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.
How many times during the day are you alerted that you have new mail?
And how often do you then stop what you are doing to read it only to find that the email is the latest copy of an old supplier newsletter that you never unsubscribed from? Or perhaps – frustratingly – a “reply-all” email from a colleague which simply says “Thanks”.
Regardless of how relevant these emails are to you it is the impact they have on train of thought that does damage.
No matter how trivial they seem – those constant email interruptions take your focus away from your main tasks – you will miss, delay or be distracted from more important business matters.
So what can be done?
1. The first thing is to switch off all audible and visual email alerts – unless your job role really means you have respond to an email immediately you receive it (this is extremely rare).
2. Check your mails at a time that is appropriate given your role – for example twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon.
3. Unsubscribe from email from companies or organisations whose products or services no longer interest you. A simple click could save you many minutes or even hours of interruptions in the future.
These simple tips can have a very positive impact on your productivity, concentration and focus – and they take just two minutes to put into practice.
What reason do you have for not to starting to do them today?
What does ‘Being a responsible email user’ mean?
The issues surrounding work related email continue as traffic reaches truly astonishing proportions.
Global email traffic is set to rise at a rate of 13% every year – unlucky for some. Business related emails alone will reach 143 billion as early as next year!
With this in mind it is imperative that email users in organisations take responsibility for the emails they generate.
The benefit is clear – they will reduce the number of times that colleagues are unnecessary distracted with a loss of focus and wasted time.
Over the next few weeks we will be publishing a series of blogs on the most common problems that people experience with email.
To kick off this series we have listed below responses to a recent work related email perception study which identified the top 5 issues with business use of email.
Below each is our recommendation on how to easily tackle it:
1) Excessive back-and-forth replies:
Make it a rule to pick up the phone if an email bounces back and forth more than twice
2) Using email when the message will probably prompt a short (or long) conversation:
Often we respond to an email when it is quicker to pick up the phone or walk and talk
3) Unnecessary use of “reply all”:
Default to not doing a reply to all unless you can really justify it
4) Poorly written emails that lack clarity:
Use a clear subject line so your recipient can prioritise from their inbox – tell them what you want upfront
5) Copying others unnecessarily:
Don’t be lazy – reduce the unnecessary CC’s, take people off reply to all lists and save them time
Email productivity training tackles all of the above behaviours and many many others – it also reduces email related stress.
“Probably the most effective investment of training any organisation could make.” – Nikki Evans, Human Resources Manager AIT
What are you going to do to ensure that your company email volume doesn’t grow by an unlucky 13% next year?
One of the great things about using webinar technology to deliver training products is that you can train people who have different working patterns, who work in different countries and speak different languages.
As long as you can adapt, translate and deliver that product to suit the local needs you can expand your company’s offering fairly easily.
The challenge of course is getting the correct translation from the original text, a native (or at least fluent) speaker / Trainer to deliver the training and (in the case of webinars) a system that has foreign language flexibility to ensure that all communication regarding access is easily translated into the language in question.
GoToTraining (which we use at Emailogic) translates joining instructions etc into the language of your choice automatically.
For 17 years Emailogic have been delivering award winning email training face to face and for the last 4 years via webinar. Now we are able to deliver this course in French and next year we aim to roll out tour flagship email course in other European languages.
This training has already been delivered “en français” to staff at AXA IM, Fellowes and L’Oréal with more sessions scheduled in the coming months.
Excitingly, in 2016 Emailogic training will also be available in Spanish, German and Italian – via live webinar and face to face. So if you want to be able to cascade this training to your European colleagues give us a call today and we will be able to help you plan your foreign language delivery.
All evaluations are delivered in your language of choice too.
Have you ever sat through a webinar and at the end thought to yourself “That was fabulous!”
Here is a recent quote from the CEO of a law firm after she attended a webinar that Emailogic delivered in partnership with the CIPD:
“That was truly excellent. I was blown away by it – the best webinar I have ever been on. It was very interactive (you didn’t dare check your emails)! The content was focused and just the right length.” Sally Marsden – CEO at Grosvenor Law
You will be unsurprised to hear that Sally rated her overall experience of the webinar 5 out of 5 (you can attend the same CIPD/Emailogic webinar as Sally – its running again on 2nd December 2016 – click here).
The hallmark of a brilliant webinar is that it captures every attendee’s attention from beginning to end. That sounds straightforward, but how do you achieve complete and constant audience attention?
Here are a few Golden Rules of Wizard Webinars:
1. Interactions – ask for quick feedback with open and closed questions, run polls and use the software tools (chat pane, hands-up, survey tools, audio, whiteboards).
Golden Rule: The key to any interaction is that it has to be congruent with your content.
2. Slides – Make your slides more graphical with few words: use diagrams and pictures. Keep your slides simple. Have more slides and more builds.
Golden rule: Never allow any visual content to be shown if it is not being covered in that moment. The audience must NEVER be looking at something that is not being spoken about.
You need to consider the technical side too.
