Welcome to the Emailogic blog

At Emailogic we believe everyone should be a brilliant email user. Training in email etiquette creates huge productivity gains that mean staff have more time, reduce email traffic and communicate more effectively. And it is not difficult to achieve - as hundreds of thousands of Emailogic graduates have proven.

The very mention of information overload in a digital age is often met with resignation – particularly in larger organisations where people have a daily ‘fire hose’ of information gushing towards them. “It’s just a symptom of the age in which I live”.

The effects of information overload are alarming: stress, slowdown in productivity, bad communication, poor performance, missed time scales, inaccurate work, negative impact on work/life balance….the list goes on.

Strategies for combatting information overload – specifically email – were shared by a group of experts in the IORG*** “Overloaded 2017” web event which Emailogic were pleased to take part in.

This annual event – kindly hosted by IBM -  saw speakers, experts and “no-email” evangelists come together to discuss ways of working smarter with information and many practical solutions were discussed during the 2 hour session.

While email has been identified as one of the major culprits, organisations which use other forms of internal communication such as Social Enterprise Systems and Instant messaging also experience this phenomenon.

Marc Powell, Director at Emailogic, was invited to join the panel of IORG last year and has shared many productivity tips and techniques with his fellow members.

Let us just focus on email then. The vast majority of information that we receive via email is not important.

66% of our work based information comes from email yet studies have shown 80% of this is “greymail” – not important, not pertaining to our job roles and certainly not urgent.

According to studies, the average UK worker receives 108 emails per day this equates to 27,000 emails every year. If 80% are greymail this means that we are each receiving a mind boggling 22,118 useless bits of information every year.

Let us apply the Pareto Principle*here: So we each take 30 seconds to deal with each email – even if only to look at the subject line, decide what to do with it (delete, defer, deal with or file). Therefore we are wasting 184.3 hours of our working lives dealing with useless data!**

If you employ people imagine what else you could ask them to do with the wasted 24 days they spend dealing with irrelevant emails?

And it doesn’t stop there.

McKinsey and Company reported that 61% of the non-greymail emails are for information only – so require no action as such.

So it is looking even worse for email. That leaves just 8 of the 108 emails that you receive that actually require your input.

What this means for you also is – rather shockingly – your work life is being dictated by other people’s agendas. So why spend your time dealing with their workload? Why not just concentrate on your own? You will certainly feel happier, less stressed and will definitely be more productive. Your Manager will thank you too.

So if we know this, what can we do to ensure that the 100 or so irrelevant emails that we get in our inboxes every day don’t distract us from our real work?

Here are just 3 strategies to combat email overload:

1. Set up rules and filters to automatically sort the emails that you need from those that you don’t. If you do not know how to do this then ask a colleague in IT to show you how to use your email package Rules.

2. Use the 4D’s to sort, filter and prioritise your email:

  • Ditch/ delete
  • Defer
  • Delegate
  • Deal

We guarantee that 99% of the emails you receive you can deal with using the above principle and 95% of the emails that you file you will not touch again.

3. Set up a simple folder structure. Fewer, fatter folders are much more economic than lots of folders with only a few emails in them. Outlook’s search function is so advanced anyway that you will find the pertinent email in a few seconds.

If you would like to know more about IORG’s work visit the site or call Marc on +44 (o) 7950 340 172

References

* Pareto principle explained

** 22,118 x 0.5 minutes = 11,059 minutes or 184.3 hours

*** For more information about the work that IORG do around Information overloads visit http://iorgforum.org/

Most Managers are familiar with Steven Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.

Covey’s quote on taking responsibility is pertinent when it comes to email:
“Accountability breeds response-ability”

One of the things covered in Emailogic sessions is the poor practice of sending an email as an excuse for real action.

How often have you sent an email thinking “ok – job done”?

Have you merely pushed the job onto somebody else and as long as the email has left your inbox then that is good enough?

I visited a large bank in Canary Wharf London recently to discuss email training with the Head of Learning and Development – “Everyone took responsibility for communication where I used to work” she said. “There was ownership of outcomes.”

