The word radical is one of my favorites. It stems from the Latin word for root, radix. In fact, the English term doesn't veer that far from its Latin origins. Among its meanings is "arising from or going to a root or source; basic: proposed a radical solution to the problem."
To be sure, some ostensibly intractable business problems require radical solutions--and email is a perfect case in point. As the statistics below manifest, it's no overstatement to call email an epidemic in many organizations.
"Email today is like playing whack-a-mole on groundhog day," says Graeme Bodys, CEO of nooQ, a communication platform that collects and stores the powerful knowledge of your team." Trying to keep on top of it is never-ending. We need to change that."
It's obvious that traditional email prevention and minimization methods just aren't working in many if not most organizations. Although far superior tools for collaboration and communication have existed for years and new ones show great promise, employees by and large frequently opt not to use them. Maybe it's time for something more draconian. Even radical.
Without further ado, here are six some not-so-subtle methods that organizations can employ to reduce employee inboxes.
Mandatory Employee Per-Message Deductions
What if we effectively taxed those who email too much?
Imagine a five-cent per-message "tax" of sorts. If you send 100 per day, then you'll be fined $5. After two weeks, you'll see a $50 deduction on your paycheck. (Think of this as a swear jar of sorts.) All money goes to charity.
- Employees are only taxed above a reasonable and pre-defined number, say 50 emails per day.
- Employees are taxed 10 cents each for all messages sent after normal work hours and on weekends.
Public Praise (The Carrot)
Public Shaming (The Stick)
Remove the "Reply All" Button from Your EMail Software
Eliminate Email for Internal Use Altogether
This begs the natural question: What replaces email?
"We need an entirely new design," Bodys tells me. "We need to make people more productive -- not less." For its part, Nooq's software automatically filters, sorts, and processes messages for employees.