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.
Where is your mobile phone now? I can guarantee it will be within a 1 metre reach.
You may be reading this article on it.
Study after study proves that we are addicted to our phones and the mobile apps that squirt us information in firehose-like quantities – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, LinkedIn – the list keeps growing.
Julie Birchill (who does not own a mobile and never has) said in a recent article: “Everywhere I look I see needy pathetic people staring gormlessly into their mobile phones, people who don’t seem to be able to make any decision, however minor or irrelevant, without constant affirmation from these lame grown-up blankets”.
So – are you addicted to your phone – are you a ‘phoney’?
Below are five questions – if your answer is yes to 3 or more then you probably are!
- Do you have the alert notification sound or vibrate constantly switched on?
- Do you find you are constantly checking your phone for updates?
- Do you ever have your phone switched on in the car (not counting Sat Nav)?
- Have you ever bumped into a tree or lamp post while walking down the road checking your phone (this happens more often that you might think)?
- Do you ever ask people to repeat what they say because you are focused on your phone?
Why are you so addicted to updates, notifications and news? What difference will not checking apps, news and emails really make?
Many people are discovering ‘Mindfulness’ – which is focusing just on one thing 100% – without any distractions. There is now a term that is beginning to be used which is ‘Digital Mindfulness’.
What would ‘Digital Mindfulness’ mean for you?
If you find that your need to be connected is impacting your life negatively then switch it all off. The email alerts, the push notifications and all the alert sounds on your phone.
The very thought probably makes you feel anxious.
But do it – if you are working you will be able to better focus on the job that you are paid to do.
A blog we wrote back in May 2011 talked about this very same issue. Titled “What are you missing?” it described a situation where a young woman was so engrossed in her iPhone that she completely missed her child’s wondrous reaction to seeing a high speed train passing through the station.
Recently we have being working with the Information Overload Research Group (IORG) whose mission it is to study the impact of information overload in the workplace – notably but not necessarily confined to email – and have been working with many experts in this area.
We will continue to study the impact that (what the French call) “information obesity” has on us all and will use our findings to further enhance our own training content.
There are irritating one to everyone emails – and then there are mind numbingly wasteful one to 840,000 emails.
As you may have read, an email generated within the NHS was recently was sent to 840,000 people – by mistake.
If each person took just 10 seconds to delete that email – a “back of a fag packet” calculation says that would take 292 working days out of the NHS!
But this is not counting:
- all the reply to all’s (another 292 days – a conservative estimate)
- all the time wasted gossiping about the mishap (an additional 1000 days)
- the resultant slowing down of the system due to volume (an additional 2000 days)
So that one email has taken an estimated 3,584 days out of the organisation – which equates to 14 years of time.
The equivalent of one worker off sick for 14 years.
The point here is not what happened at the NHS (someone, somewhere, must be awfully embarrassed!).
The point is that this is happening every day in almost every company. Granted it doesn’t show up quite as badly as this unfortunate major mishap.
However consider that a single email sent to 60 people can easily take 4 working days out of an organisation. Mulitply that by 10 and you’ve just lost 40 staff!
And we just put up with it. Why??
If a computer is not functioning we get someone to fix it. If a photocopier is not working an engineer comes out. If someone is not using their spreadsheet correctly we train them – but with email we just think that is how it is and realistically nothing can be done.
Day in and day out – month on month – year after year.
It does not have to be this way!
Now I invite you to read the comment below – it was made about the NHS email blunder by an NHS employee who has previously attended an Emailogic training session:
If you schedule international live online learning you will be familiar with all the nuances of time zones.
Because live online training is normally no longer than 90 minutes a mistaken hour can mean the difference between having an audience – or wasting a lot of your colleagues’ time. So it is important to know your time zones.
Firstly with attendees joining from all over the world it can be a challenge to find a time which is suitable for everyone. Try creating a meeting which delegates in America and Pakistan can both join in office hours, especially when the US delegates are on west coast time.
Also, at certain times of the year you will be faced with seasonal variances in time zones, sometimes for only short periods.
Here are some of Emailogic’s top tips to ensure that your delegates have a smooth training journey:
- Use a time zone converter – it is the easiest way to ensure that your planned webinar will happen in the correct time zone for each attendee location.
- If running a large training programme create your own time zone spreadsheet. It will quickly show you what’s possible in terms of sharing courses between time zones (you are welcome to Emailogic’s time zone spreadsheet – just ask!).
- Provide low call international numbers for all participating countries – if they are not using VoIP.
- If they are using VoIP make sure all the delegates have the bandwidth to support VoIP comfortably.
- Make sure that Joining Instructions are sent in the correct language. Set up dummy webinars in local languages and test that they work for each location and time zone.
How many Time Zones are there?
Do remember that there are 24 time zones in the world….
- UK has 1
- USA has 9 of which only 5 cover mainland states
- Russia has 11
- China and India both have 1
Beware of midnight zone
And if you ever decide to run a webinar at midnight (e.g. from the UK for Australia or Singapore) make sure you double check the date. Some webinar applications will recognise midnight on 2nd Oct as the very start of the day! So to ensure that you have all the delegates online together we recommend that you schedule the session for 11.55pm on 1st October if you want to meet at “midnight” on 2nd October. A small oversight could easily cost you 24 hours! If you are still confused ask yourself – why do we refer to midnight as 12.00AM? For a simple explanation visit this link.
