HR Management & Compliance

Your Employees Are Ignoring Your HR E-Mails: Here Is How to Fix It

If you’ve ever felt like employees just aren’t reading the e-mails you send them, you might be right. New research shows that three out of five employees ignore e-mails while at work, and two out of five ignore e-mails from HR!

Source: Marie Maerz / shutterstock

A recent communications preferences survey by SlickText reveals 60.8% of respondents occasionally or often ignore e-mails at work. For HR professionals trying to communicate with employees, it gets even trickier—about 40% of employees surveyed said they specifically don’t read HR e-mails.

Here’s more about what the survey revealed and action steps you can take to get your message across.

People Think Fewer E-Mails Would Increase Happiness

Improving workplace culture might be as easy as scaling back the number of e-mails people receive each day. The same survey showed that 47.7% of respondents thought receiving fewer e-mails at work would either occasionally or greatly increase their job satisfaction.

If you’re struggling to think of how to reduce e-mails, consider using alternatives such as workplace chat applications or business text messages. Long, detailed messages might still be best for e-mail, but there are many different types of messages that could possibly work better with a different medium.

Want to be an instant hero at work? Announce that you’re spearheading a plan to reduce the number of e-mails that clutter everyone’s in-box each day.

Rethink Your Emergency Communications Plan

If your emergency communications plan relies heavily on e-mail, you could be setting yourself up for missed opportunities. In fact, only 1 in 10 employees always checks e-mails after hours, which doesn’t bode well if you need to get a critical message to employees before the next workday.

Out of those surveyed, 43.9% said they’d prefer to receive text message emergency alerts. When you think about it, it makes sense. People carry their phones with them everywhere, and statistics show the open rate for text messages is as high as 98%. It’s the same reason you wouldn’t e-mail your significant other if your car broke down or you needed him or her to pick up milk on the way home. If you have a message that’s timely—which workplace emergencies definitely are—sending a text message is one way to increase your chances of getting the word out.

Implementing Changes

Even though people are naturally averse to workplace change, you’ll probably get less pushback if you say you’re trying to reduce e-mails than for other projects you might have implemented in the past.

One key to a successful rollout is to survey your employees to determine what methods of communication they would most enjoy—and you don’t have to use e-mail to do this! You could start reducing e-mails right now by using a business texting service to construct a short text survey. Ask your workers in what situations they would prefer an online chat, an e-mail, a phone call, or a text message so you’ll have a better idea of where to reduce e-mail usage.

Matt Baglia is the CEO and cofounder of SlickText, an industry-leading SMS marketing and mass text messaging provider.