Employees fail to embrace social media

Employees are spending an average of six hours or more a week reading and sending internal e-mails, according to research from business consulting and technology services firm Concenra.

It’s the equivalent to 41 working days, or just over eight weeks, every year, despite the exponential rise of social media channels for business use over recent months.  The study, which was completed by British employees in a range of industries including healthcare and the financial services, revealed that 33 percent of employees questioned admitted they spend 6 hours or more drafting and reading e-mails every week.  A further 28 percent said they take between three and five hours a week to keep on top of internal mail.

Guetz Boué, director at Concentra, said: “Internal communications are a vital part of running a successful business, but organizations clearly aren’t getting the value they should from these processes.”

And with the abundance of communication channels available today, such as social media channels linked to intranets and portals, Boué believes there’s no place for e-mail, adding: “There’s no excuse for relying on mass e-mail. The alternatives provide a wealth of opportunity for effective communication.

The research also showed that e-mail is still the communication channel of choice for 85 percent of senior managers, and 88 percent of HR teams. Conversely, 56 percent of respondents believed that less than half the internal e-mails they receive are useful.

“For a long time, e-mail has been seen as a necessary evil, but the amount of time and energy wasted on it proves that it’s gone too far. The volume of e-mail sent and received has to be cut down, and our dependence on the ‘Cc’ culture of mass e-mailing has to stop,” continued Boué.

Source: Strategic Communication Management, Volume 14, issue 3.

2 Responses to Employees fail to embrace social media

  1. I can sympathise with this quite a lot. Coming from a background of working in a school, I can tell you that administrative staff find it far more easy to email the entire school about things rather than its intended readers exclusively.

    We have a school-wide intranet, and yet it just isn’t utilised like it should. We are just now beginning to utilise 2.0 tools to get messages to everyone, but the problem is adoption. The age old issue of resistance to change. The clincher being that this technology is only as useful as the amount of people who shift to it.

  2. Hi Anthony,

    Thx for your comment. It sure is a struggle to get new technologies adopted. But not more a struggle than for example e-mail, or even earlier, the telephone (it appears that companies didn’t want to implement the telephone just after the second world war because then ‘everybody starts talking to each other and stopped working’).

    We are currently implementing two E2.0 projects within two organizations. You typically see the normal adoption-curve (early adopters, laggards…). The trick is to use the ‘evangalists’ to get the laggards on board. However, you need to realize that you won’t be able to get everybody on board. You will lose people along the way. But hey, that’s just survival of the fittest…

    Read your blog. Good work, I will keep an eye on it.



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