Disorganized email inboxes make some form of professional miscommunication an inevitability. While some mistakes can be overlooked, other situations leave no room for errors. Email response times increase, projects get delayed, and you could owe money if Service Level Agreement (SLA) goals go unmet.
Employers emphasize that solutions to these email communication problems must be clearly communicated to all team members as standardized procedures before delving into larger projects. But first, you must be able to identify email communication problems before your team can solve them. Here’s how.
Ineffective Email Communication in Virtual Environments
In a virtual environment, where team members can’t simply walk over to a coworker’s desk and ask them questions, email communication problems can often be more challenging. The virtual environment often relies on email as the main channel of communication. When employees use email ineffectively, it causes inboxes to become disorganized, and directly—and negatively— affects productivity.
How To Prevent Email Communication Problems
Email is a great means of communication when used for appropriate purposes and organized properly. It’s important to identify the answers to the following questions:
- What types of messages are best suited for email?
- How can your team best organize their email inboxes?
One factor that can amplify email communication problems is selecting the wrong channel for messages. If your message requires an immediate response, use a channel like Slack or Google Groups instead of email.
Another layer of complication occurs when messages are not categorized via filters, labels, or tags. Therefore, to prevent email communication problems you will need to take a step back and evaluate the efficacy of your team's overall communication style.
Evaluate the information in your email to determine if it might benefit from native Gmail or other software features. Consider the following:
- Does this information need to be seen by one person or multiple people?
Use a distribution list or a shared inbox for multiple recipients.
- Will this email need to be grouped with other messages containing similar information?
If the answer is yes, create a label to assign a category for all the information in question. This makes it easier to find all related documents.
- Will this email be sent only once, or will you reuse it multiple times?
If the email needs to be sent multiple times with few changes, make it a template!
Once all your information is organized it’s time to get the team together and inform them of the changes. Let them know what types of communication will use email and where to find all the necessary information. If you make it easier for your team members to find information, they will be equipped to respond quickly to emails in a more clear and effective manner.
Ineffective Email Uses
Companies that have employees with disorganized inboxes will likely suffer from email communication problems, such as delayed response times, lack of clarity, and missed sales opportunities lost in the tide of messages that regularly overcrowds inboxes.
- Using email for all forms of communication
While using email is not effective for every type of communication, the reverse—avoiding all email use—is also ineffective. In addition, some simple changes in daily work habits can improve team communication exponentially. In short, avoid:
- Keeping all conversations in one inbox
- Sending the same email individually to multiple people
- Organizing each inbox the same way
Since each inbox has a different intended purpose, it may be ineffective to organize each inbox the same way. Using Gmelius can help you and your team avoid email communication problems. You can request a demo, or our own team of experts can walk you through the available features, integrations, and analytics to select the best configuration to meet your team’s needs. Our goal is to create a seamless virtual workplace—from within your existing Gmail accounts—that you can use to exceed expectations daily.
If your team suffers from email communication problems, check out the variety of features and integrations Gmelius can offer! Learn how Gmelius is built to improve team communication and collaboration. Ready to get started? Sign up today!