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Drawing boundaries for internal emails

In most cases, you and your employees have an understanding of what is appropriate when you email a customer or client. Depending on the type of business, it may be formal, or, at least a smart casual.

When it comes time to email people within the company, it may be a different story. Although some people may appreciate emojis and humor, others may prefer more formal communication, even when it is amongst peers.

This is what you should consider when creating expectations for internal emails.

Intent is difficult

It can be challenging to figure out someone’s intent in written communication. The same sentence can have several distinct meanings depending on the mood someone brings to the conversation.

Some employees may try to overplay the positive with emojis and excessive punctuation. While you may read this as being overly casual, your employee may intend it as being friendly.

If you change your policy to make emails more formal, try to leave ways for employees to communicate with each other; especially positively. An email with emojis and six exclamation points may seem casual, but it might be what helps others in the office feel more optimistic about their work life.

Following in your footsteps

No matter what your policy says for internal emails, keep in mind, your employees will still look at your example. In most cases, they will assume their emails should be slightly less formal than yours.

If you have certain expectations for internal emails, make sure they are clear, and your employees know what they are. If, for example, you do not want people using emojis in emails, make the rule clear, and enforce it as evenly as possible.

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