Email communication has been in the office since the early 1970s and today employee and company dependence on this marvel of communication has become staggering, so much so that we tend to take for granted the impact that improper use of the art can have on our personal standing with our superiors or colleagues. Remarkably, it can even endanger our employment status.
With the increased popularity of social networking sites and introduction of numerous personal texting devices, many have gone “text crazy” and furiously send out tens or even hundreds of messages daily without careful regard to what impact these random, thoughtless messages might have if they were inadvertently carried into the professional corporate setting. Any web design company can offer corporate email services and that’s the part of digital marketing service.
On our handhelds, we type upper case and lower case messages to friends, family, business associates, and industry colleagues without proper attention to spelling or the rules of proper and respectful communication. We thoughtlessly “copy” our entire friend and family networks with personal comments about ourselves and others without proper regard for how these messages might affect someone’s feelings or desire for privacy.
If this inherent sloppiness spills over into the workplace email systems, the results could be devastating.
Following are some communication errors to avoid once you are back in touch with your “business” contacts. Study them and make sure that you remember that your boss can’t be your BFF during 9 to 5 on working weekdays.
Carefully “order” your addresses
Don’t mistakenly put your boss on the CC: line instead of the TO: line if he or she is the one who must give approval for what you are requesting. Nothing incenses a boss more than seeing that you are addressing someone else below their management level with a request for action. Further, be careful who you CC: on a message because the intended primary recipient will want to know why you brought this other person into the communication. They may question your intentions and acceptance of his or her authority to properly review and act on the request.
Make sure to only use “BCC” on your bulk mailings
Don’t mistakenly CC: your entire database with an email unless you are sure that you want to share that distribution list with everyone. Use BCC: instead to maintain privacy of recipients’ email addresses. Imagine making the error of sending a promotional mailing to your customer base and having all emails shown on the message. FIrst many will feel that you have invaded their privacy. Second if one of your competitors is one of the emails on the distribution, or is a friend of one of them, you may have just handed over your entire customer database to a potentially harmful entity.
Don’t rely solely on email for your communications
With the constant attention that we pay to the keyboard today in our communications, it is easy to just start typing when the best choice might be a short phone call to your intended recipient. Believe it or not, people like to get phone calls and have that personal contact. It is warmer, and can convey the actual feelings and message more accurately without the insincerity of a typed impersonal message.
Please use spellcheck
No one wants to look stupid – ever. If you spell words incorrectly in a corporate email, that is exactly what people will think. Use spellcheck on all emails. Use Microsoft Word as your email editor. Take just a minute and insure that you capitalize names of people and places in your message. And don’t forget proper grammar as well. Just because email is fast, it doesn’t have to be improperly constructed.
Don’t reply immediately to emails
We tend to respond on the social networks immediately. This habit can be a mistake in the corporate world. Read your messages when you have time to concentrate on their content. Think about your answer before you type out a response. Be aware that the “tongue” can be a powerful weapon and you must manage its output carefully. Well thought out responses can help you maintain control of some very difficult circumstances.
Review and edit your “out of office” message frequently
Remember to change your out of office message so that people will really know the status of your location. They will want to know when they can expect a response to their inquiry. If you are out to lunch or away from your desk, make sure this is truly the case. Others may have to make plans based upon your availability. If you have an old message that says you’re still skiing in Vermont, they may look to someone else for assistance. That could be a missed opportunity for you.
Limit personal communications
If you are sending personal and corporate emails out from your office desktop, you are putting yourself in a dangerous position. You may forget “which is which” and you may find the old “social networking” habits migrating into your professional messages. Make it a point to go to MSN or AOL or your favorite messaging service to conduct your personal communications. Keep the company email just that – company email.
Never email non-business web links
Refrain from sending non-approved website links or pages through the company network. Imagine that your IT department calls you up one day and says that you infected the entire company network with an unauthorized attachment or link. You will certainly be getting a visit from the boss or someone higher for this transgression. Don’t risk it. If you want to send a link or a website page that is from outside the company’s normal arena, ask IT if they think it is a good idea first.
Avoid sending large attachments
If you have a great photograph that really drives home the point of your email – and the recipient doesn’t get the picture because it was too large or was rejected by their spam firewall – your communications’ impact will be reduced or eliminated. If you have large attachments or want to include HTML images in your email, consider joining a service like Vertical Response that can produce more attractive htmls for you to deliver to your intended audience.
Never email your resume to a headhunter or other company
Don’t run the risk of sharing personal communications with your whole company directory. Anything that you type on your company computer may be under scrutiny from the IT Department. Even if you keep your private personal emails in a separate folder, you never know when “big brother” may be inadvertently monitoring you. So refrain and insure that what is private stays that way.
Understanding the importance and appropriateness of email communication in your corporate environment is more crucial today than ever before. Being aware of these important Do’s and Don’ts may keep you out of harm’s way in this “text happy” society.