Some people, especially in larger organisations, simply treat the “send” button as the “abdication of responsibility” button.

They do not resolve issues or take defined actions – they simply pass the metaphorical buck onto a colleague – perhaps a junior colleague while copying in the senior colleague. Or maybe ask for an action yet with no follow-up.

Another ‘abdication’ trick is to divert attention by asking an unnecessary related question – bypassing the real issue and delaying progress. Believe it or not, this tactic was used by partisan managers in French manufacturing companies during the war – as a way of slowing production for the German war effort. It is spelt out in an old handbook.

Abdication of responsibility also causes huge – often invisible and indefinable – stress.

Taking personal responsibility for your own email use is something we encourage everyone who attends our training to do.

You cannot change a poor email culture unless people start taking individual responsibility for the impact they have with every email they send.

With this in mind make sure that you follow the following simple steps to ensure that you take responsibility for every email you send:

1. Is it addressed to the correct person?

2. Is the message clear, completely unambiguous and easy/quick to understand in a single reading?

3. If you have copied in additional colleagues have you made it 100% clear why?

4. If there is an action have you included a clear timescale?

5. Have you asked for an acknowledgement/agreement?

6. Do you have a process of following through with the message – to be responsible for checking that actions are carried out in the specified time?

Imagine email like a bow and arrow – staff are the email archers spraying out thousands of time-eating, stress-creating arrows around the business, with some hitting a target but many of them interrupting people and impacting productivity.

If this is the case in your business, it has probably been like that for some time.

It will stay that way – unless you decide to do something about it.

Will 2018 be the year you change the way that email is used in your organisation once and for all – giving people back over 16 days every year, improving well-being and productivity?

If your answer is yes then contact us today on: enquiries@emailogic.com

It will be the most valuable email you ever send.

 

 

 

There are many good reasons to introduce e-learning especially in large organisations – but also many reasons why e-learning fails.

Of course, e-learning has its critics. Many e-learning “naysayers” complain about the lack of take up.  It can be difficult to persuade/ guide/ threaten staff to do an online course – especially if they are expected to do this in their own time or during work breaks.  Classroom based training is always easier to manage from an attendance perspective. You can see the “bums on seats”!

Often e-learning courses are poorly designed. Pedestrian e-learning is always easy to find but there should be no excuse for this.

The best e-learning courses encourage lots of learner participation, have rich content, use video, animations and graphics to keep engagement high. Let’s face it, few people learn by simply reading pages of text or instructions without any chance to take part.

Compatibility is another challenge.  Most larger organisations will have their own Learning Management System – they will host content which is designed especially for them but will also commission external content or buy “off the shelf” and as long as it is compatible with the LMS in question then this can be a cost effective way for companies to deliver training to their staff.

One of the major benefits of e-learning is, of course, consistency of content. All staff will have access to the same exactly training – which has too many benefits to list here.

E-learning can also be accessed by anyone, anytime, anywhere and – increasingly – on any device.

Research has shown that some people do not respond well to small screen elearning and prefer to learn from a laptop or PC. But for some the choice is desirable – for example sales staff or field based workers who are very time poor may prefer to access e-learning on an iPhone, tablet or similar.

Traditional classroom training may not appeal to everyone, travel may not be possible or in-house facilities may be limited.

Of course the cost advantage of saving on classroom training and associated Trainer and travel costs is clear – as long as the e-learning is effective, relevant and easy to use. Otherwise you may be spending less and achieving very little.

Other advantages of e-learning include the ability to cater for deaf or blind staff. Elearning courses should offer high levels of accessibility which remove any barriers to learning from these groups.

Track-ability is also an invaluable feature.  E-learning courses must have the facility to track user progress – not only from the learner’s perspective but also from the Manager’s perspective. This is vital when e-learning is used for compliance or mandatory training. If learner pass rate can also be tracked this makes it all the more desirable.

The new 45 minute email productivity course from Emailogic includes valuable tips, techniques and behavioural learning that is relevant for anyone who uses email – which means it is of value to most staff.

