Dear 3040 and Beyond:
Help! I’m in big trouble at work. I just graduated from college and I’m leading a really big project. I want to impress my boss, but he says my emails confuse everyone and that I’m basically doing everything wrong. I was afraid to ask what that means. I have to send out lots of complex information to the people on the project every week, so I can’t help writing so much! Do you have any advice about how to write a great email?
New and Confused
Dear New and Confused,
Though hearing criticism from your boss may seem discouraging, I can assure you that your poor fortune can easily take a turn for the better. It is extremely important to make a respectable impression amongst your colleagues especially upon entering a new job as a millennial. To begin the task of creating a creditable reputation in your company I advise that you focus on improving your communication within your emails. Nowadays, it is difficult to effectively communicate your point while accommodating the relationships amid your co-workers yet this is of upmost importance. Do not be intimidated; with a few simple steps you can eliminate confusion and complexity from your workplace emails.
According to a post published by the Radicati Group, young adults receive and send dozens to hundreds of emails each and every day, creating a massive amount of chaos. When I wake up in the morning I tend to “take care” of my emails by deleting anything that does not stand out as important. This is a perfect illustration of why a proper subject is necessary. The last thing you would want is for your qualified email to go unnoticed, especially if there is vital information included in further details. A subject should include the main title of a project or event and your name. Keep this line short and clear so that even amongst a quick scan through various emails, it is easy to understand what the body of the email will entail.
After your target receiver opens your email you must make sure the content is precise and to the point. Reading multiple emails can be tasking to say the least; you do not want your reader to get bored before you reveal your ultimate point. A study by Sendmail discovered that around 64% of people who receive an email found the information confusing. This was said to increase anger and confusion; both of which you may be experiencing after sending your emails. I remember you expressing that your coworkers were overwhelmed with the complex information you were sharing. In order to eliminate this overall confusion you must make sure the most important information is addressed early on. It is also imperative that the sentence structure is short and that long block paragraphs are avoided. In general, the clearer and quicker your information is produced, the less hostility you will face.
Tailor to Your Audience
Possibly more important than the organization and structure is tailoring to your audience. Writing to your significant other, collogues, or your boss are all drastically different and each require proper tone and professionalism. I advise you to always look over your recipients before sending your final product to your entire company. You stated that you wish to impress your boss so in order to make a favorable impression you must take into consideration his or her core values, position, and competence.
Though concluding your email may be the least of your worries I encourage you to lend consideration to how you wrap up the body of your message. Since people are constantly unloading emails throughout the day, they often decide to reply or not based on the lull in their schedule. Affirming a date you desire to receive a response will once again resolve any confusion that may be conveyed.
Forbes specified that many “bad” emails float around our servers all too often. Hopefully some of my advice will aid you in avoiding falling victim to an elaborate email that provokes both confusion and anger. I wish you the best of luck as you continue your main project.