Six rules for e-mails to employees | SupportBiz

Managing Growth

Six rules for e-mails to employees

Tags: e-mail
Are you one of those bosses whose e-mails their employees dread? Do you send out urgent e-mails to your staff members all the time, expecting a fast response? Do you e-mail them even on holidays and weekends? If you can identify with any of these signs, you might need to change your e-mailing habits, in order to make them more employee-friendly.

SupportBiz lists six rules for you to follow while e-mailing your employees, so that you ensure that your work is done, at the same time ensuring that they have a life, too.

1.     Ensure clarity.

Several bosses shoot out an e-mail as soon as a thought enters their head, resulting in their employees receiving a number of e-mails on the same issue, many of them not really clear. Try to avoid this kind of situation.

Ensure that your e-mails are as clear as possible. Instead of firing e-mails left, right and centre, wait till you collect all your thoughts about an issue together. Put them on a single e-mail, in an easily understandable way.

2.     Decide on a policy.

It is a great idea to hold a meeting of all departmental heads, and set down clear rules about e-mailing employees. Lay down an employee-friendly policy for e-mail etiquette, to be followed by all managers.

Your employees will, no doubt, breathe a sigh of relief at this.

3.     Avoid sending incomplete e-mails.

Avoid sending e-mails like ‘Could you please meet me in my cabin first thing tomorrow?’ or ‘I need to discuss something urgently with you.’ Such ‘teaser’ e-mails will serve to add to the stress levels of your employees.

Instead, tell them clearly what you need to discuss with them, putting their minds at rest.

4.     Compose, don’t send now.

You might get a great idea at 4 AM, but it is not necessary that you send it out in an e-mail to your employees immediately. What you can do is compose an e-mail to the relevant staff members, and keep it ready.

You could send it out at a later time, maybe when the work day begins.

5.     Consider the person at the receiving end.

Whenever you are writing an e-mail, before you hit ‘Send’, stop for a moment and think about the person at the other end. Does he/she absolutely need to be sent this e-mail now? Is it written considering their sentiments and state of mind?

For instance, a person might have left the office just 15 minutes ago after working on a big issue. He/she does not really deserve to receive an e-mail which could have, ideally, been sent out later.

6.     Set guidelines for your staff members.

Lay down clear guidelines for your staff members about what you expect regarding their e-mail responses. What kind of e-mail would have to be dealt with urgently? What kind of e-mail can wait till a bit later for action?

Such guidelines will ensure that there is no miscommunication between you and your employees, that your employees’ sanity is preserved, and that important work is never delayed.