Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Manage Your Email Onslaught

The volume of email we receive is one of the biggest productivity challenges that managers and their staff face. Sorting through the daily deluge can consume an incredible amount of valuable time that is much better spent elsewhere. The good news is that this is a solvable problem once you learn how to efficiently and effectively manage your everyday email communications.
Don’t Constantly Check For Email
Just like planning other important work activities during your day, schedule daily time for email. Depending on your typical email activity, plan to look at your email only at a specific time each day. For example, 30 minutes before lunch and 30 minutes before you end your work day. As an alternative for high volume email recipients, only check your email at specific time intervals, such as every two hours.

Read Only the Subject Matter
Learn to quickly discard irrelevant or unimportant messages right away by reading the subject matter and the sender’s name. You will likely purge more than half of incoming messages this way. Then, you can more efficiently attend to the important email messages.

Practice “OHIO”
Only Handle It Once. Immediately decide what to do with each email message. Answer the important ones quickly instead of filing them away. If you don’t, and you later are ready to answer them, you’ll spend a lot of time searching through folders to find the needed message.

Create Topical Folders
For messages that you must keep for a period of time, store them in a folder that is not your “Inbox” or “Sent Mail” folders. Name the folder based on your need, such as by customer name or product name. Once you conclude the nature of that business, delete those messages, and even the folder.

Email Trivia: "Crackberry" is a term used to describe the excessive use of checking email on a SmartPhone (initially on a Blackberry device) by its owners, and is a reference to the unfortunate addictive nature of crack cocaine. Use of the term "Crackberry" became so widespread that in 2006 Webster's New World College Dictionary named "Crackberry" the "New Word of the Year."

A Wonderful Reference: "NetiquetteIQ: A Comprehensive Guide to Improve, Enhance and Add Power to Your Email", by Paul Babicki.

David Schuchman

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Technology Training from a Manager's Perspective

Every manager who plays a role in researching, selecting or implementing enterprise technology needs to have a firm grasp on emerging technologies. In addition, managers serve the larger business purpose to ensure that technology is being used to the company's best strategic advantage. A program of continual information technology training is crucial to the success of any IT team.

Technology is constantly evolving, and it seems that there is a new product and service released almost daily that is meant to simplify doing business. This can be overwhelming if you do not stay current on the high-level trends of technology and their corresponding impact on business. As a manager, you must take it upon yourself to become proactive by keeping abreast of emerging trends. You need to understand them not only from a technical standpoint, but evaluating them from a higher-level, strategic standpoint. This type of knowledge will help you make conscious and informed decisions on what aspects of new technologies will affect your organization over the next few years.

IT employees have to continually engage in professional development to keep pace with new technologies and applications. They often become technology innovators within the organization, and can serve as internal advocates and trainers. Hence, the trained IT employees can bring the other employees up to speed as end-users of technology.

Employers who invest in employee professional development also tend to reap rewards when it comes to employee retention and job satisfaction. Organizations that encourage their employees to attend training are viewed as being caring and supportive. In such an environment, employees are more likely to stay for the long haul and to have positive attitudes toward their jobs and their companies.

David Schuchman