Overview – Letters to employees’ homes
Letters to employees’ homes are correspondence written and signed by a leader for mailing directly to the home of each employee. Letters to employees’ homes are seen as crossing the line between work and home. Therefore due consideration needs to be given to the reason for deploying this tactic, the message being conveyed and the tone of language used.
The content of the letter needs to be of such perceived value that employees do not question why they weren’t simply informed at work. That perceived value is a measure of the leader’s profile and credibility, and worthiness of the messages. A good way of testing this is to gauge whether employees’ response to the letter will merely be: “So what!”
This tactic is useful for:
✓ Getting message cut-through above and beyond the day-to-day organisational ‘noise’.
✓ Recognising extraordinary efforts that may have adversely impacted employee work-life balance.
✓ Articulating appreciation of support given by employees’ family and/or friends during a particularly challenging period.
✓ Acknowledging employees’ notable achievements with a meaningful document for inclusion in their portfolios or résumés.
✓ Aligning employee support behind new challenges.
Things to consider:
⇒ Determine the special circumstances that warrant a letter to employees’ homes, including extraordinary or emergency situations, or implementation of a major change program.
⇒ Reinforce key messages by co-ordinating the mail-out timing with other events in the leader’s communication calendar.
⇒ Respect that employees have extremely busy lives outside of work by keeping letters brief and to the point.
⇒ Consider that the letter may be read by others. Tailor the content so it can be understood by people with limited knowledge of the organisation.
⇒ Aim for a personal touch and sincerity of expression.
⇒ Deliver on any promises or commitments to promote trust and credibility.
If sending the employee annual report to employees’ homes, include a letter from the leader to convey appreciation for employees’ commitment and dedication in a more direct and personable manner.