Hilary Clinton used a personal email account rather than her White House one. Now 10 Downing Street admits to automatically deleting its emails after 90 days. As a result some are suggesting that instant electronic messaging systems which self-destruct are the solution like SnapChat and Slack. But are they?
For any technology to succeed and add value to the business, requires that users are properly trained. Sadly though, normally 80% of our time and budget is spent on the technology and its implementation and only 20% on providing the user with adequate skills to use it properly.
How many of you have ever been educated to mange your use of email, little own deploy good email etiquette which would reduce the need to email ping-pong and email gaffs. In Mesmo Consultancy’s experiences it is less that 20%. So little wonder we often find ourselves confronted with consequences of an email we wish we had never sent.
It is naive to think that we can delete an email. Once sent it is there for ever, either stored on a server as News International and Sony Corporation found to their dismay, or still in the recipient’s inbox. Far better is to adopt slow and quiet email. Think before hitting send. Reflect and ask yourself ‘what if someone found this email’.
Without proper training and a change in organisational culture instant electronic messaging communications systems (like Slack and SnapChat) will be doomed to the same failure and disasters as our current version of email.
Need help to change your email culture to make it work for, rather than against you? Call Mesmo Consultancy to hear how our email training has has helped others. Alternatively, watch our video on email etiquette.
Tags: 10 Downing Street, Deleting emails, email culture, email etiquette training, Email gaffs, Email ping-pong, Email training, Hilary Clinton, Mesmo Consultancy, News International, Slack, SnapChat, Sony Corporation
Training is always the first item to be cut during an economic downturn. If Mesmo Consultancy’s order books (for email best practice training) are a barometer of the state of economy, then as others are experiencing there is a distinctive feel good factor in business. We have had our busiest six months since 2011. Working with organisations of all sizes and from all sectors we are still seeing considerable scope for ways to improve personal and business performance and productivity.
Here is our pick of the top five articles and blogs from the past few weeks on ways to improve personal and business performance from reducing email overload to proof reading apps.
Suffering from email and social media disruption, feeling you have no time to stand still? This is our top pick.
A cyber attack not only dents your reputation but can also absorbs valuable time and resources on the damage limitation exercise.
Sometimes reaching for a pen and paper is the quickest way to take notes. No waiting either for the technology to boot-up or hassle if it runs out of juice.
How long does it take to get back to real productive work after you stoop to peek at either email or social media post? Sufficient time to run five miles in Roger Banister style. To be precise 23 minutes according to research from Microsoft) The moral as we have said many times before – limit all those distractions and stay in the present for at least 2o minutes.
Many top executives have amazing speed reading skills. In today’s age of information overload speed reading is an essential survival skill for all of us regardless of our position in the organisational food chain.
One hours training returns about five hour extra productivity. Yet according to a recent survey from the UK Commission on Employment and Skills 40% of UK companies spent nothing on training last year. This supports Mesmo Consultancy’s observations on how poor people’s level of skills is with their email software. Here is the tool which is used most in day-to-day businesses and yet ask people which of the key time saving features they can use such as filters and colour to manage their inbox and on average only 50% know how to use these functions.
Training is the key to improving productivity and competitiveness as has been observed by many including ourselves. Indeed attending a short ninety minute email best practice workshop can help you find up to an extra sixty minutes a day. When was the last time you provided your employees with any email training? Do they use their email software properly to improve productivity or so poorly that they are often the source of unnecessary demands on the IT Help Desk.
Click here to check your level of Outlook IT Fitness and see where you could be saving time. If you need some help call us and we would be pleased to talk through how providing email best practice training (to use both the email and calendar functionality) can improve business productivity.
Have you ever been trained to use your email software to help reduce the email overload? Here is a tool which we use constantly for business yet few people have ever been trained how to use the software properly. Most say it’s intuitive. But is it? Often it is far from obvious and especially to those who are not digital natives.
So how much time do you either wast hunting around for a function or becuase you did not know there was a function which could save you time. For example can you:
To see how well you use Outlook use our Outlook IT Fitness Check .
For users of other software eg Notes, Entourage and Groupwise, your software will have most of these functions so the Fitness Check will help you too.
It never ceases to amaze me that so few people receive any form of email software training. Software is changed even upgraded and users are just left to ‘get on with it’. The more foresighted do provide training and have found that one hour spent training can add as much as five extra hours productivity per week.
This week there are a series of email software time savers.
What is your experience?
By email (as the sender), how long do you have to make an impression on the recipient? Maximum, five seconds, before they form an opinion of you (the sender), for better or worse. That goes for every aspect of business be it internal and external communications, eg job applications, journalists, prospects, etc. Often it’s for worse. Stefan Stern’s article ‘Is the vehicle registered in your name‘ prompted me to reflect on the current state of email etiquette or rather lack of it.
How you open, close and construct an email is your email dress code. Sloppy email, sloppy you. Professional email and it makes one feel I’d like to do business with this person. The way an email is framed can make or break a business relationship.
Let us not forget that for most businesses an email is still a formal communication. Indeed, it bears your business’s/organisation’s name, not to mention your own name.
Yet, when was the last time you had any email etiquette training? Never. You are not alone. Here is the most commonly and frequently used business communications tool and yet our surveys show that less than 30% of business people are ever given any guidelines on what is acceptable and what is not. In part of course the standard of today’s email etiquette is also a reflection of the appalling standard of school teaching. But that’s another story.
For example what guidelines are there in your organisation/business on:
These are some of the items covered in this week’s blogs.
Meanwhile, please feel free to use my Email Etiquette Checklist to audit a few of the emails you recently sent.