A well-crafted email can make all the difference between a successful working relationship or potential confusion, insult or conflict – all of which can be heightened if your employees are constantly working remotely.
Emoji or no emoji? To sign on with a ‘Dear’ or a ‘Hi’, or nothing at all? What about whether to use ‘Yours sincerely’, or a ‘Cheers’? These are some of the most commonly asked questions while writing an email.
Writing a proper email depends on multiple factors. The job you work in, the person you are writing to, if there is just one recipient or several recipients or are you referring to someone across cultures.
However, there are some basic dos and don’t s that HR and People terms you can use to guide employees.
Make sure you include a proper subject matter that captures the essence of the email. If the email is urgent or requires an immediate response then include it in the subject line. If it is not then, your urgency will only annoy them.
Refrain from using capital letters, no matter how much your email needs attention. Using capital letters will only make you look aggressive and will not convey the message to your reader.
Salutations are always debated. This solely depends on whom you are addressing. If you are addressing to a colleague or your team, then an informal Hi would do. But if you are referring to your boss, then make sure you go with a proper Dear Sir or Madam.
If you are writing to someone you don’t know so well, then always add a formal salutation and an introduction.
If your team already has an idea of the content of the email. then you are free to use short, instructive emails with a list of bullet points. This means they can quickly understand the task and it’s far easier to read on a smartphone.
On the other hand, sending emails like this to people you don’t know may appear blunt, rude or even a bully. If you don’t have a prior relationship with the recipient then it is best to avoid such mistakes.
Refrain from using funny sayings or colloquialisms. As this may be completely misunderstood by your colleagues in overseas offices. At worst, you could insult them, at best; you can make them feel confused or left out.
State the action that needs to be done in your email, then mention when it has to finish. Open-ended emails can be confusing. Having an action or even letting the recipient know that no further action is required is always helpful.
Whatever you do, before you click send, visualize what you want to achieve and modify your language as such.
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