3. Bandwidth – Will the attendee’s bandwidth be broad enough for your webinar? If you are using Video and/or VOIP (voice over computers) the bandwidth can easily be pushed to the limit and the webinar can falter for everyone.
Golden rule: Test the software, find any network bottle necks before the session.
4. Be Fabulous – Keep the pace high and momentum flowing. This means being 100% confident with your material, agile with the software and effective with your facilitation skills – all at the same time!
Golden rule: Rehearse your material thoroughly and never – under any circumstances – wing it.
Aim for your audience to react like Sally.
Emailogic are not masters of webinars – we are Wizards! Trainers from the RNLI, Chelsea FC, Gloucestershire Constabulary and Zurich insurance have trained with us in how to design and deliver live webinars that surpass colleague expectations.
Marc Powell (Chief Webinar Wizard) will put a virtuous virtual spell on you – give him a call today on: 00 44 1452 886 556 and start to deliver magical virtual training.
When asked “What’s your poison” many of us might choose a Gin and Tonic or glass of Whisky. The benefits of the odd tipple are obvious (in moderation): a sense of relaxation, a nice warm feeling in your tum – perhaps increased social interaction?
When the drinking becomes an everyday occurrence though, that when the problems begin: too many headaches, missed deadlines at work – maybe inability to focus or concentrate on the important things.
Maybe you don’t drink much or even at all? Perhaps your “poison” is the large latté you get from Starbucks every morning on the train in to the office? Can you imagine skipping that? How would you feel if you didn’t pop into that corner coffee shop every day?
Yet while the odd glass of wine or take-away coffee may be pleasurable why are they so hard to give up?
Is it because we are addicted to the good feelings they give us?
We know in our hearts that they do not do us any good in the long run but can we imagine life without them?
Many of us are addicted to our emails – or more specifically the new email “ping” that we get when our alerts tell us of a shiny new email waiting for us.
What payoff we do we get from that?
We know from years of delivering our course that the seductive “ping” is distracting – yet so many of us (bright, successful, professional people) find it irresistible.
We know it distracts us. We know we get a shot of happy chemicals when we hear it – like a shot of espresso coursing through our veins – which is probably why it is so addictive.
Someone once compared emails to weeds – if you ignore them they keep on growing. Spraying them occasionally will slow them down but won’t stop them altogether. To rid your garden of weeds completely you need to be ruthless – kill them, spray them, pull them out by their roots. And repeat – every time.
Be good to yourself – turn off your alert, put down the coffee and take a walk instead – just not to Starbucks!
Want to know how to wean yourself off your email addiction? Join us for an exclusive, live webinar event hosted by Emailogic and CIPD. Book your place here.
Over the past 4 years Emailogic has trained over 100 trainers to design and deliver their first live training webinars.
Here are some common themes which you may find valuable to consider if you are aiming to use live webinars to replace face to face training:
Don’t know what you don’t know?
It can be daunting to begin considering delivering internal training by live webinar. There is a lot of detail to take on board. This includes – but is not limited to – content design and duration, facilitation skills, engagement and interaction of delegates, choice and use of software, planning, technology constraints and so it goes on. None of the detail is rocket science – but with webinars any knowledge gaps will show up very quickly and very obviously for both delegate and facilitator. The key is getting the right training for your trainers and getting them up to speed quickly.
Nervous learning new skills?
Trainers teach people new skills. However they are sometimes nervous when learning new skills themselves (they don’t want to get it wrong and who can blame them?). There is no easy way to get up to speed with webinar design and delivery. The route to success is – put on your best “learning hat” and invest the time. Designing and delivering live webinars is a fabulous opportunity for stretching creative skills. Trainers are often surprised at the range of learning content that can be delivered virtually – and how easy it is to reach out to people or groups all over the world whilst increasing efficiency and saving time and money. Now that is exciting!
Don’t bite off more than you can chew
Often trainers are unclear where to start. This can be because live webinars are new for many of them, so without knowing the distinctions of how webinars work it can be difficult to choose what content to deliver first. The best place to start is with content that is easily manageable. Otherwise there is a danger of producing content of a quality that is lower than delegate expectations. That will cause more problems than it solves.
If you want some help – speak to one of our experts.
These are some of the companies that already have: Spirit Pub Company, MENCAP, Chelsea Football Club, RNLI, Gloucestershire Police, Hanson PLC, and University of Northampton.
Can you honestly say that every minute of your working day is spent productively?
Taking lunch and coffee breaks out of the equation, how do you really spend your “working” time?
If most of your day is spent managing email – and dealing with overload, irrelevant traffic and unnecessary copies – then you are not alone. If this is the case then you will almost certainly not be productive, you will definitely be stressed and – more than likely – you will feel unhappy.
According to a City AM report, the average British worker spends 36 (36!) days per year just writing emails – which based on a 71/2 hour day means that each person spends just over one hour composing emails.
Now add reading the unnecessary emails, deleting the irrelevant emails, reading the copied email (that you should not have been sent in the first place) forwarding the emails for your colleagues, managers or associates to deal with and you have probably another hour or two of working time that is fundamentally unproductive.
