If you’re plagued by infobesity (the never-ending stream of information), the last thing you want to do is read another article. So, I’ll keep it brief.
Infobesity is an epidemic.
IBM released these stupefying figures in 2013: 90% of all the world’s data has been produced in the past two years. CSC (Computer Sciences Corp) extrapolated these numbers and said that in 2015, 90% of all the world’s data is about equal to 7.9 zettabytes. That’s right, zettabytes. One (1) zettabyte = One (1) trillion gigabytes. Is your head spinning yet?
As HR leaders, your role is to sift through the barrage of information thrown not just at you, but also at your employees, customers, and prospects. It’s your responsibility to distill the necessary from the noise.
Here are five ways you can help your constituents avoid infobesity.
1. Not everyone needs to know everything about everyone. Cross-functional teams are only helpful until they become counter-productive. Not everyone has to know everything that’s happening. As long as you know who knows what, that’s usually enough. At some point relaying all information becomes excessive and actually clouds important messages.
2. Personal time ≠ work time. Just because you can check work email first thing when you awake and right before you fall asleep doesn’t mean you have to – or should. Give yourself and your employees some free, restful mental space to recover. Set clear expectations about when employees should be accessing data and when they can be disengaged. Allow employees the opportunity to be freed from the electronic ties that bind them.
3. Lists, lists, lists. Whatever’s distracting you, write it down somewhere so you don’t have to remember to remember it. Staying organized frees your brain to focus on those things that are important right now. Don’t hesitate to create lists for your employees either. By doing so, you and your employees can better discard the excessive noise and focus on your goals.
4. Too many choices make it too hard to choose. People who are overwhelmed by choices often choose nothing at all (i.e. paralysis). Consider cutting the bottom 10% of your products–they’re probably just distracting people from your best goods. Studies show that people are much more likely to buy things when their options are more clear-cut. If you need help determining which options are important, ask your employees. If they can’t articulate the value, neither can your consumers.
5. Simplify your brand. Your marketing materials are too long if you can make them any shorter. A cluttered website leads to user disengagement. In the age of infobesity, clear and crisp messaging is more effective.
By implementing some or all of these best practices, you can stave off infobesity in your workforce and customer base and enhance overall engagement.