Corporate Email Communication that Works

One of your primary jobs as a business owner or manager is to lead your teams, and that requires effective corporate email communication. 

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Are you frustrated when you find employees confused or not on the same page about an issue that you know you’ve communicated to them via a company email?  Perhaps a message you’ve sent several times?  One of your primary jobs as a business owner or manager is to lead your teams, and leadership requires excellent communication.  But what does it take to achieve effective corporate email communication?

Corporate Email CommunicationWhat is communication?

Even the Merrian-Webster dictionary misses the boat in describing communication.  According to this respected source, communication is a process by which information is exchanged between individuals.  Yet, they focus on the process of sending the information:  “information communicated,” “a verbal or written message,” “a system for transmitting or exchanging information,” etc.

The part that is sorely underemphasized is the receipt and understanding of the message.  Communication without understanding is just noise.  Unfortunately, many organizations are buried in noise.

Did you get my email about that?

Yeah, you’re busy.  If you’re like a lot of leaders, you’re probably up and at ‘em by 5 AM and your mind doesn’t shut off about work until prime-time broadcasting hours are over.  The easiest and most efficient way to get a message out to many people at once is by email.  Consequently, it’s also the fastest way to get a brilliant idea off your mind and to one of your employee’s plates when you come up with it at 10:30 PM.  

Did you know the average person receives over 100 emails per day?  It’s not a far stretch to say you’ll probably send at least 40 emails today.  And while you think each of those contains precious information necessary for someone to do their job effectively and they will scour it for every relevant piece of data, it’s more realistic to think they will spend an average of ten to fifteen seconds looking at it.  

Does this mean you shouldn’t use email?  No.  Email is still one of the most effective tools we have in corporate communication.  But there are some things you should consider when you’re trying to decide how to share information with employees.

Five keys for effective corporate email communication:

Who needs this information?  Let me break it to you–your brilliant ideas are not important for the success of every employee in your company.  Your employees are bombarded with information all day long.  If you think of each bit of information as a tennis ball hurdling towards them, you realize they can only grab onto so many balls before they start dropping them.  Think of your employees in these groups:

    • Group A: Those employees who will use the information I have to make critical decisions in their work.  They are waiting for these details and it will make a difference in how they perform their jobs in the near future.
    • Group B: Those employees who are interested in the information and may find it inspirational or motivating.  These people want to know what their leaders are up to, but in reality, they will still be following the directions from their supervisors to do their work.
    • Group C: Those employees who don’t care.  These are great employees, don’t get me wrong!  But their jobs may be so far removed from the topic you’re discussing or they just want to hunker down and do the tasks they’re assigned to do.  For these employees, getting the information is a distraction from being able to focus on their work.  Don’t take it personally.

What information do they need?  Before you sit down at your keyboard and begin offloading all the thoughts from your head into a message, really think about what information people need.  Your goal is to share data, feedback, and direction that will make a difference in how your team performs their work, not wow them with your words.  Each of those three groups will need different amounts of information.  

    • Group A will appreciate trends, graphs, forecasts, references, research details, and more.  This information helps them adjust the direction of their work and learn how you got the results you did.  
    • Group B needs a shorter message with a broader overview of your message and a few key highlights about how it will impact their work.   
    • Group C needs the shortest message or even nothing at all.  This group may benefit from a single email at the end of each week highlighting the key corporate communications over the preceding days.  

How can I make this easy to read and understand?  Your employees will spend little time reading your email, but the easier it is to digest, the more time they will give it.  Here are a few tips:

    • Use spacing between paragraphs.
    • Keep paragraphs to 3-4 sentences at most.
    • Use bolded headings.
    • Keep it short.  Avoid extraneous information.  
    • Avoid big terminology or acronyms.  
    • Break big information into a series of smaller emails over multiple days.

How will they ask their questions?  Communication is a two-way street, meaning if the receiver needs clarification, there must be a way for them to get it.  In every communication, include a method the receiver can use to ask questions–and then make sure that the resource is prepared to answer.  This may be a separate inbox you create for employee questions to ensure you don’t miss any of them, or it may be a form where questions are compiled for a follow-up email or in-person discussion.

How will I know if they understood my message?  Devise a system to follow up with trusted employees to learn if they understood your message as you intended.  Find employees who are comfortable telling you no and giving you honest feedback.  

You don’t need to tackle corporate email communications alone.  Put Paradux Media Group at your side.

At Paradux Media Group, we have staff experienced in constructing effective corporate email communications.  We will work with you to understand your message, and then create the communications you need to lead your team in the right direction.  Check us out and see how our team can help you with all your marketing and advertising needs.  

Angela Peacor

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