In any business or industry, communication is the key to success, in the HR department especially. The primary form of communication in most HR departments is email, whether that’s reporting to managers, chatting between the members of the team or contacting staff in other departments or job-seekers in the outside world.
However, have you ever considered how improving your email communication skills could dramatically enhance the productivity rates, production and streamline the overall workflow of your department? If not, here are eight key tips to consider:
1. Master the Subject Line
When it comes to the subject line of your email, this is the most important aspect to consider. Not only will it define whether or not your recipient will open the email, but it will also help them to focus on what your email is about and therefore can answer it with precision.
Try to be as concise as possible with your email subject lines so your message doesn’t get lost in an overflowing inbox.
2. Precise but Not Blunt
Of course, the style and tone of voice of your emails will solely depend on the recipient of each email, but as a rule of thumb, you’ll want to make sure that you’re precise in every message you send.
This means making sure that your emails are short and straight to the point, which you can check using tools like Easy Word Count because there’s no reason to beat around the bush. However, that doesn’t mean you need to be blunt and informal.
3. Be Relevant
When you’re writing your emails, you may use it to keep people updated with information, perhaps about a vacancy that you’re currently trying to fulfill. However, instead of providing regular updates, it’s far more beneficial and time-effective to only email when you need to.
Only send emails when you absolutely have to, and if you have no recent or important updates to offer, it’s best not to send an email at all.
4. Don’t Avoid Bad News
When it comes to sending bad news in an email, such as an employee leaving, something you have to escalate to your manager or telling an applicant they haven’t received the job, it can be difficult to formulate these into words and therefore can cloud the severity of the message.
If you’ve got bad news to include in your emails, be straight forward and concise about it, making sure that you include all the relevant information that can help to resolve the problem.
5. Respond Quickly
Although not directly related to the actual writing process of your emails, it’s always best to respond to your emails as quickly as you can since the HR department can move very quickly.
“However, it’s important to remember not to get bogged down in your emails so much so that it affects the rest of your work. Perhaps set yourself timers to check your emails once every two hours to ensure you never miss anything important” explains Joseph Jenkins, an HR Manager at Academized and Huffingtonpost writer.
6. Read Through Before Sending
For many of us, it’s force of habit to tap out an email quickly and then click send but how many times do you actually take the time to read through your message to ensure that it’s precise?
If you’re not checking your emails, not only could the message itself be wrong, but any facts and figures you’ve included could also be wrong which, in turn, could cause tremendous problems down the line. Don’t forget to format your emails so they are easy to read.
7. Accurate Emails are Key
When you’re writing your emails, if you get anything wrong, make a mistake, or it’s full of typos, you’re maximising the risk for miscommunication and misunderstanding which guarantees to cause problems later down the line.
However, using these online tools and resources, you can improve your writing and proofreading skills to ensure each email is perfect every time:
- Via Writing – A blog full of editing and writing guides to help you improve your email writing skills.
- Grammarix – An online grammar checking tool to ensure your grammar is perfect before sending.
8. Don’t Stick with Emails
While emails exist, it’s important to remember that this isn’t the only form of communication you have, and some other channels may be better suited for the message you’re trying to send.
For example, emailing someone about a job opportunity may be far more beneficial to hold the conversation over the phone. If you’re talking about lots of little details, perhaps an instant message app would be better and more effective for getting the message across.
As you can see, there are many ways in which you can improve the communication skills of your HR department. By improving your levels of communication, you can dramatically improve the efficiency and success rates of your department, taking your business to a whole new level.
By Freddie Tubbs