In your organisation has email communication and overload ever been raised as an issue:
– in a staff engagement survey?
– in a management meeting?
– at an away day focused on smarter working?
Often the problem of email raises its head and plans are made to tackle it once and for all. But then other higher priority items arise that require urgent attention and the email issue is ‘kicked into the long grass’.
The problem is forgotten – only to come up again the following quarter or year. The problem has not changed and often has grown worse.
As one HR Director said to me recently ‘my company is at crisis point with emails – people have just had enough’. Staff at her company were struggling to cope with hundreds of emails which they were unable to prioritise – and the thought of deleting created anxiety.
They were suffering from a form of email inertia – they couldn’t go forward and couldn’t go back. Staff were stuck in “email mud”. This was affecting well-being and productivity.
People seem to think that email will sort itself out. After all, staff should be able to cope with their own inboxes – shouldn’t they?
Independent research conducted at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust has shown that email training will:
– Save staff 31.1 minutes on email per person every day
– Help staff work more effectively under pressure and feel less stressed
– Reduce anxiety
It does not make any sense to kick the email problem back into the long grass again – it is time to knock it on the head once and for all.
If not now – then when would you suggest?
As a senior manager said recently: “We shouldn’t be trying to get better at using email – we should be brilliant at it. It is the main way we communicate for goodness sake!”
Click here to watch a video about the research conducted at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.