Email etiquette and overload – careless emails are expensive

Monday November 7th, 2011, 3:05 pm

Old BaileyEmail overload and poor email etiquette often lead us to send emails in haste wich can have dire consequences.  Careless emails often costs businesess (and the sender) thousands of pounds in lost business and jobs as Jonathan Moules poined out in last week’s Weekend FT.  He cited the case of an employee who accidentally copied in a client on an email which permanently damaged the relationship.

As always such cases are never clear cut and much depends on whether or not you can prove that the employee has read, understood and is contractually bound by your Computer Acceptable Usage Policy (AUP) and your disaplinary processes.

Forwarding emails which wreak havoc are one of the most common mistakes we see when talking to clients.  Email overload is often to blame as we reply in haste without thinking through and reviewing the content  properly.

This week’s tips focus on some ways to try to reduce the risk of this costly mistake happening either in your business or to you as the employee.  There are two clear over riding principles to follow.

  1. As employer check your AUP to make sure it’s up-to-date and that you have adequate legal evidence that employee’s have contracted into it.  To assess the vulnerability of your AUP use our our checklist which cn be downloaded free at the Mesmo Consultancy Knowledge Exchange.
  2. As employee, think before hitting send.  Review your email carefully.  If it’s a chain check for previous entries which should be deleted before sending/forwarding the email.


For more time saving tips and hints why not buy a copy of one of our books or let us run a Smart Email Management workshop for you and your colleagues.
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