the information.

I like this a lot better than what we do now. Today, we simply give each employee a manual and they’re instructed to review it over a period of two weeks.

With the email plan, I can spread it out over a much longer period. I can put the information in shorter, easier to consume, bits and pieces. I suspect, the employees will absorb the information much more effectively when it’s doled out a little bit a time.

Some things just don’t fit in a manual very well. For instance, we require our employees to change their email message everyday. That’s tough to remember, at first. Maybe we can send an email each day, all pre-arranged of course, reminding them for the first few weeks. We can also remind them to clock in and out on their terminals. Maybe we can incorporate our checklists for certain functions into a custom stream of emails based on job function. Our three front desk people could get different emails than our paralegals, for instance.

The more I think about it, the more opportunity I see for this to really be helpful. Time to get started drafting emails.

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