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Most leaders struggle to ensure their messages are getting received and absorbed by their employees. With all the different incoming emails, your teams are getting bogged down by countless messages, from “very important” to “definitely junk.” So, how do you sift through the noise? According to a study by the app MailTime, 84% of people won’t fully read an email that’s longer than four paragraphs. The best way to deliver a message is to announce it right in front of them. If you’re not sure whether the right method for your team is making an announcement at a meeting, using a collaboration tool like Slack, or broadcasting information on TVs, try it all and find something that resonates with your team. As content consumers, our patience is waning. And if you’ve got messages, important updates, or other announcements that you’re sending out to employees on a daily basis, there’s no doubt some of their patience has waned, too. So here’s what you need to do to make sure your most important missives are truly being read.
Here’s the hard truth, if the study by MailTime wasn’t clear enough: your team doesn’t want to read your note. At the end of the day, this communication is about you getting out need-to-know information in the most accessible, engaging, and efficient way as possible. And as such, “short and sweet” is about as applicable a term as you can find. Ryan Robinson says it plainly over on the blog at Hubspot: “I’m always careful to make very clear, exactly what I’m asking for. Assuming you’ve already established relevance and laid the foundation for a connection with your recipient, keep in mind that someone who’s extremely strapped for time doesn’t want to spend more of their precious time trying to determine the point of your email.”
With that in mind, your announcements should establish a cadence. Don’t just put out information that you expect your employees to absorb and move on. Give them a directive: ask them to respond to a specific question, or have a tangible ask that they can answer or carry out. If you’re just putting a thought out into cyberspace, it has a much higher chance of being forgotten. But if you give your team a directive, your note will be all the more present as they carry out the necessary task.
But maybe it’s not you, it’s just emails. This author certainly gets sick of emails, so it’s plausible to think there’s just too much noise in your employees’ days. Even something as simple as transitioning to a mobile platform can make all the difference. Did you know that 77% of U.S. adults now use smartphones (And for what it’s worth, the only demographic with 100% owning a cellphone? Millennials.)? How about sending out a celebration though mobile messaging instead of a 500 word email that only two of ten people will fully read? Email is not dead – but there are better ways. Broadcasting a Slack message onto your static TV screens is another way to go about it. Again, it’s about making information accessible, engaging, and as efficient as possible. If it takes putting announcements on TVs to get your team’s attention, it’s worth a try. The way that we read and consume information is rapidly changing. If you’re serious about creating communications that your employees actually see, it’s essential that you keep up.
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