As a result of attending staff do more real work and less unnecessary email. Emailogic e-learning also ticks all of the boxes of what an outstanding world class e-learning programme should be.

It is highly interactive, SCORM compatible, trackable and will work with most Learning Management Systems (or can be hosted). It is extremely content rich with video and audio and has enhanced accessibility features as standard. It also has a downloadable ebook, works on any device and is available in 127 languages too. There is even an optional editor so every business can include text, links and files specific to their culture – and it can be updated in-house at any time.

Click here to see a 3 minute preview and contact us on 00 44 1452 886 556 for pricing or to arrange a full demonstration.

 

 

The total saturation of social media, apps and websites today has almost inevitably led to a movement of “digi-revolutionaries” who promote the practice of digital mindfulness as a possible solution to information overload.

But what exactly is “digital mindfulness” and how can we practice it?

Dr Lawrence Ampofo, Founder and Director of Digital Mindfulness  and researcher at the Royal Holloway, is one of the UK’s leading exponents of the concept.

According to him digital mindfulness is the key to companies embracing the digital age while maintaining focus and producing good work in an increasingly digitised age.

So how can we practice digital mindfulness?

Ampofo suggests several very practical ways that we can control the impact that apps and social networks can have on our working day:

1. App Notifications – these can easily be managed in smartphone settings. Know which alerts are necessary and switch off/ disable those which you know will distract you. This will take you a matter of seconds and could save you hours of time later on.

2. Stick to a work/ life balance – discuss with your co-workers and managers about switching off after work. Ideally introduce a company policy on checking emails or other social networks after 5.30pm (or whenever fits into your working pattern)

3. Full screen working – limits the ability of other apps or pop ups to distract you. Keep the mind focused on the task in hand.

4. Turn off email alerts – one of the easiest ways of limiting interruptions and putting you back in control of email is by disabling the alerts. Very simple to do – will take seconds but save you hours.

5. Choose the best tool to achieve your goal – email, IM, webinar, phone, meeting. Do not underestimate the power of human interaction. Often more is achieved in a five minute phone call or meeting than hour and hours of email or IM exchanges.

6. Limit the volume of information that comes towards you – very often we are in control of the amount and quality of information that we attract. If you are drowning,  take action: unsubscribe from lists, remove yourself from groups that are no longer pertinent to your role, switch off email, log out of social networks during office hours – WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook etc.

Spend just five minutes doing some or all of the above today and see how it affects your concentration and focus….you can always update your status later to share your experience!

P.S. Emailogic are speaking at Digital Mindfulness Live (London Southbank University 24-25th May) Digital Mindfulness has gathered top influencers for some inspiring talks and panel discussions talking about the human impact of digital distraction.

Speakers include:

James Williams – former Special Projects Lead at Google, now founder of tech ethics organisation “Time Well Spent”
Rohan Gunatillake – The founder of successful mindfulness apps including Buddhify and Sleepfulness. Dr Meera Joshi – Mindfulness Lead, Bupa
Aidan Healy – Head of Learning & Development, UnPlug

Tickets are from £350 but they are available for £175 (this is restricted to friends of UnPlug and only valid until Sunday 7th May).

Contact Emailogic for details or click on this link.

 

Where is your mobile phone now? I can guarantee it will be within a 1 metre reach.

You may be reading this article on it.

Study after study proves that we are addicted to our phones and the mobile apps that squirt us information in firehose-like quantities – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, LinkedIn – the list keeps growing.

Julie Birchill (who does not own a mobile and never has) said in a recent article: “Everywhere I look I see needy pathetic people staring gormlessly into their mobile phones, people who don’t seem to be able to make any decision, however minor or irrelevant, without constant affirmation from these lame grown-up blankets”.

So – are you addicted to your phone – are you a ‘phoney’?

Below are five questions – if your answer is yes to 3 or more then you probably are!

  • Do you have the alert notification sound or vibrate constantly switched on?
  • Do you find you are constantly checking your phone for updates?
  • Do you ever have your phone switched on in the car (not counting Sat Nav)?
  • Have you ever bumped into a tree or lamp post while walking down the road checking your phone (this happens more often that you might think)?
  • Do you ever ask people to repeat what they say because you are focused on your phone?

