Our propriety Communication Guidelines grid is consistently the highest rated and most often mentioned takeaway from our virtual professional speaking and group coaching sessions. We created the above example chart through discussions with multiple clients about the importance of having this information clearly defined.

With remote work we see an increase in unnecessary disruption with calls, texts, and messages throughout the day because people are unsure of the guidelines. When communication protocols are established and followed organization-wide, everyone is connected, more productive and confident when communicating.

Here are the questions to ask:

1. What are your company’s response time expectations? Some people think they must respond to emails right away, though their manager thinks 24 hours is sufficient. With clearly communicated response times, people can batch their email responses and focus on getting important work done.

2. What communication tool works best for this particular issue, question or decision? (Options include meetings, email, phone, Teams app post, or text.)

Use email to set up a meeting if a decision requires discussion, or to ask a simple question.

Need a quick turn around? Decide as a team how to reach each other to get a response within a few hours.

We also coach our clients to set “office hours” for a set time each day. For example, use from 3:30-4:30 pm as time blocked when people can reach out by phone or text for quick questions and short discussions.

3. What email naming standards help your employees triage emails faster? When you include the timing of the response that’s needed, everyone knows how to prioritize. Some favorites are “Response needed by (Insert day and time)” or Urgent, or FYI (which means no response needed at all – not even “Thanks”).

By determining the urgency (Emergency, Urgent, Important Non-Urgent), response time, appropriate communication tool and naming standard you’ll have big improvements in communication.

Learn more details at this article on our Resources page Effective Business Communication Techniques

 

 

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