If you run a business, you run into those who are not all that into email skills. And with that, you’ll admit that those who do not communicate professionally via email can impact your choice as to if you’ll do business with them.
Would you spend your hard earned dollars with someone who communicates informally with typos and incomplete sentences? Probably not.
If it is your business, it is in your power to address this situation directly. You accomplish this by offering training and having an email policy in place.
But what do you do if there are those you have to work with whose lack of email etiquette skills may cause you more work? Things like not being clear or succinct enough that then require unnecessary back-n-forths. Consequently this makes you less efficient.
Then there is the opportunity for misunderstandings due to lack of clarity in intent and tone. I’ve lost count of the number of times I responded to an inquiry and then found out “what I meant was…” after the sender then provides additional information.
Do Your Colleagues a Favor
How do you politely inform colleagues or associates who do not practice proper Business Email Etiquette that they need to bone up on the subject? Delicately.
Unfortunately, in my experience, many folks do not take kindly to the topic of their lack of email etiquette skills being brought up. No matter how gentle or nice you are in making the suggestion.
One way to make a recommendations is to use this website as a resource. Actually that’s why I started this site so many years ago.
To avoid any misunderstandings or hurt feelings, use the share icons I have on this site. You’ll see them at the bottom every page under Share the Knowledge.
You can send a little email with a message something to the effect…
I found this great site about Business Email Etiquette and I learned a few things I wasn’t aware of. Thought you would find this info helpful too!
I didn’t know this was a thing — did you? Now we both know!
By including a little humility and mentioning you learned something too, it then isn’t just about them.
In the case of a coworker or associate, mention that it’s easy to correlate that email skills can impact whether they are perceived as a professional. You can get them started by pointing them to my “Business Email Etiquette Basics” so they can read and learn.
Business Owner’s Responsibility
If you own a business and have folks emailing on behalf of your business, it is not your employee’s responsibility to inform other employees about proper email use. That’s your sole responsibility.
Many times business owners are not email ninjas and only use email because “they have to”. Time to embrace that email isn’t going away. And the more comfortable you become in using it the better for your business image.
You should have an email policy in place so that everyone is on the same page. Not only so your business appears tech-savvy and professional but for liability reasons as well.
The reality is there are very few businesses, careers or professions that will not require email skills. You can mentor your colleagues and your employees by making them aware of the importance of working on their email skills.
Skills that will lend to their continued success.