It’s the productivity equivalent of pushing unwanted and un-eaten mushy peas round your school dinner plate – an activity that takes up your time, adds nothing nutritionally and all you end up with is a pile of uneaten peas – which are now cold.
To avoid a pile of cold peas just learn to get back in control of your email. Get some email training, learn how to use your email package features to automate many of the daily tasks, turn off your email alerts to avoid unwanted interruptions and start to get back to actually doing your job.
One of the most common reasons for not investing in email training for staff is the perceived lack of need. Email is everywhere, every day. We all know how to use it, what difference would training make?
It’s all common sense anyway.
While these sorts of excuses or reasons may seem valid on the surface, the facts demonstrate that email volume is growing, email related stress – a real problem for HR- shows no signs of being managed effectively, work/life balance is more often than out of balance due to the constant demands of work based emails.
Email is addictive – this is a proven fact.
We worked with a large UK based truck company recently – you see their trucks up and the motorway on a daily basis.
We talked about their training programme for Lorry drivers; what they had done and the results they had achieved. Their response was surprising – one of the main reasons they stayed ahead of the competition was due to the Lorry driving training they offered to customers.
They told us that by simply training their customer’s Lorry drivers to make simple adjustments in the way they drove their vehicles saved their customers 15% on fuel costs.
You can imagine that the return on investment for a company with a large fleet by making these basic changes is huge.
Their customers spend a lot of money on their drivers and a lot of money on lorries – but they do not invest enough on training the drivers (even the experienced ones) in how to drive the lorries most efficiently.
The same applies to email – you spend significant amounts on IT systems and even more on your people. But what about spending on training your people how to use the IT systems most efficiently? Giving staff the tools and techniques they need to manage their email more effectively will result in more productive staff who are less stressed, writing clearer emails that achieve faster results.
Add to the fact that email training from Emailogic can be delivered in an hour, to anyone, at any location and the reasons for not training staff appear less and less easy to justify.
Some might say email training is a “no brainer” – what does your brain tell you?
While other forms of collaboration and communication are being introduced – almost daily it seems – email is here for now and still the dominant way we communicate in business.
Human beings find it difficult enough to communicate clearly face to face but put wire, distance and time between them and clear communication becomes something that has to be worked on – it does not just happen.
It is now obvious that in businesses if people are not trained on how to use email – you just get what you get. In most organisations that is what you have got – huge amounts of unnecessary traffic, mixed messages and misunderstandings, hiding behind the medium, legal nightmares and so it goes on. People need training. The training rule is also needed for any new communications took like Yammer – as mentioned in the article – or Lync or any other tool that is introduced.
If you don’t plan this into your training budgets and include the major stakeholders when you introduce these tools you will just get what you get. And with many of client organisations, this is what they have got (and have had for many years!).
Plenty of money is invested in the hardware and software – yet very little is invested in showing the humans how to get the most out of the hardware or software.
We can prove that with the right training people can write clearer more effective emails that get results fast. We also know that time spent on email is reduced by at least 30 minutes per day – that is the equivalent of 16 extra days per year. Just this year already we have saved each member of staff at an outstanding University college 42 minutes a day.
So how long will your organisation leave it until they train people on how to use their email and other communications tools properly.
If you want some help you know where to look.
An interesting BBC article here which shows that even very mature organisations that have the best communicators in the world (like the BBC) need training too.
What happens if you are concentrating on a task and you spot an unread email in your inbox?
How easy do you find it to ignore a potentially interesting new message and stay focused on the task in hand?
Would you be surprised to learn that research has proved that this break in your thought pattern effectively reduces your IQ by 10 points?
It’s this Pavlovian response to external stimuli that makes information overload a peculiarly 21st century problem.
One of the problems with this phenomenon is that information overload not only causes us to lose focus it means that we sometimes only half complete tasks.
We think we are multi-tasking – but in fact we are “half tasking”.
Research conducted by Psychologists at Gresham College, London compares this cognitive loss on the brain as that similar to that suffered by smoking cannabis.
Email as a communication medium is particularly problematic – regardless of the size of company or the business sector in which they function.
The sheer volume of messages that we receive compounds us to respond.
Often we are totally incapable of prioritising those emails that do in fact require a response and those which are merely copies or “information only” messages.
What are the solutions to this addictive behaviour? Are there any? – or do we need to accept this onslaught of information as part of life?
All is not lost. There are simple things that we can do to improve our productivity and decrease our email related stress.
- Take a break 15 minutes every 2-3 hours to stretch your legs and go for a walk. Maybe pop to the cafeteria or get some fresh air?
- Get some basic email training. This will make you a more responsible email user and help you to prioritise and deal with your message most effectively
- Sort out your inbox. Suggest that the whole company holds an email free day to get on top of email once and for all. You could call it your Company Email Amnesty.
- Call Emailogic to show you how to do 2 and 3
The problems of email overload are not going to go away. But the solutions are in our own hands.
Tackle it today – or continue to let it overpower you.