October 22, 2010
This would be like the police issuing guns to new beat cops, only training those that accidently shoot the wrong person or fail to tag a fleeing felon. But companies do this, and I should know, my company's Email Etiquette Program has been administered to over 50,000 people at this point. In almost every case, there was no formal training in place.
I suspect that it's just a matter of time until email is recognized as the dominant corporate communication channel, making excellent/etiquette training a no-brainer. Until that time comes, expect to see:
* Endless email threads that only complicate projects * Lawsuits for inappropriate content
* Relationship misunderstandings via emails * Wasted time and missed opportunities
Does your company have anything in place to teach style, values, branding and rules to your people? It starts with a point of view:
1. Email is weak when it comes to conveying emotions.
2. Less is more, don't wear out your Inbox welcome.
3. Email is forever. When you hit send, it's going to be archived somewhere.
Those three points give your training group a framework for helping your people master the fine art of digital one-to-some communications. In my case, Deeper Media identified twelve rules that capture these three points, starting with #1: Stamp Out Reply To All.
Recommended read: Send: Why People Email So Badly, And How To Do It Better