The humble office memo, as made famous by Gary Cole’s character Bill Lumbergh in Office Space, has been a mainstay of the corporate world for a long time. While they are subject to plenty of memes around the web, they obviously play a vital role in the proper functioning of a workplace. They enable management teams to communicate with the rest of the team regarding a plethora of tasks that need to be done or updates surrounding particular projects etc. However, the usual hustle and bustle of an office can often result in memos ending up missed by those involved, resulting in a variety of negative consequences, from missed targets to misunderstandings. Fortunately, there are plenty of actions a company can take to ensure that a memo never goes unfulfilled again.
Make Prolific Use Of Relevant Technologies
Although the memo might date back to more archaic times, modern technology has brought it kicking and screaming into the modern era. Therefore, if you still rely on the old ways of paper and pen, you need to move into the 21st century. With tech solutions abounding, there is really no excuse to remain trapped in the past, and the best part is that they are often very affordable and allow everyone on your team to stay in the loop at the click of a button. What’s more, is that regardless of the solution you select, you will often be able to utilize other third-party tools to consolidate and send out notifications to your staff’s devices. For instance, Clerk Chat’s solution enables you to integrate with the most prevalent business messaging applications like Microsoft Teams and Slack and then send out an SMS to all relevant parties to keep them updated. These tools can prove invaluable to companies operating with large workforces that combine both office and remote workers. In addition, modern solutions typically use cloud technology, allowing your team to access and reply to messages regardless of location.
Utilize An Alert System To Remind You Of Memos
Using an alert system is a reliable method to prevent missing any vital company communications. For that purpose, you may use anything from email and calendar alerts to mobile apps on your phone. For example, calendar notifications are especially useful for memos with specific deadlines or events. Simply create an event in your calendar and set a reminder for the day before or the day of the event. This will ensure that you’re always aware of upcoming deadlines and events. While these might not be the most efficient solution, they guarantee you won’t miss an important message.
Prioritize Them Based On The Importance
One of the most crucial things a company can do to keep its attention on what truly matters is to establish priorities. This can be in choosing the route in which to take a new product to market, how to deal with customer service matters, and of course, prioritizing memos based on urgency. Sort the messages into emergency and routine piles first. Some memos, such as those marked “urgent,” require immediate attention, while others can wait. Sort them in accordance with the group or division to which they were sent. The next step is establishing a reading routine and reacting to memoranda. Schedule regular times throughout the day or week to read and reply to non-urgent notes. In this way, nothing crucial will slip through the cracks. In practice, this will involve a complete overhaul of how you train your staff and, more importantly, how you teach your managers to recognize what’s essential and prioritize notes.
Reduce The Amount You Send
If you ask your employees what they think about your memo system, don’t be surprised if they say they receive too many. A typical blunder many businesses make is to send realms and realms of messages to their employees in the hope that they will read them and things will get done. This shotgun approach may have worked in the past, but in a world filled with constant distractions, endless emails, and lower levels of concentration courtesy of social media, it simply won’t cut the mustard. Therefore, it might be prudent to modify your memoing systems and check if you are sending so many as to cause memo blindness. It might seem counterproductive, but you could discover that sending less results in a higher engagement rate.
Keep A Record Of All Memos For Reference
Now, this point isn’t to engage in “I told you so’s” when you let another member of staff know that you did, in fact, send them that memo ten days ago, but instead to help you keep tabs on the most important messages. Keeping a record of all notices also allows you to refer back to them if you need to clarify any information or if you need to follow up on a task or deadline mentioned in the memo. It also helps you stay on top of any changes or updates that may be communicated in subsequent messages.
Use Analytics To See Who Needs A Gentle Prod
If you choose to implement technology (as you should), it’s a good idea to check if it integrates analytics so you can see who is opening your messages and at what rate. As with the previous point, this isn’t to name and shame anyone but will help you know who are the serial non-readers and who you need to have a quiet word with to help boost engagement. Moreover, you can see which messages are receiving the most participation and help you craft messages more in line with that style than another.
Follow Up On Them To Ensure Completion
It might seem like a drag on time and resources, but a simple follow-up could be all it takes to get the response you are looking for. In some instances, you can use technology to resend a memo if a particular member of staff hasn’t opened it or performed an action you require. However, if you go down this route, remember to heed the fourth point regarding lowering the number of messages you send so as not to completely overwhelm your team.
Memes are an integral part of corporate life and play a vital role in ensuring everyone is reading from the same page. However, ensuring that everyone on your team reads and responds is another matter entirely! Hopefully, by using some of the points here, you can increase engagement and ensure your team never misses a memo again.