How do you know if your employees are getting too many all-company emails? If nobody reads them, that’s a good sign that employees are overwhelmed with a firehose of email communications.
A love-hate relationship
In employee surveys and focus groups, we often hear employees complain about too much email. But when we ask them for their preferred communication channels, email is always near the top of the list.
Fix the content, not the channel
When a channel isn’t working, sometimes it’s the fault of whatever you’re pushing through that channel. Take a look at the emails your organization is sending to employees, and compare that content to the best marketing emails you receive from your favorite retailers or news sites. Keep in mind that you have to entice employees to open that corporate email, rather than assuming that just because you send it, they’ll read it.
So the trick is not to give up on email, but to make it better. How do you do that? Here are a few ideas.
Make it short:
Instead of a long block of text, keep the copy to several sentences. Give them a link for more details, but focus on the one key piece of information you want them to know and the call to action for what you want them to do in response.
Make it visual:
Think in terms of an ad, poster or social media post instead of a typed letter. Using strong graphic design and photos or illustrations will create visual impact that’s more likely to get noticed in employees’ inboxes.
Create a weekly digest:
Eliminate the practice of every department sending all-company emails whenever they have some news. Instead, have them submit all their would-be emails to be compiled into one weekly digest. You can use a templated design to make it fast and easy. For each piece of news, give employees a 10-15 word blurb that tells them what they really need to know, and let them click a link to read the entire communication. (For more on this solution, try Best Ways to Reduce All-Company Email)
Make cascading easier:
If you’re counting on managers to share emails with their non-desk employees, give them an easy way to do that. You could attach a PDF flyer they can print out and post to the break room bulletin board. If it’s an involved communication, like a major change initiative, you can attach a PowerPoint deck or one page of talking points for them to go through in their pre-shift meetings.
When it comes to email, keep in mind that less is more. When employees see too many emails that are all way too long, they’ll tend to delete them or let them drift to the bottom of their inbox, unread. (For an interesting take on how many emails is too many, try this article.)
Even the most engaging emails won’t get opened by every employee. That’s why we recommend you also communicate important messages through digital signage, town halls and other channels, including, of course, the intranet.
Interested in developing a better strategy for all-company emails? Tribe can help.