Always “reply all” to inter-office communications.
No one enjoys the onslaught of “company business” e-mails that are received at varying intervals. Most feel the need to at least glance at them to ensure nothing too terrible is happening. The most irritating part of company wide communications, are the individuals who feel the need to reply all to them; they must assume that their opinion is important enough that everyone needs to hear it. Generally they are wrong.
The hidden piece of the puzzle is company erosion. Because most people are likely to at least glance at every e-mail, each e-mail costs human resource hours.
6 second glance X 300 employees = 30 minutes
If every employee is making an average of $10.00 each reply all will cost $5.00. Therefore, the longer the reply all e-mail you craft, the more time you will engage staff in activity other than their job. Always ask for feedback from the group and/or present strong opinions that will illicit feedback from the group.
It is also all about timing. Imagine this:
1. The company sends out an e-mail update of new information that must be implemented immediately (i.e. all employees must be apprised for legal or image purposes). The details of this e-mail should take a focused person at least 30 minutes to read and digest.
2. Minute two of your read into the e-mail, send out a reaction/series of questions to the group of what you have read so far. This will start the e-mails flying back and forth, as well as slow down those who are easily distracted, and/or have trouble remembering information.
3. Reply all (of course) to any direct responses as they come. Any comments that have come your way must be important enough to share with the group: isn’t every voice valuable?
4. When you have reached the middle of the document. Send out your revised opinions and as well as your thanks to everyone who has helped you along the way. Continue to reply to any direct responses (with questions).
5. Read the second last quarter of the communication.
6. Send out an e-mail stating that you have read the entire communication but ask any questions that the rest would have answered. By not reading the last quarter, your questions will be honest enough to not sound contrived.
7. Enjoy calculating how much it cost the company.
For extra credit send out e-mails to the entire organization on holidays (as many as you can find), wishing the employees have a great day. TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday) messages are always appreciated as well, mostly because employees are seeking ways to kill time on Fridays. Include links to videos if you can. Employees often enjoy sharing videos with their coworkers, even when it is forbidden by policy.
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