Email has certainly become the most time effective manner of communication in business today – between businesses and among employees and business owners.
Email has become such an easy, immediate form of communication that we may be overlooking some important etiquette.
Email etiquette reminders
Create a concise and to the point subject line – if a task needs immediate action, then the task and its immediacy should be stated in the subject line.
Do not over-use the ‘mark as important’ function – the fact that Karen’s birthday celebration is at noon in the lunchroom probably shouldn’t be marked as important, so don’t ‘cry wolf’!
Watch your punctuation, grammar and spelling – this may sound rudimentary, but it is an essential part of business communications. When you are not seeing the person face to face, they will judge you on your writing ability. Also, save the short forms for texting with friends.
Be courteous – greet the person (or persons) in your email appropriately. Be careful that your language does not sound like a drill Sargent giving orders. Always say please and thank you when making any request. A little courtesy can go a long way!
To reply all, or not to reply all – be aware that ‘replying to all’ involves all the recipients in the entire email string. Long, unnecessary strings of emails can clog up inboxes, create confusion and reduce productivity.
Use neutral language – sarcasm is difficult to read, and really has no place in a business environment.
Make your point(s) – if several issues need to be addressed within one email, then first note the number of issues, then list them in a clear manner including a timeframe.
Please respond – when asked a question via email, respond immediately letting the sender know when the question will be answered. By providing a time frame frustrations will be alleviated.
Say thank you, again – if someone completes a task, responds quickly, or simply ‘does their job’, a nice friendly thank-you email can go a long way for employee happy-tude.
These may seem like small things, but good email etiquette can improve communications, clarify tasks, increase productivity and make everyone feel valued.