Shepherd Construction is an industry leading construction company with a turnover in excess of £300m with over a hundred years of experience. It handles large projects for both the Public and Private sector.
60% of Shepherd’s 600 employees are on site at any one time. They need to be able to keep in contact from remote locations and while travelling from one site to another. In addition all staff need to be able quickly to send and receive large attachments containing drawings to and from multiple people in different locations. These factors were creating several issues for the efficient management of the business including document management and storage, bulging email inboxes and too much time spent managing email.
Working with Mesmo Consultancy, Shepherd Construction’s IT Director Zoë Turnbull created an email best practice programme to address the people and processes aspects and help users change their email behaviour. This included an Outlook Fitness Check, email best practice user guide, workshops and a series of on-going email tips and hints newsletters. This work was encapsulated in a jointly devised email charter called, ‘CUSTOMS’ summarising Shepherd’s personal and business goals.
“Our Marketing department helped us brand the programme and find the best ways to spread the message and maintain interest. This included optional workshops supported by a handout with handy hints, a booklet, a calendar with a tip per month, stickers and so on. The idea was to make the programme stand out, we wanted it to be fun as well as part of daily work,” said Zoë Turnbull.
“Three months after the workshops, informal findings and feedback indicated that the programme had reduced the number of times a day people felt they had to access their email which in turn has reduced the stress level and
some of the pressures around email. The most important result is that people use their time more efficiently; we’ve made people think about how they use email and what is the most effective way of communicating”, she explained.
As a result of the email management programme Shepherd has also introduced new technology to address specific aspects such as filing and is introducing an email archiving solution to help people reduce the size of their inboxes.
“Mesmo’s approach was well received and made the process of streamlining our email management much more straightforward and speedy than we had anticipated.”