Thursday, March 11, 2010

Changing Employee Behavior for the Better

If you are an employer and you don't have a "work-life-health-wellness-productivity-stress management newsletter" (I call it an employee newsletter for short), you are missing a profound opportunity to influence behavior, reduce behavioral risk, decrease accidents, improve morale, stop negativity, influence positive change in the homelife of your employees, save money, reduce absenteeism ... and a host of other benefits.

The list of such benefits is enormous. I cannot emphasize this point enough when I talk about employee newsletter tips. Employee newsletter topics that relate to the most important issues in your organization can be brainstormed in minutes and articles gathered. Instantly, you have a newsletter tool to reduce costs.

All of this is inexpensive because you can acquire newsletter content from many sources and even a typed page of information for employees is enough to make an impact.

There are two important secrets however. You must, and should absolutely distribute frequently--I recommend once a month. Why in the world send such a publication quarterly? Also, one other point: Make articles short.

You have a captured audience. It's a beautiful thing. So, a punchy newsletter of two pages with short to-the-point articles will be picked up and read by your employees.

If your employees pick up a newsletter meant for them and it is a book of 4 or 8 pages, they will instantly feel like they are in a cluttered garage and put it down until later. We all react this way to "work" from time to time. But you do not want this to happen with a risk management tool that can influence positive change or prevent loss. Imagine inflencing an employee with an anger management problem, or even violence prone behavior with your newsletter?

Make your articles between 70 and 250 words, and vary the number of articles (I suggest eight) on a two-page newsletter. Put an image with each article.

Your organization buys expensive insurance to prevent financial loss. You spend money to protect your organization, pay workers' compensation bills, hire security guards, have lawyers to protect you, and spend enormous amounts of energy dealing with employee complaints, disciplinary matters, and having special events to improve morale -- pizza parties, off-sites, and birthday celebrations.

An employee newsletter can reduce the costs associated with each one of these things. I can think of an article that will directly enhance each of the forgoing.

So, if you don't have an inexpensive employee newsletter, you have a big hole in your risk management and employee benefit program. Fill it and reap the benefits for your work organization.

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