HR missing an ‘out-of-office’ opportunity

by HRD31 Jan 2017
HR professionals may be missing an opportunity when setting up their out-of-office email – that’s the claim from one career coach who says it should be used as more than just a standard alert.

“Successful people see out of office emails as an opportunity to not just be courteous, but to add value and continue to make an impact, even when they are not around,” wrote Avery Blank, in Forbes.

Blank, who is both a lawyer and leadership advisor, says there are five ways professionals can leverage their out-of-office email to not only keep people informed but also have more impact.

Highlight a special activity
Will you be speaking at another conference soon? Do you have plans to take on a new project? Blank said out-of-office emails are the perfect channel to let contacts know about future ventures and special activities.

“Give people a good excuse to circle back when you return to engage you in a meaningful way about what’s on tap,” she said.

Provide a link to an article
Keep the sender engaged by including a link to an article relevant to your work or brand, suggests Blank – “to keep things fresh, be sure to share a different link the next time you are out of the office,” she said.

Include pictures of your travels
Regardless of whether you’re travelling for work or pleasure, adding a photo to your away email will keep things fresh and engaging, said Blank.

“Think about a scene that makes others see you being productive or continuing to learn,” she suggested. “Record and share instances and experiences where you are engaged in things that add value to you as a professional.”

Highlight recent accomplishments
If you’re going to be away for a while, use the opportunity to recount a recent accomplishment that you are particularly proud of, said Blank.

“Sharing one of your successes helps others to better understand what you are working on, and, thus, understand what you are capable of and where you can add value,” she explained.

Use it while you’re working
“You do not have to be on vacation to enable your out of office email,” said Blank. “If you are speaking at a conference or engaging in an offsite team-building exercise, include this in your message.”

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