Years ago I was made responsible of reminding my colleagues to fill in their hours. Why I got to do that “ungrateful” task? Well, the former project manager was too busy and I offered him some help with the project administration. I must admit, filling in hours is a “shitty” task. But it’s important of course *at least the project manager found it very important*.
By the end of every week, all the hours must be filled in and my task was to remind everyone about it. So I started to sent reminder emails. It didn’t help much (they weren’t reading the email at all) and people started to dislike me my role.
After a few “standard” email reminders I started to change the content of the email. First of all I changed the standard “pushing” text like: “….you MUST fill in….” to something like: “…PSSSSST….this is Lucia, your personal reminder….” and also provide some project information like project codes etc. Second, every week I took a funny picture of myself and put it in the email and composed it with a nice HTML layout.
And guess what? It worked out great! They didn’t forget to fill in their hours (at least less people did) and they started to like me my role again. I remember sending that first email and hearing some people giggling and asking others if they had read my email.
I thought that after a few weeks it became “normal” again and that my colleagues would fall back into not reading it at all. But….I was wrong. One week I was in a hurry and did not take a new picture and used the picture of the week before. I started to get response of my colleagues that they where looking forward to see a new funny picture of me and that I was “cheating” by putting in an old one!
So being creative and putting in some fun paid off 🙂