How to reduce internal emails

Are employees moaning about wasteful, irrelevant all-staff emails clogging their email boxes? The solution may be as easy as applying apps your intranet already features.

When I tell organizations we’ve removed all-staff emails in our company, it elicits gasps. Countless organizations rely on email; removing all staff emails seems inconceivable. “How do you communicate?” they ask, and I reply, “through our intranet, of course!”

The trick to reducing internal emails

We didn’t wake up one day and say, “Let’s not send out emails. Let’s put notifications on the intranet and hope employees read them.” That would be ludicrous. We eased employees into the transition. We reduced internal emails by posting bulletins on the intranet, and sending an all-staff email saying that important info had been posted. Then we eliminated that step. By then employees knew to check the intranet.

Ensure content is up-to-date

You can only reduce internal emails if you post the content employees need to know to your intranet frequently. Make sure your platform is simple to use and lets you post updates in seconds.

Delegate responsibility for areas of your site to several intranet admins to avoid the one-person bottleneck in posting updates. Each of our departments must keep its site content up to date. If delegation makes you nervous, add content-posting approval on most applications.

Subscribe employees to relevant content

Most intranets have a home site and a good many department sites. Using the subscription feature in your intranet’s software, you can sign up employee groups for the content most relevant to them.

You can send these subscriptions by email. When you post new content to areas of your intranet, the employees in these areas receive an email with a blurb of what has been posted and a link to the content. This teaser pulls the reader onto the intranet.

You can also send subscriptions via site alerts, so that when workers login to the intranet they have all site alerts in one place.

Not only can an intranet admin subscribe your employees to content, but staff can subscribe themselves. Allowing them to opt-in to the Employee Recognition, Buy and Sell and Discussion Forums apps improves their engagement with the intranet and further reduces emails.

Make your intranet your home page

With Active Directory Sync and single sign-on, when your employees access your intranet they automatically log on. Making your intranet the home page when employees open the browser provides seamless access to the intranet.

Ease-of-access simplifies accessing information and encourages them to check the intranet for updates rather than rely on all-staff emails, greatly reducing internal emails.

You can re-direct employee logins to their department site page if the information posted there is more relevant to them. When I log in to our intranet I am redirected to my department page, the Sales Site, which contains the information I most need. I make sure to pop out to the home page to look at what’s going on in the company, and I use site alerts to stay current on general information.

We’re nuts about intranets

Our intranet is called SQIRL, an acronym built from our corporate name SQ Box Solutions Ltd. and an abbreviation that stands for “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 a one-stop for employees to get the resources and information they need.

Have you reduced internal emails? Tell me about it in the comments.

A version of this article originally appeared on Intranet Connections.

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