The Impact of Email in the Workplace
by Neil Kokemuller
Email has had a significant impact on the workplace since the late 1990s. Some of the effects of email communication at work have been positive, while others have detracted from the benefits of face-to-face communication. Choosing the best method in any given workplace situation is key to effective communication.
Email serves as an effective way to send one-way messages or engage in two-way interaction that doesn’t have time urgency. When employees send emails to colleagues or customers, the recipients can access and respond to the email when they have a chance. Sending emails when a fast response is needed isn’t a good move. When time is of the essence, talking with someone in person or making a phone call is typically a better approach.
Broader Work Teams
Email has enabled companies to have more spread-out and diverse work teams. Employees can interact and collaborate without the need of face-to-face conversation at times. In these cases, companies use virtual work teams where employees engage in the same projects and work tasks. These teams often use virtual-team software to share files and hold virtual meetings, but they also send email communication back and forth. In global companies, email allows employees to communicate across country borders.
A drawback of rampant growth in email has been less use of more personalized communication. Sales and service employees can overuse email in contacting prospective clients and sending confirmation and thank you emails. Work group members often prefer to sit at their desks and send emails rather than walking across the office to interact personally with a co-worker. Sending an email eliminates the opportunity for immediate feedback, including nonverbal responses, from the recipient. Overuse of email decreases internal and external rapport and may reduce effectiveness in communication.
Email overload is a growing problem for many workers. Employees are sometimes so overwhelmed with catching up on email, they neglect other critical job duties. Managers who spend too much time reading and replying to emails with partners, suppliers, workers and customers have less time to coach, train and motivate their subordinates. Salespeople who respond to an abundance of internal and customer emails have less time for face-to-face sales meetings. To control this challenge, some people schedule 30 to 60 minutes of email time each morning.
WRITTEN COMMUNICATION IN THE WORKPLACE
Feb 19, 2016, by Jim Edmondson
Effective written communication involves expressing yourself clearly, using proper language that resonates with the intended audience; constructing a logical argument; brevity; and making the intended point succinctly. That way it is more likely the reader will understand exactly what you are trying to say and will help avoid confusion. Following are some tips for effective writing and some common errors. Effective writing allows the reader to clearly understand what you are saying. Here are a few tips that I hope will help you communicate better in writing:
Clarity is crucial, know your goal and state it clearly. Do you want the reader to do something for you or are you merely passing along information? Do you want a response from the reader or do you want him/her to take action? Your purpose needs to be stated in the communication. Avoid information that is not relevant.
Tone can help written communication be more effective. Certain forms of communication, like memorandums to supervisors or co-workers and proposals to other entities require a formal tone. Writing to someone you know well is usually done in a more informal tone. The kind of tone depends on the audience and purpose of the writing. Be aware that tone, especially in emails can be misinterpreted and cause unintended issues, be wary!
It’s critical that in the communication, you explain in clear terms what you want the reader to do. They cannot oblige if they do not understand exactly what it is you need or want. Also, the reader may not want to try to help if the communication is vague and sloppily written. When communicating to an individual asking for assistance or something specific, it is always advisable to include why it is beneficial to them to provide what you ask or to help you.
Language needs to be simple. Try not to overuse clichés, jargon, and expressions or try to impress with big words. Wherever possible keep sentences and paragraphs short and concise.
Less is more when it comes to length. Leave out words that do not contribute to the main focus of the communication. This could obscure your point. Unless the reader is engaged within the initial paragraph or two, often they lose focus and the intended message or point can be lost.
Using an active voice will strengthen your writing. Active voice is where the verb of a sentence is, the subject is doing the acting, as in the sentence “Jim hit the ball.” Jim (the subject of the sentence) acts in relation to the ball. Sentences that are written in the active voice will flow better and are easier to understand. Long, complicated sentences will slow the reader down.
Good grammar and punctuation are very important aspects of any written communication as they help avoid miscommunication and poor reception of the message. It is always a good idea to have someone else proofread your writing before you send it if at all possible. If you cannot do that, then try reading it out loud.
