The best way to reduce email is not to use it, according to many of our reader comments on the earlier post: End Email Overload with Protocol, Communication and Training. Sharepoint, Yammer and others were mentioned as potential solutions.
“Email is definitely one of those tools that is used inappropriately. How about a different approach utilising mobile Apps and platforms like SharePoint? I don’t think organisations have yet realised that this combination can be used to target information based on segmentation criteria such as department, location, language, job role etc. Mobile can also provide an effective two way communication channel and make it more personal the end user. This additional channel could ease the inbox overload,” comments Edward O’Brien of mobasure.
We think a great tool for decreasing email traffic is Yammer. It is an example of enterprise social software used only for private communications within a company. It enables you to set up groups and have all company or group discussions without sending emails. You can also share links, documents, praise and take polls. There is also a live chat function. We are just beginning to explore what we can use Yammer for, but so far, the winning argument seems to be decreasing email traffic!” says Sarah Mason of Brand Biology.
“There are more efficient and modern alternatives for e-mail, such as collaboration platforms/social intranets. It can be much more efficient (and also effective) to communicate e.g. messages/announcements on such a platform (in the cloud), then via e-mail,” commented Ingrid Swinkels of Vlisco.
Still, the problem of overload remains. Email sent by another means is still communication clutter when it’s not relevant to the employees on the receiving end. As Pam Honeycutt of Emerson Network Power says, “We also funnel all internal comms through one channel and that channel is carefully managed so that employees are not overwhelmed with information.”
At Tribe, we recommend that our clients apply channel discipline programs. Whether the channel is email, mobile, a social/collaboration platform — or even face-to-face — an endless firehose of information is less helpful than carefully targeted and edited communications.