Summary: 4 tips for reducing email volume and relying more on your intranet for communication.
Whenever I tell organizations that we’ve removed “all staff” emails entirely within our company, it is inevitably followed by gasps. Countless organizations rely on email for internal communication, so the concept of removing all staff emails seems inconceivable. “How else do you communicate?” they often ask, and I reply with, “through our company intranet, of course!”
We didn’t just wake up one day and say “hey, let’s not send out emails and instead put notifications on the intranet and hope that employees read it.” That would be ludicrous. Instead, we eased employees into the transition slowly. We started out reducing email volume by simply posting bulletins on the intranet, and sending a quick all staff email saying that important info had been posted and to check it out. Eventually, we eliminated that step and by then employees knew to check the intranet for any information.
Reducing email volume can only be done if the content employees need to know about is also being posted to the intranet, and frequently. Therefore, make sure you have a simple-to-use platform that allows you to post updates in seconds.
We recommend delegating responsibility for different areas of your site to different intranet admins, to avoid one person becoming the bottleneck in posting intranet updates. For example, each one of our departments internally is responsible for keeping their department site content up to date. If delegation makes you nervous, you can even add content posting approval on most applications.
Most intranet sites have a home site, as well as a variety of department sites. Using subscriptions within the software, you can subscribe your employee groups to content most relevant to them. Subscribe your HR employees to HR News, for example, to ensure they are receiving updates specifically relevant to their role in the organization.
These subscriptions can be sent via email, so that when you post new content to these areas of your intranet, they receive an email with a short blurb of what has been posted, and a link to the content on the intranet site. This acts as a teaser, pulling the employee onto the intranet to read important content.
Subscriptions can also be sent through site alerts, so that when they login to the intranet they have all their site alerts in one place.
Not only can you as an intranet admin subscribe your employees to content on the intranet, but they can subscribe themselves as well. Allowing them to opt-in to applications such as the Employee Recognition app, Buy and Sell and Discussion Forums helps to improve their engagement with the site, and ultimately reducing internal emails in your organization.
With Active Directory Sync and single sign-on, when your employees access your intranet site they are automatically logged on. Therefore, making your intranet the home page when employees open the browser provides them seamless access to the intranet site.
This ease-of-access supports the simplicity in accessing information and encourages them to check the intranet site for updates rather than rely on all staff emails. This is a great strategy for reducing internal emails.
You can even re-direct employee logins to their specific department site page if the information being posted there is more relevant to them. When I login to our intranet I am redirected to my department page, the Sales Site, as it contains the most relevant information I need during the day. However, I still make sure to pop out to the home page to take a look at what’s going on around the company, and I also use my site alerts to stay up to date with general information.
Our Company intranet is called SQIRL. This comes from our incorporated name SQ Box Solutions Ltd., and an acronym SQ Internal Resource Locator. Our mascot is a Squirrel and our tagline is “we’re nuts about intranets”.
By removing all staff emails, we’ve made SQIRL our one-stop-shop for all employees to access all the resources and information they need during the day.
Have you tried reducing email volume in your organization? Tell me about it in the comments section below!