5 Email Etiquette Rules Every Employee Should Know

You may send and receive electronic communication all day long, but are you using email correctly? With some types of messaging it’s okay to be informal, but if it involves work email, there are rules you don’t want to break. Before you hit “send” one more time, make sure you’re protecting your professional image.

Use These With Caution

Think carefully before you use some email buttons and classifications. Use these options sparingly:

  • Reply All – Before you send an email, ask yourself if it needs to go to everyone on the list. There could be disastrous consequences if you mean to send a sarcastic comment to your friend and it actually goes to everyone at the office. If your communication doesn’t concern everyone, don’t use “reply all.”
  • Read Receipts – If you request to be notified when co-workers, employees, customers and clients open your email, it feels intrusive. When your information is time-sensitive or you’re concerned about whether or not it reaches its destination, ask the recipient in the email to let you know once they receive it.
  • CC vs. BCC – If you’re sending an email to a group, often it’s better to send a blind carbon copy (BCC) rather than a carbon copy (CC) where everyone’s email address is displayed.
  • Forward – If it doesn’t have to do with work, don’t use this button.

Write Good Subject Lines

If you could summarize your email in a few words, what would you say? Your email subject line should be clear and direct. Examples include, “Staff Meeting At 2 p.m. Today,” or “Question About Atkins Project.”

A well-written subject line makes it more likely people will open your email. Subject lines aren’t the place to be vague or make obscure references. Remember, the whole point of office email is to streamline communication.

Use a Professional Email Address and Signature Block

It’s best to always use your company email address. If you’re self-employed or for some reason have to send an email from your personal account, make sure your email address reflects professionalism.

Include an automated signature that attaches to every email. It should contain three or four lines of text that tell who you are and how else people can get in touch. It might also include your photo or company logo. Avoid hard-to-read fonts or lengthy statements. Simple and direct is always best.

Use Professional Salutations

Avoid informal greetings like “Hey,” or “What’s up?” Instead, use “Dear Mr. Smith,” “Hello Mrs. Francis,” or “Hi Jonathan.”

Don’t shorten the recipient’s name unless you know that’s what they prefer. For example, don’t address Steven as Steve unless he invited you to do so.

Proofread Carefully

Read through your email at least once silently and once out loud before you send it. Check for spelling and grammatical errors, and to make sure your tone is what you intend. Be careful with humor, since that doesn’t always come across electronically.

Only use one punctuation mark at the end of sentences, and in most cases, that punctuation shouldn’t be an exclamation mark. Multiple exclamation marks make you sound angry!!! Plus, can you see how using several question marks make you seem impatient to receive an answer????

Remember if you send it, others can forward it. Show your best self on email to protect your professional image and your career future.

How to Get Your Employees to Show Up Every Day This Fall

How to Get Your Employees to Show Up Every Day This Fall

Cold and flu season is coming. Employees have probably already started asking off for holiday travel. Sometime in the next few months, you’re probably going to notice you have more staff calling in than usual. You want them to stay home when they’re sick, but you also need them to keep absenteeism to a minimum. There are things you can do to reduce the number of call-ins.

Formalize Your Attendance Policy

Spell out exactly what you expect. Answer the following questions:

  • At what time are employees tardy?
  • What types of absences will you approve? How should employees document them?
  • What is the procedure for requesting an absence?
  • How many absences do you consider excessive?
  • What disciplinary action will you take if they exceed that number?
  • What happens if someone is a “no show”? Are there emergency situations in which you’ll excuse an unscheduled absence or no call?

Put your attendance policy in the handbook, make it a part of new hire orientation and explain it in your next staff meeting.

Promote Wellness

Sometimes well-meaning employees show up when they’re just coming down with a cold or the flu. You disinfect the bathrooms, but what about other surfaces with which employees come into contact? Make antibacterial wipes available and encourage their use on keyboards, desktops and landlines.

Step back and look for places germs can hide. That candy basket on the breakroom table has been sitting there for months. Employees eat lunch then reach for a piece after touching their faces. The microwave handle, refrigerator door, coffee pot handle and vending machine buttons all need regular disinfection.

Reward Attendance

Think through the most common reasons your employees miss work and use that to incentivize attendance instead. If you know last year employees called in to get their Thanksgiving shopping done without the crowds, reward perfect attendance the rest of the month with a few hours of flex time to be used as needed. Enter employees who stayed healthy all winter in a raffle to win a massage or gym membership on January 1.

Keep Good Records

When someone calls in, document who it was and why. That might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many managers rely on their memory. It seems like Suzy’s chair was often empty, but they’re not sure exactly how many days she actually called in sick, how many she was just late and for which ones she claimed a last minute family emergency.

Documentation helps you spot trends. If you see Suzy calls in every Friday and Monday, you know the problem probably isn’t persistent infection. You’ll also notice those employees who never miss a day and deserve recognition.

Often having a formal plan and a reward system clarifies expectations and encourages attendance. Create yours now for employees that show up every day this fall.

Sources:
https://www.naturalhr.com/blog/reducing-workplace-absenteeism-five-simple-tactics
https://www.masterclassmanagement.com/ManagementCourse-DealingWithAttendance.html