Why are you so addicted to updates, notifications and news?  What difference will not checking apps, news and emails really make?

Many people are discovering ‘Mindfulness’ – which is focusing just on one thing 100% – without any distractions. There is now a term that is beginning to be used which is ‘Digital Mindfulness’.

What would ‘Digital Mindfulness’ mean for you?

If you find that your need to be connected is impacting your life negatively then switch it all off. The email alerts, the push notifications and all the alert sounds on your phone.

The very thought probably makes you feel anxious.

But do it – if you are working you will be able to better focus on the job that you are paid to do.

A blog we wrote back in May 2011 talked about this very same issue. Titled “What are you missing?”  it described a situation where a young woman was so engrossed in her iPhone that she completely missed her child’s wondrous reaction to seeing a high speed train passing through the station.

Read it here.

Recently we have being working with the Information Overload Research Group (IORG) whose mission it is to study the impact of information overload in the workplace – notably but not necessarily confined to email – and have been working with many experts in this area.

We will continue to study the impact that (what the French call) “information obesity” has on us all and will use our findings to further enhance our own training content.

There are irritating one to everyone emails – and then there are mind numbingly wasteful  one to 840,000 emails.

As you may have read, an email generated within the NHS was recently was sent to 840,000 people – by mistake.

If each person took just  10 seconds to delete that email – a “back of a fag packet” calculation says that would take 292 working days out of the NHS!

But this is not counting:
- all the reply to all’s (another 292 days – a conservative estimate)
- all the time wasted gossiping about the mishap (an additional 1000 days)
- the resultant  slowing down of the system due to volume (an additional 2000 days)

So that one email has taken an estimated 3,584 days out of the organisation – which equates to 14 years of time.

The equivalent of one worker off sick for 14 years.

The point here is not what happened at the NHS (someone, somewhere, must be awfully embarrassed!).

The point is that this is happening every day in almost every company. Granted it doesn’t show up quite as badly as this unfortunate major mishap.

However consider that a single email sent to 60 people can easily take 4 working days out of an organisation. Mulitply that by 10 and you’ve just lost 40 staff!

And we just put up with it. Why??

If a computer is not functioning we get someone to fix it. If a photocopier is not working an engineer comes out. If someone is not using their spreadsheet correctly we train them – but with email we just think that is how it is and realistically nothing can be done.

Day in and day out – month on month – year after year.

It does not have to be this way!

Now I invite you to read the comment below – it was made about the NHS email blunder by an NHS employee who has previously attended an Emailogic training session:

 

Contact: Enquiries@emailogic.com

Website: www.emailogic.com

 

If you schedule international live online learning you will be familiar with all the nuances of time zones.

Because live online training is normally no longer than 90 minutes a mistaken hour can mean the difference between having an audience – or wasting a lot of your colleagues’ time. So it is important to know your time zones.

Firstly with attendees joining from all over the world it can be a challenge to find a time which is suitable for everyone. Try creating a meeting which delegates in America and Pakistan can both join in office hours, especially when the US delegates are on west coast time.

Also, at certain times of the year you will be faced with seasonal variances in time zones, sometimes for only short periods.

Here are some of Emailogic’s top tips to ensure that your delegates have a smooth training journey:

  1. Use a time zone converter – it is the easiest way to ensure that your planned webinar will happen in the correct time zone for each attendee location.
  2. If running a large training programme create your own time zone spreadsheet. It will quickly show you what’s possible in terms of sharing courses between time zones (you are welcome to Emailogic’s time zone spreadsheet – just ask!).
  3. Provide low call international numbers for all participating countries – if they are not using VoIP.
  4. If they are using VoIP make sure all the delegates have the bandwidth to support VoIP comfortably.
  5. Make sure that Joining Instructions are sent in the correct language. Set up dummy webinars in local languages and test that they work for each location and time zone.

How many Time Zones are there?

Do remember that there are 24 time zones in the world….

