Communication Strategies – Go Beyond Email

communication strategies should go beyond email

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You’re at an organization that relies too heavily on emails. Maybe your executives or leaders believe that employees just need an Outlook account to understand what’s happening and be engaged. Maybe you’re relying on email too much because your other channels have failed you too often as you search for other options.

It’s not just you or your organization. According to Jacob Morgan, many organizations think the answer to all communications is email.

If you’re at an organization that relies too much on email, here are some cold, hard facts that can help you sway your leadership.

1. Emails are a waste of time and money, to the tune of $650 billion per year

It’s a drain on productivity to have to read emails, especially those that are unnecessary. When all communications are going through email, without priorities, it may even confuse employees asking them to determine priorities.

Some companies send so many emails, they have email-free days or times.

2. Emails drain productivity, especially poorly worded emails; $2100-$4100 per employee is lost annually

intranet ideas for communicatorsTL; DR — that’s an acronym for “too long; didn’t read.” These days, those TL; DR emails don’t get read by much of anyone. Emails should follow a few best practices:

  • Be concise
  • Use bold as most people skim online
  • Include links to your intranet for more information
  • Have clear actions

3. 92% of emails are deleted without opening or reading

Your emails aren’t read. Emails aren’t even opened. These days, even internal communicators, with captive audiences, are trying to get creative about how to get emails opened and read. They’re using the same tactics as marketing personnel, optimizing when to send an email and determining who is the best sender.

4. 40% of employees working week deals with internal emails which add no value to the business

Worse than not reading important emails, emails can cause confusion and double work. Does this scenario sound familiar? An employee reads an email and solves a problem, but it was already solved earlier by another employee. Emails are often misconstrued as well – impossible to tell tone or intent. Emails can also seem untargeted, where employees try to figure out whether it applies to them.

5. Emails have gone through little enhancement since the 90s

If you’re a Gen Xer or Baby Boomer, you remember dialing in to get emails. It took a few minutes as you heard the cranky groan of the modem. Emails may be speedier and soundless, but otherwise, have gone through a limited evolution. Only a few email clients prioritize emails effectively.

It’s still hard to search your email inbox. And chances are, you’re getting spammed by any potential vendor out there. (We do our best not to spam!)

6. Email appeals to one type of learner only: the readers

internal communication metricsThere are lots of types of learners – visual, audio and kinesthetic. Emails typically only appeal to the people who learn by reading – those visual learners. Unlike intranet sites or meetings, where you can engage many senses, emails are typically for reading only.

7. People misuse email

Chances are pretty good you’ve locked down your email aliases. But woe to those organizations that still have the option of reply all to large email lists. It happens everywhere. Someone sends a mass email and some unsuspecting person accidentally replies to all employees. Sometimes, some other well-meaning employee asks, using reply all, not to reply to all employees. That’s typically when the hilarity and insanity begin.

Sometimes people share documents that need explanation, concepts and feelings that are too complex for email.

Why are emails overused?

Emails are easy and fast. They take effect immediately. Drafting an email and sending it is the duct tape of a communications strategy — something you can MacGyver to fix an issue. Big unexpected organizational change? Fire off those emails! A knee-jerk reaction and new organizational goal dreamed up? You guessed it — email.

internalcommunication ideasBut an effective communications strategy relies on many channels, not just one. The best communication strategies employ various methods – in person, over the phone, in team meetings, on the intranet, etc. In fact, information needs to be communicated many times before employees understand it or act on it. When thinking about methods of communication, it’s also vital to think about leaders. People are more likely to trust information from their manager. And people understand best when it involves two-way communications – where they can actively ask questions and get clarification.

If your organization is relying on emails for everything – and you feel held hostage at this communication strategy, contact us. We’d be happy to talk about how an intranet that has AI, communicating to other channels, is part of an effective communication strategy.Using artificial intelligence, AI, ElevatePoint’s intranet platform can communicate to Microsoft Teams and SharePoint Team Sites.

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