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Putting the Kibosh on Internal Spam
Posted By Mary O. Foley On December 1, 2007 @ 12:00 am In E-Commerce | 1 Comment
These days, not even the pros are immune from getting too much internal e-mail. Just ask the San Diego Padres.
“I was getting 100-150 internal e-mails a day,” recalls Richard Andersen, executive vice president of the San Diego Padres and general manager of Petco Park, the 42,000-seat stadium that the major-league ball club calls home. “It was taking me hours, and, in many cases, it was a lot of time spent on less important tasks.”
Then Andersen heard a presentation by Vicki Halsey, co-author of The Hamster Revolution, a book about e-mail management, and a leadership trainer with The Ken Blanchard Companies . He read Halsey’s book, which compares responding to endless e-mails to a hamster forever spinning on its wheel, and started taking its advice. He bought copies of the book for his 100-odd full-time employees who use e-mail.
The results have been dramatic. “I’d say I’ve gotten 20-30 percent of my time back,” says Andersen. “And I’d say the people in my department have gotten about 10-15 percent of their time back.”
Unwanted internal e-mail
So-called “internal spam,” is unwanted e-mail generated not over the Internet, but by your colleagues in the office. It’s unnecessary “reply all” messages, chit-chat, misguided FYIs, chain letters, jokes, or those you-just-have-to-see-this links to YouTube.
Because there’s no spam filter for internal postings, the result is a major time-management problem for American businesses. According to 20,000 U.S. businesses surveyed by Guilford, Conn.-based Cohesive Knowledge Solutions , an e-mail training firm, more than 40 percent of the average workers’ day is spent managing e-mail. Of that, between 20 percent and 30 percent is unnecessary. The company estimates that U.S. firms are losing some $300 billion annually in lost productivity and profits to e-mail overuse.
“We’re talking 40 percent of the day spent on this,” notes Mike Song, CEO of Cohesive Knowledge Solutions and one of Halsey’s co-authors. “This is time taken away from other endeavors, time that affects the work-life balance,” he says. In addition, sexually or politically inappropriate e-mails can endanger jobs and even result in lawsuits against the sender, Song warns.
How to curtail internal spam
Experts like Song and Matt Cain, vice president and lead email analyst at Stamford, Conn.- based Gartner , recommend in-house training to help companies use e-mail more efficiently. “People need to learn to write better subject lines, let their readers know when action is required, and when it’s just an FYI,” says Cain.
But they also offer the following tips:
And sometimes, picking up the phone or walking across the office to talk to a co-worker can save time, too, says Song. “E-mail isn’t always the best form of communication,” he notes.
Article printed from Inc. Technology: http://technology.inc.com
URL to article: http://technology.inc.com/2007/12/01/putting-the-kibosh-on-internal-spam/
URLs in this post:
 The Ken Blanchard Companies: http://www.kenblanchard.com/
 Cohesive Knowledge Solutions: http://www.cohesiveknowledge.com/
 Gartner: http://www.gartner.com/
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