  • UK has 1
  • USA has 9 of which only 5 cover mainland states
  • Russia has 11
  • China and India both have 1

Beware of midnight zone

And if you ever decide to run a webinar at midnight (e.g. from the UK for Australia or Singapore) make sure you double check the date. Some webinar applications will recognise midnight on 2nd Oct as the very start of the day! So to ensure that you have all the delegates online together we recommend that you schedule the session for 11.55pm on 1st October if you want to meet at “midnight” on 2nd October. A small oversight could easily cost you 24 hours! If you are still confused ask yourself – why do we refer to midnight as 12.00AM? For a simple explanation visit this link.

Did you know?
GMT is the standard time zone in Ireland and the United Kingdom, including England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. All of these countries use BST during part of the year, but under different names.

The only European country which stays on GMT all year round is Iceland!

Emailogic have been running global and multi-lingual webinars for many years and now offer our award winning email productivity training in English, Spanish, Italian, German and French.

If you want to improve your global colleagues email use with multilingual, global, live online training us now on 00 44 1452 886 556 or email enquiries@emailogic.com

 

Research studies* on the UK’s poor productivity make for sobering reading.

Indications are that productivity has stagnated over the last 8-9 years with the GB workforce making only limited gains in its attempt to close the productivity gap with its European competitors.

But what is the true measure of productivity – in real terms and for real businesses – and how can it be improved?

In simple terms productivity is the amount produced for a given input (an hour’s worth of staff time for example).

Productivity increases when staff are happy, motivated, challenged and are working at a level that is suitable for their skill set.

Productivity falls when they are unhappy in their work, perhaps when dealing with copious amounts of irrelevant emails or attending meetings which do not result in clear actions and timescales, for example.

A key and the easiest driver for improving productivity is enhancing skills – giving staff the chance to be better at doing things but also doing this in enterprising ways, with minimum time/cost and maximum impact.

Short “byte-sized” courses delivered in an interactive, virtual environment are irresistible.

The popularity of the 70:20:10 model for successful learning and development also points to the need to provide skills training in a way which can be shared, is challenging and easily assimilated.

Training and Development programmes which ignore this do so at their peril. Staff should be given the tools and techniques to not only improve their skills in a less formal framework but also to collaborate with colleagues – which in turn drives performance within teams.

Training and support programmes should always include other resources such as short videos, podcasts or fact and tip sheets to encourage individual learning which is aligned to the core objectives of the business.

In today’s competitive global marketplace Managers who have responsibility for buying and implementing training need to be aware of these factors – they need to ensure that L and D budgets are directed to providers who can cater for this need.

Emailogic’s email productivity webinars, seminars, e-learning and licensing programme are supported by additional learning resources including videos, quizzes, manager’s cascade briefing, induction materials, articles and guidelines – all focused on email productivity.

These have been designed to support 70:20:10 principles for learning and development and allow good email practice to be cascaded throughout the organisation easily, consistently and ongoingly using multiple methods/channels.

To learn more about using the 70:20:10 model to change the culture of email use in your business call +44 (0)1452 886 556 or email enquires@emailogic.com.

* UK Parliament briefing May 2016 “Productivity in the UK”

 

 

 

In a previous blog I talked about the importance of creating a “group feel” when hosting live on-line training.

To access that blog click here.

In this blog, I wanted to share some of the fundamental attributes of an Emailogic trainer – we sometimes call them ‘Entertrainers’.

1. They know how to deliver at a pace that keeps people interested, engaged, challenged and entertained.
2. They all are high energy individuals with a great charisma and a passion for learning and for passing knowledge on to others.
3. They are experts in their topics so that they can always dance with the content depending on the group’s experience, ability and culture. This means they are ready to go deeper and add even more value all the time.
4. They do their homework before each and every session, learning about the team and company, understanding the important issues, challenges and different roles.
5. When delivering live on-line sessions they bring all the above into play in a virtual environment. They work the webinar software, with the support of an Emailogic producer, and create a live online learning environment that makes learners truly feel and learn in the same way as when they are in a room with their colleagues.

All Emailogic trainers have a minimum of 10 years’ experience delivering training in a business environment. Most of them also have a background in performance – many are actors, coaches or presenters.

