Thursday, June 24, 2010

Unprofessionalism in Business Writing

It's interesting, I've never been willing to let myself write anything negative or non progress oriented. For once, I feel that I just have to call a group of people out at once. I'd like to call out any boss, advisor, leader or program coordinator that has written an e-mail to their employees and volunteers.

This week I have received two ill-written e-mails from "leaders" (a boss and a program coordinator). One was composed of rants; she swore and kicked everyone down. The other was written with a list of wrong doings. Neither praised us workers and volunteers for the positive we have done. Although I sit here and try to tell myself that none of their complaints apply to me (as I do believe), I know that most others are reading the complaints and thinking the same thing.

Now, to the real point. There is a way to write business e-mails and a way not to write business e-mails. As a volunteer, I do not prize friendly relations with student program coordinators over professionalism; and this applies to how to address one in an e-mail. As an employee, in no circumstance does one have the right to swear; regardless if, as a manager, you are only 3 or 4 years older.

When writing an e-mail that encompasses several issues to be addressed, NEVER ever acknowledge the problems in the first sentence or first part of the e-mail. As it should go, it's a "bad news sandwich;" good news/intro, bad news, closing positive remarks. If you're close to those you are e-mailing it's still good to have this structure because you are their BOSS. Most people understand that your are boss and friend in separate places.

Due to the lists I've received in the two e-mails, there is less to look forward to for me when I go to work or volunteer. I, nor were others, commended for what they have done and are doing. Volunteering is great and provides a large number of reasons to thank those to whom you address the issues. Employees aren't volunteering, but in many cases are trying their hardest - so if there are certain people that you know are not included in your comments DO NOT E-MAIL THEM. This will most likely put a damper on your most positive workers while addressing those whom can improve most.

I often wonder what goes through people's heads because these aren't things that are so out-of-this world crazy that it should be new. Many bosses understand the concept of morale and positivity in the work place. Sadly, many bosses lack the simple ability to address issues that it brings down the whole team rather than just teaching (not reprimanding) those that can improve.