Did you know?
GMT is the standard time zone in Ireland and the United Kingdom, including England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. All of these countries use BST during part of the year, but under different names.
The only European country which stays on GMT all year round is Iceland!
Emailogic have been running global and multi-lingual webinars for many years and now offer our award winning email productivity training in English, Spanish, Italian, German and French.
If you want to improve your global colleagues email use with multilingual, global, live online training us now on 00 44 1452 886 556 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Research studies* on the UK’s poor productivity make for sobering reading.
Indications are that productivity has stagnated over the last 8-9 years with the GB workforce making only limited gains in its attempt to close the productivity gap with its European competitors.
But what is the true measure of productivity – in real terms and for real businesses – and how can it be improved?
In simple terms productivity is the amount produced for a given input (an hour’s worth of staff time for example).
Productivity increases when staff are happy, motivated, challenged and are working at a level that is suitable for their skill set.
Productivity falls when they are unhappy in their work, perhaps when dealing with copious amounts of irrelevant emails or attending meetings which do not result in clear actions and timescales, for example.
A key and the easiest driver for improving productivity is enhancing skills – giving staff the chance to be better at doing things but also doing this in enterprising ways, with minimum time/cost and maximum impact.
Short “byte-sized” courses delivered in an interactive, virtual environment are irresistible.
The popularity of the 70:20:10 model for successful learning and development also points to the need to provide skills training in a way which can be shared, is challenging and easily assimilated.
Training and Development programmes which ignore this do so at their peril. Staff should be given the tools and techniques to not only improve their skills in a less formal framework but also to collaborate with colleagues – which in turn drives performance within teams.
Training and support programmes should always include other resources such as short videos, podcasts or fact and tip sheets to encourage individual learning which is aligned to the core objectives of the business.
In today’s competitive global marketplace Managers who have responsibility for buying and implementing training need to be aware of these factors – they need to ensure that L and D budgets are directed to providers who can cater for this need.
Emailogic’s email productivity webinars, seminars, e-learning and licensing programme are supported by additional learning resources including videos, quizzes, manager’s cascade briefing, induction materials, articles and guidelines – all focused on email productivity.
These have been designed to support 70:20:10 principles for learning and development and allow good email practice to be cascaded throughout the organisation easily, consistently and ongoingly using multiple methods/channels.
To learn more about using the 70:20:10 model to change the culture of email use in your business call +44 (0)1452 886 556 or email email@example.com.
* UK Parliament briefing May 2016 “Productivity in the UK”
In a previous blog I talked about the importance of creating a “group feel” when hosting live on-line training.
To access that blog click here.
In this blog, I wanted to share some of the fundamental attributes of an Emailogic trainer – we sometimes call them ‘Entertrainers’.
1. They know how to deliver at a pace that keeps people interested, engaged, challenged and entertained.
2. They all are high energy individuals with a great charisma and a passion for learning and for passing knowledge on to others.
3. They are experts in their topics so that they can always dance with the content depending on the group’s experience, ability and culture. This means they are ready to go deeper and add even more value all the time.
4. They do their homework before each and every session, learning about the team and company, understanding the important issues, challenges and different roles.
5. When delivering live on-line sessions they bring all the above into play in a virtual environment. They work the webinar software, with the support of an Emailogic producer, and create a live online learning environment that makes learners truly feel and learn in the same way as when they are in a room with their colleagues.
All Emailogic trainers have a minimum of 10 years’ experience delivering training in a business environment. Most of them also have a background in performance – many are actors, coaches or presenters.
If you need to start delivering live online trainings or briefings and feel a little nervous or scared – it’s OK. You just need to learn some new skills – you will be amazed how much you can achieve in a live on-line environment.
And Emailogic have a practical intensive workshop designed for people just like you.
“How to design and deliver successful on-line learning” will give you all the tools and confidence needed to start delivering training content and briefings to your colleagues to the high standards that they, and you, would expect.
This course has been delivered to trainers, HR managers, Senior Managers and Communications Executives who need to deliver trainings, briefings and cascade information to staff nationally and internationally.
Teams from organisations such as: Chelsea FC, Diabetes UK, Hanson, Hanover Housing, Medical Protection Society, MIND, RNLI, University of Creative Arts and Zurich Assurance have benefited from attending.
“It has been absolutely invaluable” Nicola Walter – Communications Manager, Medical Protection Society
Contact me on +44 (0)1452 886 556 or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
What is the trick to delivering interactive live online learning, briefings or webinars that truly connect to the group?
We have all attended live online sessions- they are such an easy way of learning new skills and acquiring knowledge. Some will have been excellent, some bad and some just plain boring – which I suppose would count as bad!
But how do you define a really good live online session?
There are many answers people give to that question: they found the material relevant, the presenter kept them interested, s/he had a great voice and a very animated slide set.
But the one thing people will always say about a really successful and valuable live online session is that there was ‘lots of interaction which kept me interested and engaged’.
