In an attempt to encourage staff to shift to new ways of communicating, Peter Hughes at Cisco has banned his staff from using email for broadcasting messages:
“Employees’ reliance on email as the primary mode of communication is hurting business productivity, according to an executive at one of the world’s biggest technology companies, Cisco.
Peter Hughes, Cisco’s director collaboration, has banned his staff from using the decades-old technology – modelled on the timeless letter – to broadcast messages to a group of colleagues. He’s even introduced a system of fines to drag them away from it. It’s called the “Hughsey email tax” and while not a corporate policy, he says it has reduced broadcast emails among his team by 95 per cent in a year.
“Email has become abused. It’s causing a lack of productivity. The email thread [or] chain can go viral through an organisation but there are people don’t need to be on the list,” Hughes said.
He offers web conferencing and online collaboration – both markets addressed by Cisco products – as more productive alternatives.
In a bitter twist of irony, he fined one employee $100 for sending out a group email containing a link to a newspaper article that referenced comments he made Thursday at a the Future of Work conference in Melbourne. The money raised goes to a charity of his choice.”
Technology companies that sell collaboration tools need to walk this line. But much more importantly is the need to find non-technology companies where managers take this approach. Know anyone?