Sunday, December 14, 2008

You Gotta Get Out More

Sure, it can difficult because you are so busy, but few things will help keep your utilization up more than getting out of the office and traveling to the work sites to show your face to employees. In some organizations, factories, plants, or huge industrial work yards or similar settings, it's easier to simply go without a specific purpose. You go to the site, and with permission from a yard supervisor or other management official, walk in. Say "hello and greeting people as you go. NOTE: This strategy is very powerful and reinforcing, and will drive your utilization up faster if you go to the work site the DAY AFTER A TRAINING EVENT. The reason this is true, is because it is immediately reinforcing. You were just there. The memory of who you are is still present in the temporal lobes of these employees (to put it bluntly!) Do not be surprised if calls come to your EAP office afterwards or if employees walk up to you directly to chat about problems.

If you have a huge organization with multiple sites, consider assigning one of your EAP staff to that location for training, communication, and relationship-building.

Other work sites make it less appropriate to just show up and do a walk through. In such instances, you’ll need to consider a specific reason to show up. Perhaps your moving posters, dropping of cards someplace, or simply having a monthly meeting with the site manager on what needs might exist for the organization's work unit.

Why does this external rubbing of elbows work? Employees see you, consider their personal problem (remember 12-18% of the workforce has one right now) and think about calling. Then, some do. Visit again in three months and different employees will phone. The key low-dose frequency of contact with these potential clients.

Employees are also reminded about the company’s investment in them. This is appreciated and the reputation of the EAP as “being available” grows. Hint: 800#'s don't have legs.