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.
One of the recurrent questions last week was ‘how do we manage efficiently a team in box to make sure all emails are answered once and once only and tracked’ (eg information@, sales @, project@ and even ‘my manager’s inbox’)?
You need to decide on some simple processes. First, who ultimately owns and manages the mailbox, in terms of sorting, assigning and as appropriate deleting the rubbish. Second, agree a process for handling the incoming emails which shows clearly the priorities and who is handling the email, eg flags, folders, colours etc. Third check that all the users have an adequate level of Email (Outlook) IT Fitness (ie skills to use the software) and guidelines on which to make decisions about how to process and email.
Without a robust and clear process in place there is a high risk that important emails will be missed and possibly with significant costs to the business.
Do you manage a team mailbox? What guidelines do you have in place?
When was the last time you were trained to use email and your email software, eg Outlook, Notes, Gmail Priority Inbox etc? Never. Once maybe years ago and since then the software has been upgraded several times. You are not alone.
Some would say how to use the software is obvious but I disagree. One hours training is worth at least five hours extra productivity. Email is one it not the most used business tool. Yet few have ever been shown how to use the software properly, let alone any email best practice, email etiquette and techniques to manage email overload.
Most email software contains a wealth of functions to help you save time. For example, rules (filters), colour (categories) to highlight key incoming emails, the facility to create templates of re-usable text, keyboard shortcut keys etc. Yet when I run workshops and coach clients it never ceases to amaze me how few people know how to use these functions.
You can use my Outlook IT Fitness Check to audit your level of skills. For non-Outlook users, it will at least highlight what functions might also be buried in your software.
What’s your favorite software time saver?
Good to hear that at last the Government is rationalizing its spending on IT systems and hardware. However, further substantial savings and efficiency improvements can be made if they educated people to use the existing systems properly. After all, one hours training provides a five hour gain in productivity!
For example, what is your level of Outlook IT fitness? Are you Bronze (only just get by and often need help), Silver (average, can do what you need to do) or Gold (know lots of tricks to save yourself time)?
To audit your Email IT Fitness email me and I can send you a link to our on-line Email IT Fitness Check.