One of the hardest aspects of human resource management is getting employees to do something. This could occur during open enrollment, the introduction of a new employee referral system, or implementing OKRs.
In fact, in the HR Tech world, getting employees on board can be one of the biggest challenges when it comes to implementations of new software. Once again, the People team have it harder than the rest of the organization as many new tools need adoption across the organization to be successful.
This is where HR’s email open rate really matters. And, it’s a metric that most organizations don’t even track!
Do people read HR’s emails?
When we say open rate, we mean the number of employees who open your emails divided by the number of employees who you send an email to. So, if we have 1,000 employees and on average 250 read our email, our open rate is 250/1,000 = 25%. This is a simple metric, but it’s often overlooked.
Marketers have been obsessed with open rates on their campaigns since the dawn of email. Why?
- High open rates imply trust with your audience
- Open rates correlate heavily with the quality of the content your are sending
- If people don’t open the email, they won’t do what you’re asking them to do!
Let’s face it, HR Tech initiatives fail many times because of a lack of buy in from the rest of the organization. Email is a key communication tool, and so HR needs to track this metric, just like your marketing team does to understand how well they are communicating with customers.
We’ve asked a few HR teams to look at their open rates to give you a benchmark. While this is fairly anecdotal, the worst teams have a 20% open rate, average is closer to 60%, and excellent is 90%.
How to increase open rates
The good news is that HR teams have a captive audience that knows who they are. A 20% open rate in the marketing world is actually pretty good for comparison!
That said, People teams shouldn’t rest on their laurels, and focusing on this metric will make every future initiative that relies on the rest of the organization to be that much easier.
Our advice is to get inside the head of your employees….