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Why No One is Reading Internal Emails and What You Can Do About It

Posted by Sandy Yu on 10.22.2019


Workforce communication is a crucial tool in building a strong company culture. Unfortunately, internal outreach email open rates tend to be relatively low, especially when it comes to general company information like newsletters, company updates, and HR announcements. In fact, our own prospects here at EmployeeChannel report that more than 60 percent of internal communications go unread.

It makes you wonder if it’s worth the time and effort you’ve taken to create your messaging. When emails are sitting unread in inboxes or sent straight to the trash, you have to wonder why the information is being disregarded.

That’s why we’ve dug into the possible reasons behind your low open rates and have provided you with tips and tricks below to increase engagement with your workforce communication efforts.

Workforce communications are contributing to inbox overload.

Campaign Monitor reports that there are nearly 124.5 billion business emails sent and received each day. Having long been the main channel for business communications, your employees’ email inboxes are inundated -- not just with internal communications, but with customer requests, professional service offers, meeting reminders, and, frankly, junk mail.

Your team has to filter the onslaught so that they're able to give attention to the timely and critical emails that need it. It can be hard to find reprieve. With little space left on their to-do lists -- and in their minds -- your workforce communications become last priority.

Create a system that ensures internal email importance is clearly communicated and understood. That way, when you share critical information or need a response from your team, they will be less likely to overlook it.

Email is muted by all the other noise.

There are alternative communication methods available at each employee’s fingertips. They’re chatting through text messages and phone calls -- sharing information during in-person meetings, and during quick desk drop-bys. New technology is emerging every day that functions to make workforce communication easier.

When you harness the power of a system designed specifically for internal communication and engagement, the important messages aren’t lost in the clutter. For example, we gear our solutions at EmployeeChannel at helping leaders meaningfully connect with an increasingly contemporary workforce. Our app provides a dedicated information channel that gives you direct access to your team at their convenience.

When you utilize a system like EmployeeChannel, you align your business’ purpose with your employees’ passion. Leaders can focus on making communication a core competency so that they can improve engagement through meaningful interaction. Ultimately, you replace email for the majority of your workforce communication needs, getting out of clogged inboxes and into a streamlined, accessible platform.

Employees are detached from the reasoning.

It’s a difficult but important pill to swallow. Disengagement from the company culture is a major issue at many organizations -- and it’s an even bigger contributor to low email open rates. So how can you help connect employees with your mission? And more importantly, with their purpose within your company?

It’s crucial to develop programs and systems that constantly connect your messaging to each employee’s role. When they understand how their day-to-day work contributes to company goals, they’re more likely to engage with -- and care about -- workforce communications.

When drafting an important email, target your subject lines with a why-driven message. Share the reasoning behind the information you’re sharing, and illustrate how it relates to your team’s individual efforts.

You don’t know what your employees want to know.

It can be easy for leaders to think they know the information their team craves. But sometimes what they think their employees want to know about and what their employees actually want to know are two very different things. If you’re not sharing the information your employees care about, you’re not going to see the engagement you hope for.

So ask them. Send pulse surveys, set up information request avenues, or have one-on-one conversations to gain an understanding of what your employees want to know. Keep track of communication benchmarks to gain insight into what’s performing best. Then, develop a culture of transparency so your team has access to the information that interests them.

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Topics: employee communications, internal communications, workplace communication, communication trends

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