Email has been around for years, and the proliferation of smartphones and other mobile devices has made its use even more common in business settings. It is surprising how few people understand that emails are just like other incriminating documents – unlike face-to-face and phone conversations, the written conversations can lead to complications for a company and often end up serving as evidence in legal battles.
Amazingly, managers and other professionals still say things they should not, and some do not take the time to cool off before responding to a hotly worded email with poorly chosen phrases of their own.
Human resource managers can help minimize the damage by initiating an email training program that offers a few best practices for electronic correspondence. Also ask supervisors to make it a habit of having meetings when possible, rather than using email to avoid an in-person meeting.
Use the fact that more communications are done in written formats to your advantage. Document electronic correspondence in your human resource management system for later reference. Having the written record will make recreating the progression of events much easier if a legal complaint arises later.
Does your company include email and electronic correspondence in the list of managerial training topics?