Have you ever wondered why contributing to some polls, being asked to put up a virtual hand or being asked to answer questions verbally or by text can turn an average webinar into a vibrant, valuable session?
Well then, it’s important to understand what actually goes on with the audience and presenter when interactions occur on a live online session.
To understand this we need to first think about face to face training.
If you deliver face to face sessions you will be familiar with what I call the ‘group feel’. The ‘group feel’ is the sense you experience after you have been delivering to a group for about 4-5 minutes. It is the sense that you are ‘bonded’ together and sharing the moment together. You have a group feel or group relationship. There is an unspoken understanding that the group ‘know’ understand and have accepted you to a degree – and vice versa.
Now let’s get back to live online sessions.
When you present live online sessions, once you start making the group interact with hands up, polls or written and verbal questions, you are creating a relationship in a virtual world. It is a virtual relationship, it will feel different, yet it is still very much a real relationship. And when you do this with a virtual group you start to create a virtual ‘group feel’.
As a presenter it is essential to be aware of this and to ‘work’ this into your content and material with relevant interactions.
- have the attendees interacting right at the start. In the first 30 seconds. Top load the interactions (the longer you leave it the harder it will be – research has proven this).
- encourage attendees to use the tools, show them how and also ask some questions relevant to the material you are presenting. Ask them to type in their answers
- feed back the answers given to let people know you have heard them. It is also important for everyone to hear what other attendees are typing in too (unless they can see others comments – which depends on the package you are using).
- keep the pace high and controlled. A script or good notes will help with this.
- keep interactions happening throughout the session to keep the ‘group feel’ going.
Then here is the magic trick – as the presenter you need to trick your brain. Imagine that every individual piece of feedback you receive in every interaction is the same as if you were receiving those same answers in a face to face session. How would it make you feel if you were receiving those answers in a face to face session? It would feel marvellous! So pretend you are! Then notice how it makes you feel connected to the group.
Your delegates will hear that you feel more engaged as it will come across in your voice, pace and your manner – they will immediately become more engaged and interested. You will be communing together and creating that magical ‘group feel’. The outcomes from the session will dramatically improve.
Just try it and see.
By following these tips I guarantee that the next session you present will be more engaging and you will really feel connected with the group – and they with you.
If you need to start delivering great quality live online sessions – click here to learn more about the Emailogic programme: ‘How to design and deliver successful webinars’.
Alternatively, if you have any questions about any aspect of live online session design or delivery feel free to contact me directly email@example.com or on +44 (0)1452 886556.
In your organisation has email communication and overload ever been raised as an issue:
- in a staff engagement survey?
- in a management meeting?
- at an away day focused on smarter working?
Often the problem of email raises its head and plans are made to tackle it once and for all. But then other higher priority items arise that require urgent attention and the email issue is ‘kicked into the long grass’.
The problem is forgotten – only to come up again the following quarter or year. The problem has not changed and often has grown worse.
As one HR Director said recently ‘my company is at crisis point with emails – people have just had enough’. Staff at her company were struggling to cope with hundreds of emails which they were unable to prioritise – and the thought of deleting created anxiety.
They were suffering from a form of email inertia – they couldn’t go forward and couldn’t go back. Staff were stuck in “email mud”. This was affecting well-being and productivity.
People seem to think that email will sort itself out. After all, staff should be able to cope with their own inboxes – shouldn’t they?
Independent research conducted at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust has shown that email training will:
- Save staff 31.1 minutes on email per person every day
- Help staff work more effectively under pressure and feel less stressed
- Reduce anxiety
It does not make any sense to kick the email problem back into the long grass again – it is time to knock it on the head once and for all.
If not now – then when would you suggest?
As a senior manager said recently: “We shouldn’t be trying to get better at using email – we should be brilliant at it. It is the main way we communicate for goodness sake!”
Click here to watch a video about the research conducted at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.
Why has a solution to the “email problem” still not been found – despite it still being the main way that we communicate in business?
Email overload comes up time after time in staff surveys as one of the main causes of stress and anxiety in the workplace.
There are 0.825 billion business email accounts currently active which send and receive 89 billion emails every day. A staggering statistic!
So – what can be done to make email more manageable?
Some recent academic research jointly commissioned by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and Emailogic looked at how email stress can be tackled.
Emailogic showed managers the skills and techniques they needed to deal with email overload and manage and prioritise their inboxes effectively. The impact of the Emailogic course was measured by an independent expert in well-being both at the time the training took place and one month later.
As well as monitoring the experience of those who attended training, the study included two control groups: colleagues who were sent email etiquette guidelines to read, and another group who received neither training nor guidelines.
The managers who attended the training clearly benefited from the programme compared to their colleagues in the two control groups. The results clearly showed that staff who attended email training reported a statistically significant improvement in their well-being and performance.
Staynton Brown, Associate Director at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust was emphatic in his praise for the course and had no hesitation in recommending the course.
Simply reading guidelines did NOT have the same impact on people’s wellbeing and productivity –whether or not the managers actually read them!
What was evident during the study was that to actually change behaviour around email a training intervention was needed.
To see a video of Staynton talking about the research click here.
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?