Email has been on my hit list lately.
I seem to have received more than my share.
Isn’t that how it always works?
Yesterday, I went on an email rampage and caught up on some messages.
Today, I thought I would address why you shouldn’t send that email in the first place.
Throwing It Over The Wall
What if your workplace operated as follows…
Employees would be required to work in separate rooms.
The only communication would be “written notes” passed repeatedly back and forth.
Sounds like a psychology experiment gone awry.
It would be like working blindfolded. You would be throwing messages over the wall and hoping for the best. Not knowing when (or even if) messages would be read or understood.
Yet, this is exactly how many companies operate. Employees, often in the same building, working solely by blasting emails back-and-forth hoping to get work accomplished.
Don’t Send That Email
I have previously addressed the email issue. In fact, here are “TMN’s 9 Laws of Work Email.”
Email is a powerful tool and when used correctly it has many good uses.
However, when abused it can be the #1 productivity killer in the workplace. It can even destroy companies.
So, before you blast off that next email barrage to 16 coworkers…
Here are 10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Send That Email:
- Too Long – If your email is more than a few lines, it is too much. And it won’t get read. If your topic is requires more than a couple lines it probably deserves to be summarized in a different format. I recommend that all emails be less than five lines.
- Addressed to Too Many People – Your email should sent to the minimum number of people. Copying the whole world is a tactic of many workplace slackers. And by the way, you do not need to hit “reply all” to say thank you to one person. Just saying.
- It Is Negative – A simple email rule that never gets followed: Never send a reprimand or negative comment via email. It will be taken the wrong way and create a bigger situation. (If you need another reason, skip ahead to Reason #8.)
- Should be a Phone Call – Ever played email Ping-Pong? Where the conversation took 64 emails to answer a simple question? Some conversations are better via phone or in person.
- It Is An Urgent Issue – Don’t send an email about something that people need to know about now. Contrary to popular belief, your co-workers are not sitting at their desk waiting for your email to arrive. Email is not for last minute communications. I love when people send an email 2 minutes before a meeting is about to begin. And if something is truly important, don’t send me an email to tell me something is on fire. Call me.
- The More You Give the More You Get - The law of reciprocity is one of the reasons that many people will never have an empty inbox. The more you send the more you get. Not every email warrants a response. Really.
- You Are a Spammer – Is your email subject material even worth sending out? Or are you sending out information that people don’t need in the first place? Take a hard look, you just might be a workplace spammer. Every company has a few.
- Email Is Forever – Whatever you write in an email is forever. It can and will come back to bite you. A manager had written some inappropriate comments about co-workers in a string of emails years prior. The incident was re-ignited several years later when a colleague made a joke and forwarded one of the old emails. It didn’t turn out so funny.
- You Could be Working – Too many workers get caught up in the email back and forth that they spend over 50% of their time in their inbox. Close your email client and get some work done. I promise the email will be there when you check again.
- It Is Not Personal – If you really want to connect with someone on an issue… reach out and touch them. Go see them. Your point will be that much more impactful. Your compliment or thank you will be that much more heartfelt.
So, let’s take a break from the mass emailing.
Think about the impact you are having on your friends and co-workers.
Ease off that email trigger finger.
If we all sent one less email today, the world just might be a little more productive.
Is too much email an issue at your organization?