Virtual Communication: The Importance of Training Staff on Email Etiquette
A lot of businesses use emails to communicate with customers, carry out internal functions and deal with business contacts. Therefore, the day-to-day operation of these organizations rely heavily on these emails, but problems can arise when employees don’t adhere to proper email etiquette.
That’s why employees should receive training on the variety of different aspects of email etiquette, learning how to show respect, be professional, edit emails, make deliverable promises, avoid personal emails, respond in the best time frame and guard confidential details.
What are the Benefits of Professional Emails?
By teaching your employees how to draft a professional email, your company will see a number of positive benefits.
For example, if an email is crafted well, it’s easier to process, which, in today’s world, is incredibly important. Equally, if the message of an email isn’t composed well, it can break down communications. And the outcome of this could be anything from a misunderstood statement to an offended co-worker – both of which will result in more emails being sent and your employees’ time being wasted.
Unfortunately, many newcomers to the business world haven’t received any training on how to adapt their written communications to suit business interaction. Faced with a world of SMS, Tweets, and Snapchats, their messages can soon be confusing for older colleagues and clients.
Even if a new hire knows how to conduct a good essay, writing for a company and its specific business strategies is very different. Therefore, leaders need to teach fundamental writing skills that adhere to the company’s brand identity, so all methods of communication are aligned. This will help provide fluid interaction across all areas of the business.
Finally, adding care and attention to detail to written messages will help encourage more consideration of what the subject matter is. This will allow the writer to order their thoughts constructively, which adds value to the email.
How Can You Teach Your Staff to Compose an Email Effectively?
With all of the benefits listed above, it’s perhaps a surprise that many employers don’t train their employees how to write emails effectively. Even though it isn’t a technology-based requirement, the ability to write clear, concise emails can significantly improve the business’s success in the long run.
But how can you make sure all of your staff members are communicating in the same way?
One of the best ways to get your employees interacting with your requirements is to produce a training program that’s targeted toward business writing skills. And make it compulsory for all your staff members to take part in it.
There are also specialist companies that provide this kind of training (learn more from ServiceSkills.com), with courses that are specifically aimed at improving email skills.
You might also want to customize these classes so they’re in keeping with your business’s goals, its needs, and its culture. For example, this might cover when employees should use CC, what acronyms are acceptable and what salutations (how people are addressed) are used in the industry.
Once you’ve created this training program, you’ll need to establish a system that makes sure all of your new hires have completed this course within a certain timeframe, e.g. within 6 months of joining the company. (It may be a little too much to subject them to this in their first week while they’re getting to grips with the full-time role)!
How Can You Make Sure Staff Members Continue to Use These Skills?
Now you’ve trained your employees on the best email practices, it’s crucial they continue to utilize these new skills within their day-to-day roles. Therefore, it may be beneficial to create expectations within your workforce, making it clear that every email they send needs to be written correctly.
This is something your management team will need to monitor and provide feedback on, which you’ll need to put in place across your entire organization. Make sure your team knows that it’s acceptable to respond to an unclear or rambling email, highlighting where the errors have been made before providing tips on how this can be improved.
Finally, make sure you have emailed a list of rules or guidelines to your employees so they have a constant reference point when they’re writing emails. Provide them with real-life examples, too, so they can see how emails can have a detrimental impact on both themselves and the business. Providing these will make sure your employees take this new procedure seriously.
You might also want to have consequences in place for those staff members who constantly ignore these new guidelines.
Tyler Jarvis works in a role as a staff trainer and shares his insider knowledge on this topic online with his articles as well as in online discussion groups.