For safety programs, getting buy in is often the hardest step. Workplaces overflow with “flavor of the month” programs, and cutting through the noise is a difficult task for leaders. In a time when competition for team members’ attention is high, leveraging testimonials is one of the easiest and most powerful ways to ensure your team is engaged and your program is successful.
The following steps are a surefire way to create testimonials that will draw your team in and open them up.
Before diving into the steps, check out a few example testimonials from our clients to get an idea of what the finished product looks like: http://bit.ly/worklete-testimonial
Step 1: Capture value statements.
Effective testimonials begin with team members talking about why people should care about the topic. These “values statements” will take the form, “Be/Feel/Have/Do.”
- What will learning this make someone be?
- What will learning this make someone feel?
- What will learning this make someone have?
- What will learning this enable someone to do?
To accomplish this, you just need to ask open-ended questions and be genuinely interested in employee answers. The “Be/Feel/Have/Do” answers will come naturally if you ask open-ended questions and follow-up on responses that you personally find interesting.
Sample questions to capture value statements:
- Personal reflection Qs
- “How do you feel now that you’ve completed this training?”
- “What have you learned that you can apply tomorrow at your job?”
- “When do you see yourself using these skills?”
- “What was the most interesting thing you learned?”
- Program reflection Qs
- “Was this program worth your time? If so, why?”
- “What kind of person would benefit most from this program?”
- “In what ways are your learnings applicable to your life outside work?”
- “How would you describe what you learned to someone who is hearing about it for the first time?”
Step 2: Arrange those value statements into a narrative story.
Humans learn what to care about by hearing stories. All effective narratives have the following structure:
- What were things like before?
- What happened?
- What’s different now?
Your interviews will often take this form because people think this way. However, just because people think this way, doesn’t mean they communicate this way (we all know people who are not great at telling stories). So you might have to help them tell their story during the editing process, after you’ve shot the footage. Just make sure you have a few solid answers of people saying all 3 parts of the narrative structure and you can reorganize it to fit.
Step 3: Use those stories to remind people why they should care.
Testimonials can be communicated across various mediums. Use your company newsletters, email blasts, or stand-ups to get the message out - just make sure you’re communicating with the right intent. For maximum impact, we’ve found testimonials to be most effective for 3 purposes:
- To show team members why the program matters to people like them.
- To show team members how the program applies to what they already know and do.
- To show team members how engaging in the program will matter to what they want to Be/Feel/Have/Do.
The power of testimonials is simple. Someone like me, who does a job like mine, found value in this thing. If I do that thing, I too could have that benefit. Learning to create and leverage testimonials is an easy way to increase relatability and convey tangible value to your teams.
Have you had success using testimonials to engage your team members? What other strategies have worked for you?