The Power of Personal Suggestion – Icy Alert Text Messaging
By Shawn Bubb, Director of MSGIA Insurance Services
We hear often that words matter – and they do, especially when it comes to using social psychology to positively influence behavior. This is because how we say things matters as much, and sometimes more, than what we say. Extensive emails, newsy newsletters, and impassioned pleas at all-employee meetings about being safe in the workplace are thus important, but short, well-timed communication bursts can be still more effective, particularly if delivered through a modality that is, in today’s world, highly personal, which is to say by way of our cellphones.
Whether we love them or hate to love them (but use them obsessively anyway), cell phones are highly effective tools for communicating safety concerns and protocols. The truth is, most of us just can’t wait to check when we hear that “ding” or feel that buzz. And the great thing is that nearly all of our schools have excellent mass communication means to deliver messaging quickly to staff, parents, and community members. Leveraging these factors can thus greatly increase your staff’s early morning safety success this winter.
Using Infinite campus or a similar platform, the communication plan works best when you have 2 or 3 pre-scripted safety messages ready to send out to your employees via a text message to their cell phones when a winter storm, flash freeze, or thaw/freeze condition occurs during the workweek. They see the message before coming to work, and they act on that information immediately.
Here are some great sample messages to consider or start your editing process from:
- Because we have very slippery conditions this morning, PLEASE wear your winter boots and/or traction devices when walking (to the school from your vehicle or your home)! Our employees take personal safety seriously, so please do your part to support our team’s safety efforts.
- Because of the new snow last night, it will be slippery on your way to work today. Please wear boots or shoes with good traction this morning and be extra careful getting in and out of your vehicles. Remember – 3 points of contact when getting in and out, i.e., put your hands on the door or steering wheel to steady yourself when you take that first step.
- Due to the winter storm that rolled through last night, do your part and give yourself extra time to get to school today. Our team shows up safely!
Effective communication with staff is one of the most important components of the school’s winter safety plan. If you try the text-messaging approach, I am confident you will see, as other schools already have, that it really works to help convey timely, clear, and effective messages that serve to help keep everyone safe!
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