Email Mistakes To Fix Today
Here are some email mistakes to fix today. Do this immediately. I have noticed in the past five years the quality of email communication has dipped, actually more than dipped, it has plummeted. It’s pathetic and sends a terrible message about Americans and how lazy, and unprofessional we have become. Why? What has led to this?
A new economy of lazy.
Since the financial collapse of 2008, our economy has shifted. We have seen and continue to see a workforce filled with 1099’ers. Independent consultants, solopreneurs, and entrepreneurs are the norm and there’s this, “it’s my business and I’ll run it my way,” attitude. A huge majority of these people, were dotting i’s and crossing t’s operating as true professionals. They were following the rules, doing it right, getting bonuses and pats on the back and then, boom! They were escorted out of their offices with nothing but a box of their belongings and if lucky, a 3 months severance package. The rug was pulled out from under them and now they trust no one and refuse to give too much of themselves. What’s the point? These people went on to work elsewhere or for themselves and this time around they are jaded and even a bit pissed off. They refuse to give more than they’re paid for. “If I was making double, then sure I’d do xyz, but at this salary nope, not going to happen.” This is reality and the post financial collapse work ethic. Add that millennials have entered the workforce which adds more lazy spice to this mix of pissed off Gen X’ers and tail end baby-boomers. So what does this all have to do with poor quality emails? Loads.
Back in the 90’s baby boomers wanted to change the workplace and make it a more causal environment. No more suits and ties! No more pantyhose! “Dress Down Friday” was swiftly added to the workforce which then morphed into “Business Casual” and now there are people coming to interviews in hoodies and flip flops. Some offices even allow pajamas. Back in the 90’s when emailing a colleague instead of calling or walking to their office became the norm, emails were still in memo form. We addressed senior staffers differently than our workplace equals. We communicated to clients in a very formal way. Somewhere between 1996 and present day, we got so casual that we got lazy and this social media smartphone communication style became the new normal. The financial crash of 2008 was also the crash of professionalism.
We are jaded and pissed off at a marketplace that pretty much lures us in, uses us and spits us out. It messes with our heads. One minute you’re a superstar and the next minute you’re out the door. The only way we feel we can rebel is by getting more and more casual. This is most evident in emails. So if you’re guilty of any of the following, up your game. You want to rebel? Get a mini fridge and stock it with beer and crack one of those suckers open every day at 5:00. You decide when the day is over. Just please keep emails professional. It’s really the last thing left.
Email Mistakes to Fix Today.
1. You don’t have a signature. What the hell is wrong with people who refuse to have a signature in their emails? This drives me insane. Your outgoing email should automatically include your name, title, phone number, cell phone number, email, company logo, mailing address and any other relevant information helpful to the person you’re communicating with. You are not a spy. You are a worker. People need to find you. Stop avoiding work. Put your signature and if you are communicating via smartphone at the very least include your full name and cell number.
2. You don’t read the signature. You know how many people ask me what my business website is? I got to a point where I say, “all web and contact info is below in my signature.” Do I really have to hand hold people? Are they that lazy to make the effort to scroll down to see if maybe by a miracle there’s a signature with contact info and web address? Obviously yes!
3. TTYL, C U @ Mtg. I’m sorry, are we in high school? I have 20 years experience in the workforce and almost 44 rotations around the sun, address me as such. I know this makes me sound old and I don’t care. It makes me sound professional. I’m tired of these loose emails. How difficult is it to spell things out in professional correspondence?
4. Using all caps or taking a scolding tone. Do you want me to walk down to your office and smack you? Seriously. Some things are best discussed face to face. Not in an email. You have beef with someone? You call them up or better yet, walk down to their office and shut their door behind you and discuss it. I instantly lose respect for anyone who is confrontational in email. It tells me they either fear me, are a poor manager or both. Take a tone with me on email and either I’m giving you the verbal middle finger by responding in an extra professional way to diffuse it or, I’m printing it out and either calling you or coming to find you.
5. No punctuation and no complete sentences. Ever get an email from someone and it reads like a special code? I’m reading this email, squinting, for 10 minutes thinking what the f%$! is this moron trying to say? Here’s the example:
Social M blogs vid short long, expand w/quotes no dressing. TY
This requires me to respond back asking for clarity because this isn’t an email with clear direction. This is email Haiku. This wastes time. Communicate clearly in email. Stop being lazy. Take pride in being a professional.