Responsible Digital Communication in the Workplace
Many employees today spend a large portion of the day sending and receiving emails, IMs, DMs, social media posts and text messages. However, it’s very easy to be tripped up by the rules of digital etiquette, especially when you take into account the huge volume of messages, we send every day.
Effective digital communication in the workplace requires attention to detail and professionalism — every time.
So, how to you manage digital communication in the workplace?
As always, we think it’s important to be clear about your expectations, communicate these and then manage accordingly. Here are our top tips for responsible digital communication in the workplace:
- Consider your audience
As the sender you must consider the nature of your relationship with the receiver and tailor your approach accordingly. Using emoji’s is usually fine with colleagues, not so much with the CEO of a key customer.
- Apply the ‘front page test’
Never include anything in an email that you wouldn’t be comfortable with being made public. The main reason for this is that it could be! Also, it’s easy to accidentally send an email to the wrong person. If the content is sensitive, a phone call or meeting may be more appropriate.
- Use formal emails when required
These days we often don’t need to post or attach a letter. However, if the matter you’re emailing about is important and requires documenting you should keep this in mind and write your email accordingly. In these situations, your message should read almost exactly like a letter would.
- Be on brand
You represent your company in all of your work communications. If you work for a lawyer or accountant there will be different parameters than for those working in a less formal environment. Your level of professionalism and formality should be consistent with the company brand and industry.
- Be careful with social media
Social media posts by nature usually reach a wider audience faster than emails or other forms of digital communication. Be aware of your privacy settings, who can view each post you make and how the post reflects on you.
- Keep the personal separate from the professional
Always bear in mind the line between personal and professional communications. If you are communicating from a work account, about work and/or during work hours – keep the entire message professional. If you have a personal relationship with the recipient, send a separate message (or use another platform like text or IM) to communicate about other matters such as your after-work plans.
- Understand the consequences
If the content of your digital communication breaches the Code of Conduct of your company in any way or is otherwise problematical, you should be aware that a disciplinary process may follow. Communications sent using company resources are not private. All messages should be written as if your manager has been CC’d.
Positive People have developed an interactive workshop covering Digital Communication in the Workplace. Contact us today via firstname.lastname@example.org or 09 445 1077 to talk about how this module can be tailored to suit the needs of your business.