woman checking email

 

Employees check their email 30 times an hour, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. So it’s no wonder they don’t have time for lengthy, fact-packed emails about benefits, compensation and other HR issues. If an email is too difficult to process, employees are likely to delete it immediately or stick it in a folder and forget it.

But your emails don’t have to suffer this painful fate. When you understand how employees experience emails—as postcards to quickly scan, not letters to read in depth—you can create messages that cut through the clutter.

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Here are five ways to get emails in shape:

1 Start the day off right
Catch employees when they spend the most time reading email—first thing in the morning.
2 Be flexible
Understand that many employees check email on their mobile devices. Keep information and graphics simple so employees can skim on the go.
3 Work the “upper body”
Keep key information at the top of the email so readers can understand the message up front. (Include details below and/or provide web links in case the reader wishes to know more.)
4 Focus on target areas
Say as much as you can as briefly as possible. Help employees scan by highlighting core content using subheads, bullets, bold and other formatting techniques.
5 Do multiple reps
Instead of sending one long email with every detail about the new benefits package, send multiple emails in a strategic sequence and include a specific call to action in each.

 

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