There are three main elements of all written communication: structure (how it’s laid out), style (how it’s written), and content (what your writing is about). Structure and layout are generally fairly simple to learn but quality content is often the struggle that many people encounter when writing.
A good structure in any written communication will help you to express yourself more clearly. The following are some tactics to consider:
Clarify your thoughts and the purpose of your communication before you start writing. In business communications, clarity is more important than style. Therefore, identify the key points, facts and themes.
Decide on a logical order for what you have to say. Clear, salient points in a logical order have a better chance of acceptance and uptake.
Always try to compose a strong introduction and ending. The first line or paragraph will make an immediate and positive impression on the reader; the second will remind them of the purpose and remain in their mind after they have finished reading.
Use short paragraphs and sentences rather than long, rambling ones. Keep to one idea per paragraph and put your
point in the first line, then add the supporting information. Too much unneeded filler information often results in mixed messages or the perception of lack of focus.
Help key points to stand out by the use of headings, sub-headings and bullet points. This will allow your reader to quickly scan your message for the main points. This is the principle behind executive summaries; it allows the reader to receive the critical points quickly.
Writing in a style appropriate to the audience
It is critically important that when conducting written communications you think about the readers by asking yourself the following questions:
How much information and detail does the reader require to get the message or provide the needed output?
Should you use specialist terms and language or is it better to reduce the language and expressions to a simpler vernacular in order to be understood by a generalist reader?
How formal or informal should your writing be? As stated above, tone is dependent upon audience and what level of sophistication the information is required.
A scientific paper aimed at an audience of non-scientists would have to be written in simpler and less technical language. A report in the Financial Times would be written in a very different style from one covering the same issue in the Star Phoenix. A lawyer giving advice to a client would not go into the same amount of details as to legal precedents and arguments as when they write a legal brief for the Supreme Court. As well, emails sent with job applications should be treated more formally than emails to friends and family!
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Principles and Practices of Business Communication
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Verbal and nonverbal communication from our interactions with others is important in business and interpersonal relationships. Understanding the different aspects of verbal and nonverbal communication, and the important roles they play in our interactions with others, is the first step to enhancing positive communication and nurturing relationships. An understanding of active listening, as well as supportive and defensive climates, helps improve overall communication.
Modern technology has become so established in our society that the two are nearly inseparable. Computer and Internet technologies have created a global village. They have changed every sector of our personal and professional lives, including our professional and personal use of health care. Technology has changed the way we communicate with each other with positive and negative outcomes. You must understand how to assess the changes taking place and what you must do to communicate effectively in a rapidly changing society.
Lesson 1 of 1
As you learn more about the healthcare industry, you will find that it is a highly collaborative environment. All systems within health care must work together and communicate effectively to serve their consumers. The purpose of this lesson is to:
1. Identify the potential challenges around collaboration this group might experience.
2. Describe collaborative skills you would use to create a more positive atmosphere.
3. Explain what would comprise effective communication for this group.
Your manager is mentoring you on how to become a manager. As part of the mentorship, she regularly gives you activities to complete and situations to analyze to help you learn. These activities usually involve talking about how you would handle issues with your team.
The group consists of the following people.
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Gail is the meeting organizer and the group lead on the project. She is very detail oriented as well as focused and communicates ideas clearly and checks for the group’s understanding.
Larry is the least attentive of the group during group discussion, and less vocal. He is primarily focused on just getting the project completed.
Robert is very opinionated and frequently pushes back against others’ suggestions. He tends to take over conversations and points his finger repeatedly at the group when making a point.
Melissa is quiet, shy, and has amazing ideas but looks uncomfortable in a group setting and rarely shares these ideas.
Now that you learned about the team, complete the assignment.
Signature Assignment – Effective Collaboration
Read the Management Scenario. Write a 750- to 1,000 -word summary of recommendations to your manager who would like to know your thoughts on the following:
· Identify the potential challenges around collaboration this group might experience.
· Describe collaborative skills you would use to create a more positive atmosphere.
· Explain what would comprise effective communication for this group.
· Cite all references using APA format.
· Submit your assignment via Blackboard.