November 14, 2012
Email is a great communication tool, right? Wrong! Email is doing more damage to customer and co-worker relationships than any form of communication. The quality of customer service is on the decline because employees are avoiding face-to-face and even phone conversations. They’re hiding behind email.Email is also lowering productivity in the workplace. The more email you send, the more you get. Managers at one company in Liverpool, England, estimate that its 6,000 employees send each other 40,000 messages a day. Employees everywhere are reporting that they are spending two hours per day dealing with email. Typically, you can accomplish more during a one-minute phone call then you can in sending multiple emails. Conversations give you the opportunity to clarify and build rapport. So, whenever possible, put down your mouse and pick up the phone. There are often negative consequences when employees send email instead of talking to one another or their customers.
Business leaders all over the world are concerned about email over-use and abuse and are taking a stand. “Never on Friday” is becoming a common theme where all internal email is banned every Friday. Ironically, one executive sent an email to employees announcing the Friday email ban. He said he looked forward to not hearing from his employees via email but encouraged them to stop by often. You can establish your own “no email” policy one day a week and invite your co-workers to participate.
You can even take the idea a step farther by introducing other “no technology” days, such as no cell phones on Monday, no PDAs on Tuesday, no web surfing on Wednesdays, and no memos on Thursday. Imagine! People might actually start talking to one another again!