If you need to start delivering live online trainings or briefings and feel a little nervous or scared – it’s OK. You just need to learn some new skills – you will be amazed how much you can achieve in a live on-line environment.

And Emailogic have a practical intensive workshop designed for people just like you.

“How to design and deliver successful on-line learning” will give you all the tools and confidence needed to start delivering training content and briefings to your colleagues to the high standards that they, and you, would expect.

This course has been delivered to trainers, HR managers, Senior Managers and Communications Executives who need to deliver trainings, briefings and cascade information to staff nationally and internationally.

Teams from organisations such as: Chelsea FC, Diabetes UK, Hanson, Hanover Housing, Medical Protection Society, MIND, RNLI, University of Creative Arts and Zurich Assurance have benefited from attending.

“It has been absolutely invaluable” Nicola Walter – Communications Manager, Medical Protection Society

Contact Emailogic on +44 (0)1452 886 556 or email enquiries@emailogic.com to find out more.

What is the trick to delivering interactive live online learning, briefings or webinars that truly connect to the group?

We have all attended live online sessions- they are such an easy way of learning new skills and acquiring knowledge. Some will have been excellent, some bad and some just plain boring – which I suppose would count as bad!

But how do you define a really good live online session?

There are many answers people give to that question: they found the material relevant, the presenter kept them interested, s/he had a great voice and a very animated slide set.

But the one thing people will always say about a really successful and valuable live online session is that there was ‘lots of interaction which kept me interested and engaged’.

Have you ever wondered why contributing to some polls, being asked to put up a virtual hand or being asked to answer questions verbally or by text can turn an average webinar into a vibrant, valuable session?

Well then, it’s important to understand what actually goes on with the audience and presenter when interactions occur on a live online session.

To understand this we need to first think about face to face training.

If you deliver face to face sessions you will be familiar with what I call the ‘group feel’. The ‘group feel’ is the sense you experience after you have been delivering to a group for about 4-5 minutes. It is the sense that you are ‘bonded’ together and sharing the moment together. You have a group feel or group relationship. There is an unspoken understanding that the group ‘know’ understand and have accepted you to a degree – and vice versa.

Now let’s get back to live online sessions.

When you present live online sessions, once you start making the group interact with hands up, polls or written and verbal questions, you are creating a relationship in a virtual world. It is a virtual relationship, it will feel different, yet it is still very much a real relationship. And when you do this with a virtual group you start to create a virtual ‘group feel’.

As a presenter it is essential to be aware of this and to ‘work’ this into your content and material with relevant interactions.

Here’s how:

- have the attendees interacting right at the start. In the first 30 seconds. Top load the interactions (the longer you leave it the harder it will be – research has proven this).

- encourage attendees to use the tools, show them how and also ask some questions relevant to the material you are presenting. Ask them to type in their answers

- feed back the answers given to let people know you have heard them. It is also important for everyone to hear what other attendees are typing in too (unless they can see others comments – which depends on the package you are using).

- keep the pace high and controlled. A script or good notes will help with this.

- keep interactions happening throughout the session to keep the ‘group feel’ going.

Then here is the magic trick – as the presenter you need to trick your brain. Imagine that every individual piece of feedback you receive in every interaction is the same as if you were receiving those same answers in a face to face session. How would it make you feel if you were receiving those answers in a face to face session? It would feel marvellous! So pretend you are! Then notice how it makes you feel connected to the group.

Your delegates will hear that you feel more engaged as it will come across in your voice, pace and your manner – they will immediately become more engaged and interested. You will be communing together and creating that magical ‘group feel’. The outcomes from the session will dramatically improve.

Just try it and see.

By following these tips I guarantee that the next session you present will be more engaging and you will really feel connected with the group – and they with you.

If you need to start delivering great quality live online sessions – click here to learn more about the Emailogic programme: ‘How to design and deliver successful webinars’.

Alternatively, if you have any questions about any aspect of live online session design or delivery contact Emailogic enquiries@emailogic.com or +44 (0)1452 886556.