Email has become an essential resource in the workplace as a communication tool with supervisors, co-workers, suppliers and customers. Your email message is received almost instantaneously and can facilitate a fast response. You can communicate with multiple people at the same time and share documents without having to take the time to print and send via mail or courier service. Email also provides an electronic record of communication for future reference.
Although these are some of the benefits of using email, there can also be drawbacks. When you send an email, do you consider the impact of your words on the recipient? Have you ever hastily sent emails without contemplating the risk of misinterpretation or misunderstanding? Was email the best method of communication? Getting your intended message across can sometimes be a challenge. Recipients are unable to see your facial expressions or hear vocal inflections that typically imply tone. Once a message is delivered, you are unable to see the reaction of the reader and adjust your message accordingly.
Email can also be used inappropriately:
- Spreading gossip
- Sending inappropriate or suggestive jokes
- Making evaluative comments and disparaging remarks about other people or the organization
- Including attachments that are not suitable for work such as material that is pornographic or discriminatory
Employees should be aware that behaviors mentioned above could violate the company's Anti-Harassment policies.
Always practice proper business email etiquette. Be polite, courteous and professional, identify precisely the message you want to convey, and choose your words carefully. Remember, effective communication builds strong business relationships while ineffective communication can damage both the organization's reputation as well as your own.
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