In the beginning, it was an efficient way for management to communicate urgent matters to all the departments in a very short time. With the growth of access to e-mail and development of social media the usefulness of internal e-mails were lost forever.
Organizations failed to recognize the importance of training staff on the correct use of e-mail communication. Hundreds of other policies and guidelines are in place around every corridor and corner of an organization but few guidelines on e-mail communication.
The reason for this is that top management themselves converted a once useful communication tool into an instruction instrument. Studies conducted on communication with most top companies shows that as much as 80% of internal emails serve no purpose but to forward useless information around.
As much as 94% of e-mails require no feedback, therefore, we can say that e-mail communication carries no value. The 6% that carries value will normally only reach a few of the staff inside the organization, therefore, rendering it useless unless it is person specific.
Most staff is excluded from communication that can make a difference to organizational culture. What is going on in the organization is no longer shared by open communication and it has a negative effect on organizational culture.
How do we change this we ask? It is difficult to undo this trend with the same people that started it. It is like any other bad habit that is enjoyable even if it is bad for your health.
Organizations that achieved more success in extracting value from internal e-mails are companies that:
- Train staff on e-mail etiquette
- Explain in guidelines what type of e-mails carry value
- Clearly define who gets what information in their e-mail
- Distributes an internal weekly newsletter containing matters related to the organization's culture and well being to everyone on e-mail.
- Hard-copies are placed on all notice boards