Soft Skills, Communication, Interpersonal Skills, Professionalism, Email Etiquette, Text Etiquette
WORKPLACE SUCCESS / 14 December 2016
Written Communication in the Workplace (Save the LOLs for later)
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Zipporah Jackson

Communication in the workplace is getting more and more blurred with the invention of texting. Because of iPhones, iPads and other handy gadgets, us millennials have gotten away from the proper spelling of words, replacing “you” with “u” and using the latest lingo to describe situations. Terms like “lit” are replacing words like “fun”, “enjoyable” and “exciting.” 

By pointing out these ever growing trends, I am in no way saying they are wrong, in fact, I myself use shorthand methods when communicating with my friends and family! It is definitely okay to text whomever you want to however you want to, but the problem lies when these trends start to wiggle their way into professional settings. 

Slang is not the only issue that needs to be addressed with modern emailing. Such things as lengthy emails and the lack of revising and editing of emails before being sent, are also major issues. So I am here to give you young, hip, professionals a little lesson on proper email etiquette for the workplace.  

Slang is a No No

So let’s jump right to it! Remember, when sending an email, you are doing just that, sending an EMAIL not a TEXT MESSAGE! Text messages are a more informal way of communication and can be treated as such unless you are texting a potential client. In this case, proper email etiquette will apply! Even though text messages are informal, it becomes formal very quickly when talking to clients. So lol, lmbo, rotfl, otw, lit, turnt up, etc are all terms that are not appropriate for emails. Emails are a formal way of communication, so you should definitely use proper grammar and double check spelling and punctuation. These steps are key to consider before you press send. 

Write Shorter, NOT Harder

If you are sending out an email to your boss or fellow colleagues, you want them to actually read it! How can you ensure that your email is read? One sure-fire way to make sure your emails get past the general overlook is to make sure you keep them short, sweet and to the point! Do not add extra fluff to make your emails unnecessarily long and boring. By sending these type of yawn triggering emails, the recipient will most likely scan through the email and miss the important ideas that you wanted them to take away from it. 

Within 11 seconds, an average person determines whether they want to continue reading whatever they are reading or disregard it. With that being said, when writing your emails, keep in mind you do not have that much time to grasp the reader’s attention. Condense the email to as short as it can be with all of the important information in the beginning of the email. That way, if the recipient of the email feels the need to scan the email instead of reading it entirely, they can get the important facts within the first couple of sentences.

Grammar Check

Okay, so now you know that slang is not okay when sending professional emails and you also know one way to make sure your emails are being read in the workplace. Now let’s discuss the actual content of your email. I kind of mentioned earlier the importance of grammar while sending emails but I also want to touch on that issue a little more. Say for instance you went to a food expert to ask about a specific food who is known to specialize in it and when you ask the expert, he does not know anything about the food not even the proper spelling of it. 

Wouldn’t you be upset that he can’t answer your questions? Well, what if you are a rep for Princeton Review and you are sending an email to potential clients about why you should use the Princeton Review products, but in your email, there are multiple grammar mistakes and unprofessional lingo throughout it? The potential clients will most likely laugh at the thought of using Princeton Review study materials because you yourself did not even use basic grammar. 

The potential clients might also lose respect for what you are marketing which hinders the company as a whole. Remember, you are a reflection of your employer, so the least you can do is make sure you look over emails (and even social media) for grammatical errors before sending them off. This small step can make a huge difference. 

I challenge you to follow these simple steps to crafting professional emails in the workplace! Keep your emails short and straight to the point. Do not use texting lingo and terms when sending an email. Lastly, check for all grammatical errors before pressing send. Trust me, you can save that Lol for when bae texts you.  

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