Who really needs to be on this email? I am guilty of all of these, and I've been working on being more thoughtful about CC and reply all.
With the over-whelming amount of email people get daily, should you direct your email to a smaller pool? Are you wanting to publicly air the content that you are sharing or are you including all out of habit? This is broadcasting, not emailing.
- Policy can't and shouldn't be changed by email. As leaders, we need to email out a policy change, sure, but it also needs to be discussed in person or by phone so that the employees can understand the why and buy in. Policy and procedure as well as forms, should be kept in a central location (SharePoint, Dropbox, your server, etc.). Otherwise, they are not searchable and people cannot find what they need. Idea: We need to move general content to another, sharable, trackable, searchable forum and keep email for one-on-one communication, but we also need to commit to checking in and reading the information there. Otherwise, it has to be emailed.
- Assent to a scheduled and required event, does not need to be replied to or replied to all at all. If there is a mandatory meeting on Thursday for your staff and you are going, there is no need to reply all with "ok." If you can't make it for good reason, you should reply to your supervisor only and let her know why. If there is a conflict that she doesn't know about that the whole staff is involved in, that is the only situation in which you would reply all. Idea: let's use invites on the calendar and we can just check "yes" or "no," no email required!
- If someone is leaving and a mass email announces it, send your thoughts to only that person, please. Do you really want to receive 159 emails all expressing how we will miss Sally in Accounting? Idea: send a card, it's more personal and appreciated.
- Consider dropping non-essentials off your email list. Sometimes we feel the need to include a supervisor to "report" the behavior. I am not a fan of starting a conversation that way. We need to think about the situation before firing off an email. Is this the first time this problem has occurred? Could it be a lack of knowledge or training? Can you resolve it yourself? Not saying that you shouldn't loop in your supervisor ever, but think through what they need in. Idea: talk more, email less. But then document because I'm compliance and I love having things documented!
- I've never sent an email with a BCC to anyone other than a large bunch of people. I can't think of a time when this lack of transparency is proper in a business setting. Use it to avoid the CC trap, but not to secretly include a supervisor.
Between email and text and FB Messages this instant and constant communication is overwhelming. For me, my desire for clarity makes me over communicate and want to have everything written down. I am working on counting the emails that I send to everyone each month.
My goal is to reduce the number of emails sent each month for the rest of the year. I try to include clearer instructions, sometimes I try calling first, and above all I am really thinking through things before firing off an email. My only issue this far is that I typically send reminders and a few people have missed things because I didn't email them more than once.
Do you have any suggestions on how to solve the email avalanche? I'd love to hear them!