High-street bank HSBC has increased head office employee productivity by an extra two hours a week after running a pilot training scheme on how to use e-mail more effectively.
The bank estimated that 1,650 of its employees spent 25 minutes less a day dealing with e-mail, which allowed them to spend time on more productive work. The staff received a 90-minute training session in using e-mail.
The increased amount of data generated by e-mail has become a major cost for organisations, straining storage systems and making compliance with corporate governance regulations more of a challenge.
Michael Burlison, research analyst in infrastructure strategies service at Meta Group, said IT directors should be pushing their organisations to offer e-mail training because it was an easy way to cut costs. If the IT department does not take a lead, the HR department will, he said.
David Roberts, chief executive of user group the Corporate IT Forum, said, "Organisations have done server consolidation. E-mail looks like the obvious next challenge."
"The e-mail training ought to be a set of recommendations that organisations can adopt," added Roberts.
A spokeswoman for HSBC said, "We set out to reduce the sheer volume of e-mail traffic staff deal with every day. The programme changed the e-mail habits of 1,650 head office staff, reduced the time spent e-mailing, the amount of irrelevant copying in and the resulting stress to employees."
- Use the message's subject line to clearly state the purpose of the message
- Do not copy people into an e-mail unless it is necessary
- Limit the number of folders in an in-box to one screen.
Training benefits to HSBC
- Increased productivity from staff
- E-mail specialist teamIT training advised HSBC on the training.