Are your employees’s inboxes flooded with company emails that may not be relevant to them? If so, you probably hear people in your company complain that employees never read their emails. Then internal groups try to solve that issue by sending even more emails, when really the issue is how to reduce company-wide emails.E
A strong intranet is often recommended as a way to reduce all-company emails. If it’s a site employees visit daily to access information they need to do their jobs, then they’re more likely to see postings of company-wide announcements that might otherwise be lost in email overload. But how do you make sure employees know to go to the intranet to find that info? Just having a great intranet may not do much to reduce company-wide emails. (For more on building an intranet that serves as the Main Street of your company, try this blog.)
Digital signage can help drive employees to the intranet for news or announcements. Position those monitors in areas of high traffic, and they become an easy way for employees to pick up on communications as they’re walking by, without requiring them to open an email or go to the intranet. If it’s a message that requires more explanation, the digital slide can direct them to the intranet or somewhere else for more information.
But those solutions may not stop reduce company-wide emails if others in the organization insist on emailing their messages. Most internal communications departments are very familiar with the struggle of convincing other departments from throughout the organization to limit their emails. Everyone believes their news is a priority.
Some companies try appointing someone to serve as a gate to all-company emails. Anyone in the organization who wants to send a company-wide email must get approval first from that person. But who wants the job of being that gateway?
One of the best solutions we’ve seen is a weekly digest of news that replaces that steady stream of company-wide emails. A prepared template (we recommend color blocks or lots of white and one strong visual at the top) makes it easy to assemble a flexible number of messages in one highly visual email. Each would-be all-company email gets a header identifying the department or function it’s coming from, a two- or three-word headline, and a very brief summary of 20 words or less. If someone wants to know more, they can click on the headline and go to the full details, hosted on the intranet. (Of course, this weekly digest should align with your internal brand or employer brand. You can still use a platform like Mailchimp to execute.)
Employees are more likely to pay attention because it’s usually the only company-wide email they get each week. The format makes it fast and easy to scan for anything they find relevant, without spending the time to wade through a four paragraphs from someone in IT announcing an upgrade on some software used by a small minority of the company, or an HR missive about a change in relocation expenses for new hires that is a need-to-know only for hiring managers.
To make this work, however, you still need a strong internal gateway. Not to say no, but to say not until next week. For an agency or an internal team to assemble the weekly digest and have it distributed consistently at the same time each week, you have to enforce a deadline for the submission of each week’s news. At first, you’ll have stragglers. If the deadline for the upcoming week’s digest is Friday at noon, you’ll get information coming in late Friday or even Monday.
That’s just human nature. The weekly digest will not be on the top of the To Do list for the organization’s entire leadership team. Just thank them for their submission, let them know they’ve missed the deadline for this week but that you’ll be sure to include the following week. In most cases, the difference in the news being shared this Monday or next Monday will not be significant. If it’s something that’s so big it must be shared right this second, it’s probably something that should come directly from the CEO rather than in the weekly digest.
Interested in streamlining your company-wide emails or other communications? Tribe can help.