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4/24/12 9:35 AM Rebecca Whittenberger

Furious businessman hitting the computer keyboardEffective email communication starts with a good engagement tool.

In a competitive and busy work environment, things can heat up before leadership realizes fires are being stoked. Without effective email communication at all levels, conversations can lead to misunderstandings, poor performance, and lost productivity.

Managers and supervisors in a national healthcare organization learned this lesson when a round of heated emails found their way into the inbox of staff members.

Dealing with the consequences

When inappropriate or heated exchanges between leadership are seen by staff, the results can include:

  • loss of credibility;
  • additional stress for staff members; and
  • the creation of gossip regarding the company, job stability and work processes.

Since email can find its way into the wrong inbox through a variety of careless errors, it is important that leadership always uses effective email communication.

Following a good rule

One rule of positive email conduct is to avoid long or frustrating strings of email when a phone call or face-to- face meeting will solve the issue in a more efficient manner.

Incorporating multimedia elements

Another way to increase the effectiveness of email communication, especially when delivering messages or information to multiple departments or leadership levels, is to incorporate the use of multimedia elements. Text can be a powerful tool, but it is also easy to misunderstand connotation and intent in a written message.

To avoid these problems and clarify your message, you can incorporate a well executed PowerPoint presentation or video into your email.

By increasing the effectiveness of your communication, you provide a solid example for leadership at all levels. Clarity from the top also reduces the chance that others will take part in confusing and troublesome email battles.

Today's blog post written by Brad Gant

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