Last Updated Mar 4, 2010 10:53 AM EST
We all know inefficient email correspondence sucks up productivity inside companies. Just think of the last time you lost minutes off your life scrolling down a lengthy email chain forwarded to your attention with the stupid request, "What do you think?"
Email is such a powerful tool for both bad and good, that Schrage believes it should be part of your job performance evaluation.
"Insist that colleagues and subordinates better evaluate their email so that you may better evaluate their performance. There are few better proxies for assessing how well individuals are communicating, on task and on target, than the digital missives they send in order to get their work done."In his post To Improve Performance, Audit Your Employees' Emails, Schrage outlines this potential procedure.
- Ask your reports to produce three email exchanges "that demonstrate how well they've used the medium to manage successful outcomes."
- Be harsh on emails that simply attach a report without providing some covering perspective and take-aways. This is transportation, not communication, says Schrage.
- Look for managers who comment on a previous emails without offering their own ideas and solutions.
"Culling their email correspondence is a wonderful way for individuals to remember and reconnect with what they think works and what doesn't," Schrage writes. "Your ability to weigh their self-assessed success with your own experiences gives this simple technique particular power."To make this process even more valuable, a company should cull "best practices" from the most successful email writers.
What do you think of this idea? Could you find three great email exchanges to your boss for review?
Better yet, what criteria would you use to judge good from bad email writing?