McGrigors is one of the UK’s most dynamic national law firms. McGrigors’ commitment to innovation was recognised by the Financial Times in the FT Innovative Lawyers ranking.
McGrigors’ Risk and Knowledge Management (RKM) team recognised that the exponential growth in the use of email in our working lives has fundamentally changed how we communicate both, within the firm and with clients.
The sheer volume of email was causing stress for staff, wasting time and had the potential to create risks from missed instructions or deadlines. Strategic thinking time was also being sacrificed as people felt the need to give instant responses.
The RKM team wanted to address the behaviour which led to the increase in email internally and externally and empower people to take back control of their inbox, to manage their time at their inbox more effectively
and to allow email free thinking time. McGrigors’ clients were experiencing the same email overload and were looking for help in managing their own email deluge.
McGrigors had piloted some time management coaching aimed at helping people manage their email more efficiently with positive results. Whilst recognising that people have different working habits the goals for the project were to build on the pilot and to:
Mesmo Consultancy worked with McGrigors to analyse exactly where and how email overload was being caused and to identify how it could be better managed. The analysis highlighted the key issues, ranked them according to the risk they represented to the business and highlighted which could be tackled by further training. Others relating to the technology infrastructure and work-flow process were flagged for attention later.
It was decided to produce a short training session backed up with an email best practice charter called E-MAGINE. The training was supported by a highly visible internal communications campaign that used cartoons and posters to challenge the way McGrigors’ staff were using email.
Whilst the E-MAGINE training was not IT technical training it provided practical tips on how to manage email more effectively and was followed up with IT drop-in sessions. Every member of the firm was invited to attend the training (with over three-quarters of the staff attending) and thank you cards with the E-MAGINE charter printed on the back and post it notes with one of the E-MAGINE cartoons were handed out after the training to help keep the message alive.
The training was very well received throughout the firm with very positive feedback from participants. They felt much more in control of their inboxes and would think first before launching into an email exchange where picking up the phone or speaking to someone would produce better results. The mailbox sizes were reduced both as a result of the training and inbox size limits being put in place by the IT team to support the E-MAGINE training.
“We chose to work with Mesmo because Monica is a recognised authority on email issues and she could give our training the external credibility that we needed. Monica could give us the bigger picture of how email culture affects different types of organisations.
It is not just lawyers who are suffering from email overload and our clients are demanding a reduction in email traffic too so it was useful to work with someone with experience of some of our clients’ industries.”
“It was very valuable to have Mesmo’s broader experience and its European and industry perspective into the types of email and IT challenges we all face as well as its insights into how they have been handled.”
Empty your inbox regularly
Make sure your message is clear
Alerts: don’t be slaves to them
Get wise to email technology
I.Q. review applies to email too
Never ‘cc’ someone when you want them to do something
Email is not always the best way to communicate