By: Audrey Thomas
Everyone on a team contributes to email culture. Here are some best practices my clients use to create a healthy, productive email culture:
- Team Leaders, clearly define your email expectations. I call this “having the conversation”–it’s okay to tell your team when you expect to be copied and how quickly you expect responses to your email. It all depends on individual preference but remember: These expectations still indicate your level of trust and confidence in your team’s ability to follow through.
- Limit the number of emails you send. This is what I call the Golden Rule of Email: The more you send, the more you shall receive! If you want to keep emails out of your inbox, send fewer emails out.
- Avoid using email to vent. Even those who like to process by typing out their feelings should pause before sending to ask, “Would I want Grandma to read this?” Of course, it’s okay to type it all out, just make sure there’s no recipient in the To: line! When you’re done, save the email, go home and sleep on it, and delete it the next morning.
Sometimes it’s best NOT to email. Here’s an example of when to pick up the phone: you’ve been volleying back and forth all day with a colleague. Each email is an interruption to your day (and theirs!) and could be avoided with a simple 30-second phone call. You’ll save time and thank each other later! If necessary, write one email after the call, recapping any decisions or action steps.