It’s little wonder that effective communication is cited as a valuable skill in nearly every workplace. When communication is clear and effective, employees are more able to get on with their work, confident they know what to do, and who to ask if they have questions. Everyone in an organisation will respond well when communication is on point. Employees will be more satisfied, and therefore productivity will increase. This leads to improved employee performance, retention and company growth, all essential for any organisation to survive and prosper. Email writing is a key skill in effective communication but is often overlooked as an area for improvement.
The Power Of Great Email Writing
Email is still the most popular form of communication between employees in the workplace. Around one-third of the world’s population use email, and by 2021 we will send around 320 billion per day. Around half of all emails that we send are for business, whether to update the status of a task or provide feedback on a project.
Unfortunately, email is also the cause of a lot of frustration. Around two-thirds of all users report feelings of anger or confusion due to miscommunication and misunderstanding an email, and in reality this number could be much higher. This can lead to resentment between employees, and a toxic workplace environment in which productivity and happiness suffer.
Given that email is so important as a tool for communication, it’s crucial that employees are able to write emails effectively. You can check out our professional email writing guide for advice on this topic.
Great email writing increases employee satisfaction and productivity in the following ways:
Clarity and Certainty
If email communication between staff causes constant misunderstandings and confusion, how can employees be expected to work coherently towards a common goal? How can they know their own role and be certain about how to contribute to the company?
Any misunderstanding around tasks and projects can deal a direct blow to productivity. Employees will have to spend more time trying to clarify what exactly they need to do, or worse still will set off in the wrong direction and produce outcomes that are not in line with the brief.
With great email writing, everyone will be on the same page when it comes to the company’s direction and understanding their role in the team. With this clarity and certainty, they can focus their energy on producing great results.
Empowerment and Accountability
Employees need to be able to communicate with members of their own teams, as well as across departments. There should also be plenty of “upward” and “downward” communication in your organisation. Information should flow freely between employees and their managers, and managers should listen and respond to emails from those who work below them in the company structure.
When both employees and managers are able to write effective emails, and send and receive them whenever it is appropriate, all individuals within your company become more empowered and more accountable. Everyone knows what is expected of them, and what to expect from others, and clear email exchanges define these roles and expectations on record.
Employees then have the information needed to step up and be creative about the tasks they are given, but also have more confidence to email managers or other employees when they need help or want to ask questions.
Managers can use emails to demonstrate their support for teams during set backs on a project. This great example of ‘air cover’ from Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella, shows how to encourage a team to keep pushing despite their work not delivering as hoped.
Healthier Company Culture
With so much of an organisations communication occurring through email, getting it right really makes a huge positive impact on your company culture. Employees feel respected, understood and free to ask questions. They can email their managers whenever they want (within reason!), and they will be listened to. Employees can also message each other to solve any problems they encounter during a project.
Great email writing reduces the number of misunderstandings in the workplace. The free-flowing information in emails is sent and received with a level of clarity that naturally leads to a more productive environment, and genuine positive relationships are formed between employees.
Good working relationships provide the foundations for a healthy company culture, and in the digital age great email writing is key to establishing and maintaining these relationships. Research has shown that employees in a healthy company culture, based on values such as open communication, are more engaged and more productive.
So, there you have it. Email writing is an essential tool for communication. Smarter email writing can boost productivity directly. But there are also added benefits when it comes to establishing a healthy company culture based on clear and honest communication, respect and accountability. When your employees and managers are great at email writing, the whole company will prosper.
Use our Outlook Add-In to create better business emails. SMYL’s real-time business English language suggestions and reader insights will coach you to more effective emails, written in the preferred style of your readers.