Business Perspectives

Add a little love to your interoffice communication

Ray Hull
Ray Hull

Interoffice emails are powerful documents. They can make or break any day for your employees and other colleagues.

Email is a wonderful tool for purposes of communication, but in today’s busy world of business and technology, it becomes too easy to send a quick impersonal email rather than taking a few seconds to make it a personal one.

Email is an efficient mode of communication, but, if misused, can make employees feel disenfranchised, and you become a distant non-communicating entity.

Emails can be used to bolster morale in a place of business, and on the other hand, it can certainly lower it. For example, when a conversation with an employee is in all probability going to be an unpleasant one, some employers find it easier to hide behind a computer and send an email in order to avoid talking face to face and dealing with the employee’s sadness or discomfort.

Here are some suggestions for the use of emails in the office environment:

▪ When possible, rather than relying totally on email for interoffice communication, and when your email is going to only one or two people, use the same amount of time to walk to those individual’s offices and talk with them.

That has become a real problem with email, tweeting and other forms of online communication. Talking face to face appears to be becoming a lost form of communication.

And, at the conclusion of what you came to discuss, say something nice to your employee, such as, “You’re doing a great job!” “I want you to know that I

appreciate you and the work you are accomplishing,” a smile, and “Have a great rest of your day!”

A few kind words will make any employee happier to be working with you. The glow from those kind words can sometimes do more for productivity than a financial incentive.

▪ When sending an email to an employee that is informational, or asking her or him to take on a task of some type, or asking a question, conclude the email with something that is positive, such as, “Have a great rest of your day!” “Best wishes to you!” “Keep up the good work!” “You are appreciated!” or another positive note that lets the employee know that she or he is appreciated and valued.

In other words, add a little love.

▪ Realizing that the sheer number of emails received each day can become burdensome, it becomes rather easy as the day becomes crowded with other duties, to unintentionally respond to emails from employees in a curt manner. We sometimes forget that it only takes a few seconds to respond by using the sender’s name, such as, “Thanks John for your email”; “I received your email Sarah, and I apologize for the delay in responding.”

The latter took, according to the second hand on my watch, approximately eight seconds. That is, as opposed to, responding with “10:00 am tomorrow,” the sender’s name omitted, and yours omitted as the person with a question about confirming the time of the next staff meeting.

That was a response, but it was the kind that I do not truly appreciate.

The intent here is to emphasize the importance of adding a little love and attention to your emails.

“Keep up your good work!” took approximately four seconds to compose, but it shows that you care, and that you truly appreciate the efforts of that employee.

It works wonders – believe me.

Ray Hull is a professor of communication sciences and disorders at Wichita State University. Contact him at ray.hull@wichita.edu.

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