Allow me to open this post with a disclaimer. I have been a loyal Delta Air Lines customer for many years and generally have a high regard for their service. With that in mind, please read on.
As a loyal Delta customer, I am also an active member of their SkyMiles program and am very familiar with it. Therefore, I have been watching with interest a program modification of some significance – i.e., achievement of elite status will, starting in 2014, become dependent not only on segments or miles flown, but also on dollars spent.
And while you may be expecting me to comment that this change might make achievement of elite status more difficult, my observation has more to do with how Delta is communicating the change. First, I received an email detailing the change and the implementation timeline. Second, they previewed the impact of the change by adding my current year spend on the Account Activity and My SkyMiles screens. Finally, they provided a link to a clear and detailed explanation of how dollars spent will factor into elite qualification – and why the change was made.
Notwithstanding one’s point of view on the change itself, I think that Delta’s communication plan can serve as a model for how incentive and recognition plan modifications (including some potentially unpopular ones) should be communicated:
- Start communicating well ahead of the effective date of the change.
- Provide a detailed explanation of the change – what, when, how, etc. – and its impacts.
- Communicate the change to the affected participants through a variety of means (e.g., email, online) to make sure the message is widely disseminated.
While an incentive or employee recognition program sponsor cannot control how participants will react to program changes that inevitably need to be made over time, it can mitigate the negative impacts with an effective and thoughtful communication plan.
As a manager who moved locations often, I was always faced with the challenge of getting to know my new team over just a few short days. Learning about my team members always made the process of employee team building easier and more effective, and it also enriched employee recognition. One simple technique that I found… Read more »
When developing an employee recognition program for your company it is important to take into consideration the day to day personality of your company and its employees. Below are some corporate characteristics and some suggestions on how to tailor your recognition program to fit these specific values. Social – Social offices are generally home… Read more »
This year the NSC (National Safety Council) celebrated 100 years of safety during June (National Safety Month). Way to go, NSC! The NSC chose “Safety Starts with Me” as the theme for this year. Wow, what an excellent theme! Safety is such an important part in every company. The NSC says it perfectly on their… Read more »
I recently witnessed something in a large US city (that shall remain nameless) that reinforced some very important principles that are applicable to many aspects of our human experience – including incentive and employee recognition programs. Here’s what happened. I was standing on a busy street and heard the sound of an approaching truck – a… Read more »
At a recent IMA Executive Summit, an entire session was dedicated to “Building Better Results through Recognition – A Research-Based Approach.” This session highlighted the increasingly important role that nonfinancial recognition methods will play in developing and sustaining the human capital that is and will continue to be critical to success in the economy. And… Read more »