Using emails to get attention of targeted audience is becoming harder for an Organization Change Manager. Everyone believes that emails are one of the most used communication platforms – the easiest to use, and approachable too. However, according to a survey by SlickText in 2019, 60.8% of respondents ignore emails at work.
Why is this happening? Well, sharing infographics, storyline, charts, etc. can be challenging in emails. Also, organization regulations play a major role regarding what you can and cannot share via email. I have experienced difficulties engaging audience through emails and ask them to act.
We are a hectic, multitasking workforce. With Digital Transformation, our attention spans are rapidly shrinking. Therefore, despite catchy subject lines and powerful content, emails get ignored easily. In my conversations with other Change Managers, I have tried to search for various alternate mediums that could be used in the organization and help in an effective change adoption. Try to look for options below that could suit your work culture. Here’s a list:
- Notifications on the tool/ system: Try to use notifications on the tool/ system for ease of access to readers and making information available when required. Beware though, too many of these notifications could keep audiences away for good – you’ll be put on the ignore list.
- Change Agents and communities of practice: Spread messages through Change Agents and communities of practice. Word of mouth however, helps only when these agents are fully informed.
- Road shows/ Pop-up sessions: Road shows, Pop-up sessions, Townhalls are great ways to spread mass message. Subsequent replay recordings can be offered for those who could not participate. Tip – these can be done virtually as well.
- Help Desk: Give people a chance to clarify doubts and raise questions by setting up coffee meets, kiosks, 24/7 help services etc. Try to keep it short and casual to have repeat value.
- Online collaboration repository: Online collaboration repositories helps senders give important information instantaneously and readers get time to react spontaneously. Platforms such MS teams, Slack, Go-to meetings, etc. allow readers to go back and read old communication any time.
- Electronic boards and video clips: these are among the most engaging platforms as they are eye-catching and accessible even while walking by, or opening laptop or mobile. These are typically installed and played in office canteens, reception area or other public spaces in offices.
- Mobile notifications: These are a very useful source of information these days. If you have a company app, it’s an easy way to quickly spread messages and updates.
- Step-by-step instructions: Step-by-step instructions on tool interfaces direct users precisely and accurately, eliminating guesswork.
- Audio-video streaming channels: Choose audio-video streaming channels and podcasts/ intranets to transmit detailed knowledge. Organizations may opt for channels such as MS Streams, MS Videos, and workplace live. Make your own channel and stream like a boss.
- Limited email circulation: Limit emails only to few important updates that cannot be classified in any of the above media. That way it becomes harder for your audience to ignore them.
I have started using most of these measures and am getting good results – especially with MS teams. It is a complete collaboration platform – easy to share documents, conduct meetings, and create repository for a restricted or large audience. Organization Change Managers can identify tools effective for them according to their needs, situations and audience size.
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