When it comes to programs on corporate team building in India, we pride ourselves in keeping people engagement throughout the day… but this becomes extremely impractical when they want a short, 2-hour or even 1-day workshop on Email Writing! Changing your written communication is the most tedious of all the skills! Especially because it requires a lot of time and effort from the managers or other mentors – who need to check multiple emails and give feedback.
If you really want to improve your team’s email writing, you’ll need to do the following:
- Ensure that you are, in fact, good at email writing yourself. Just because a person is “HR” doesn’t mean they’re qualified to check and offer corrections.
- You must be good at giving “constructive feedback” to your team members. In our training programs and interactions with people, we often see managers giving feedback like “they know it all” and it becomes condescending. If you are new or disliked or if the environment is politically charged, you should refrain from correcting some people, lest they try to sabotage you in other ways. So you need to be careful about when/if to give feedback
- It’s extremely important to get their “buy-in” – otherwise you’ll REALLY get on their nerves without even knowing it. This cannot be emphasised enough, because if the team isn’t fully committed, then you’ll be the bad guy who’s coming in their way of meeting their deadlines, or you may become the person responsible for their angry spouse, who doesn’t like them taking their work home! Getting their buy-in does NOT mean that they say, “yes we want this.” That is not enough. They need to really, genuinely show their interest in self-improvement. You need to keep emphasising how this skill will help them in other areas of their life as well.
Assuming you’ve managed the 3 things above, you can use the following simple pointers to establish a clear rating mechanism for each individual, and track this rating every 2 weeks to help them progress. This is a checklist we’ve developed to giving comprehensive, yet simple feedback to people on their written communication.
- Concise/to the point, doesn’t write more than is necessary
- Sends an email only when necessary; marks the CC/BCC only when necessary
- Tone and etiquette is okay (this includes the use of “!” or “:)” which may be sarcastic
- English is proper (language, grammar, spelling, etc.)
- Writes in a way that is easy to read, and is visually appealing
Put the above in a column on the left side. Put “baseline score” on the column next to it on the right. Now, based on the way they write currently (i.e., before you begin any sort of training on written communication), mark them on a scale of 1 to 10 on each of the above. You can even modify the above 5 points to include your own or make a new one that says “comments” if you’d like to write details.
Make a 3rd column called “1st score” or whatever (where you’ll rate them again after 10-14 days), 4th column called “2nd score (again, you rate them after an additional couple of weeks),” and 5th column called “3rd score” (same as above). That’s all.
Of course, if you don’t know HOW to train people on writing more effectively, then you’ll need outside help! Or stay posted… we’ll put something here on a few things you could do to train people on written communication.
(We offer programs on corporate team building in India. For more details, Visit “for companies.”)