We’ve all been there: a pop-up notification on our desktops or a ping on our mobile phones letting us know that we have a new email. For most companies, email is one of the primary method of communication regardless of 71% of employees admitting they do not read company email and announcements. The constant flood of information via email is making employees less productive and is affecting the employee experience at work. Why is it so difficult for the modern communicator to move past email?
Stuck in the past
Despite advances in employee communications like chats, collaboration tools and mobile internal communication platforms, employees are sending and receiving more email than ever. The typical knowledge worker turns to email 50 to 100 times per day. Regardless of how much communicators talk about the future of workplace communications or new, cool platforms that aim to solve company communication problems, email is still the preferred method of internal communication in the enterprise. It appears that the majority of companies are in denial about the effectiveness of email, and continue to believe that more information is always better. But is it efficient?
Actually, studies show that constant email communications kill employee productivity. Email interruptions take 90 seconds to recover from – regardless of the importance of the email. Employees spend, on average, 23% of their workday checking email. We may feel more productive when we are constantly replying to emails or cleaning up our inboxes, but in reality we are spending excessive amounts of time trudging through our email. This false sense of productivity may be holding communication leaders back from making the changes necessary to effectively communicate with employees.
Sorting through the noise
Email is used for anything and everything in the enterprise. Company updates, HR announcements, new marketing content or safety information are almost always communicated through email. By relying on email, you are also depending on your employees ability to sift through the noise to get to the important stuff – and the average 78 business emails your employees receive each day. Even if your employee finds your email, will they deem it important enough to read? Employees consider 1 in 3 emails unnecessary which means a significant amount of your company emails are not getting read. It is up to communication and HR leaders to remove themselves from the clutter of email and ensure employees can easily access all the information that they need to thrive at work.
What is a better alternative?
Several of the Fortune 500 are turning to mobile communication platforms to reach their employees. Companies such as Extreme Networks and Nestlé Waters North America found mobile to be more effective when communicating with large, distributed workforces where many employees were not behind a desk. 86% of HR and Internal Communication professionals agree that using a mobile app for internal communication would be more effective than the tools they currently use – email included. The potential of mobile lies in the fact that it is adopted by almost everyone. Will you be adapting your internal communication strategy to include less email in 2017?