September 27, 2013

How to create a positive email culture in an Organization

Organizations can create a smarter email culture by asking everyone to do their part to save time with email. Email can be a pain to some people, as the more they are, the more time you have to spend reading them through. Some people prioritize, give immediate attention or simply skip emails, according to the priorities of the email.

It would be a lot different to send an email. There are a lot considerations to be thought off before pressing the send button on your email client. Things like, who are the recipients, was this information useful for the recipients or this would be just another junk?

Not everyone uses email the same way we do. Different people have different perspectives, priorities, experience, job scope, interest and so on when it comes to managing email; this would include reading email and responding back. We should all agree that too much email can be wasting your time, same goes to email that is too long or too many information in it, would a waste of time for you to compose as other people would just had a glance through without picking up the real points you intended to the recipients.

The following would be some tips of getting the positive email culture in your organization, probably it can start off with YOU :)

  1. Possibly refrain from sending email - Keep it human. Go talk to the intended person, either face to face or via a phone call. 
  2. Keep your Distribution List (DL) updated - You need to get updated if the recipients in your DL really needs your email or otherwise. This should be done at least after a few cycles of sending out the email
  3. Send only to relevant stakeholders - Some people would just click reply to all or put everyone in the CC list just to get them notified on issues. This would definitely create unnecessary email chain going on and on. By not doing this, you're ensuring only relevant people gets the info and probably CC you manager just to get him notified, or possibly as he/she requested
  4. Compose a short and clear structured email - Write a clear subject of the message so your recipient would have a clear picture of the subject you're talking about. It would later be easier accessible from the archive if they need to find it back. Possibly write one issue per email as having multiple issue per email would result a branched email to many possible subjects later would result possible delay and confusion. It's proven that email with specific content is getting responded/resolved faster
  5. Try to summarize - When there's an email chain, and it's going to be redirected to some new recipients, try getting it summarized, so it will eat some of your time but save a lot of others. Prioritize top 'Action Items' so people would be on the same page. This is helpful, especially for mobile users.
  6. Check your Inbox in a smarter manner - After some times, you would be able to predict what kind of email to be coming in to your inbox. You may skip and prioritize based on the sender or subject. If you're a mobile user, you should be doing this from time to time so it will save you time on your desktop later
  7. Structure your mailbox - You may create rules or automatically copy all your mailbox to another local folder. Accessing your email locally is normally faster and save a lot of time. Probably create folder named tasks or something. Be smart
  8. Be a role model - Set a good example for others to follow. Once you're comfortable you may give other constructive feedback to help others in your organization practicing these best principles.

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