Email has become quite the hot-button topic of late with companies proclaiming an end to their internal emails and a move to social platforms and why not? Let’s be frank, email kind of sucks – we are bombarded by an average of 112 emails every day with 19% of that considered spam despite filters. It’s also a time drain, hard to keep track of, and often clogged. French IT company Atos Origin is on its way to banning email altogether. According to CEO, Thierry Breton, who has not sent an email in over three years, “We are producing data on a massive scale that is fast polluting our working environments and also encroaching into our personal lives.
While email is not likely to make its exit from the professional landscape anytime soon – there is a better way to wean your company away from this costly distraction.
“Enterprise social networks (ESNs) are on the rise as they can deliver an immediate solution for aligning stakeholders around activity streams with the familiarity of Twitter or Facebook.”
—Brian Solis, Altimeter Group
Although email is still very useful in some situations, an activity stream is simply better for most as it simplifies the communication process and creates transparency that can then open up new ideas. It is also a solution that delivers a social on-line experience that is familiar, easy to use (we love that!) and engaging to employees. Email messaging will start to dwindle and eventually become a thing of the past.
An activity stream like Socialtext Signals can bring you out of the email doldrums and into an invigorating work experience. Think of a Signal as an email in the flow of work. With Signals, you share information in real time. Signals are similar to “status updates” with additional benefits where you can share information with everyone in the company, a group or directly to an individual. Instead of sifting through emails for information, if you or a co-worker need to retrieve that information, you can easily find it through a keyword search. Being copied and bcc’d is also a drag and cumbersome. But if that message were sent via Signals, you could tell instantly relevance to you and whether you need to react, without the pile up in your inbox. Doesn’t that feel better already?
The power of Signals is that it also opens up an organization to endless possibilities. For instance, when employees learn about products that are in the works in other departments, they now have the opportunity to add to the project or give feedback. If this information were sent via an email to a select few, someone with direct knowledge or expertise may never have the opportunity to contribute. With Signals, messaging is spread out laterally and not just from the top down. When new team members are brought in, everyone can say “hi” with a message or warm greeting. That action translates into a welcoming reward that enhances a company’s culture. These and other benefits of using a tool like Signals simplifies getting work done rather than detracting from it. With Signals you can watch your inbox decline and focus on what really matters.
Here’s a new approach. Let’s rewrite the email handbook and develop best practices for communications optimization and reducing the clutter in our dreaded inboxes. Here’s a start to outlining the 10 biggest complaints we hear about email and the benefits to using an activity stream such as Signals:
|Unnecessary CCing, BCCing||Transparency, Only Read What You Need, More Time|
|Time Consuming Message Sifting||Easy Search, Tagging, Filters|
|Overuse Of Reply-To-All||Transparency and tagging ensures visibility across teams and relevant participation|
|Information Locked Away In A Silos||Visibility across teams, Distributed Knowledge,|
|Information Retrieval Issues||Easy Search, Tagging, Filters|
|Limited Collaborative Process||Open Collaborative Process|
|Content Duplication||No More Reinventing the Wheel|
|Document Versioning Issues||Facility to online workspaces where versions are easily compared|
|Lack Of Institutional Knowledge Sharing With The Right People||Easy Access To Information, Ability To Share Openly And Selectively|
|Creative Ideas That Will Never See The Light Of Day||Creative Ideas That Are Shared|
Missing anything? Let us know what we left out and how activity streams and Signals are making your workplace flow in an effective and impactful way and of course re-writing the email handbook.