The Italian car manufacturer announced earlier this month that its employees would only be allowed to send internal emails to a maximum of three people.
A spokesman said that sending irrelevant emails is “one of the main causes of time wastage and inefficiency in the average working day in business.” The move is also meant to encourage “more efficient and direct communication.”
I agree that the majority of organisations would benefit from a more disciplined approach to managing email. Encouraging staff to think about who they are copying, rather than hitting ‘reply-all’ by default, is a good start.
Email is not the only way
Also, ask staff to question whether email is the best form of communication. It rarely is with subjects are that are in any way controversial, for example. A phone call or face-to-face meeting tends to be more effective, and less prone to misunderstandings.
Some people argue that email and SMS texts are now so embedded in our culture that many employees can’t communicate any other way. It is easier to ‘hide’ behind an email than to engage with or confront someone directly.
What do you think? Would your staff’s productivity benefit from a more disciplined approach to managing email? Could you recommend imposing a three-recipient limit in your organisation?