Clear and coherent communication is at the top of the priorities list for HR managers. With email being one of the most common forms of communication, you want to make sure that your emails are doing a good job.
How you write the email content and how you convey the message influence how employees will respond to information.
Simply put, your emails can take you on two paths. One is improved internal communication, higher employee engagement, and a streamlined recruiting process. The other path, paved with poorly written emails, leads to misunderstandings, potential conflicts, and lack of authority.
Yes, written communication has that much power. Now you'll understand the importance of improving your email writing skills.
Let's get straight to useful practices for improving HR email communication.
Write Email Subject Lines that Stand Out
With 60% of employees ignoring work emails, you need an exceptional subject line to get their attention.
Keep in mind that many employees skim through the emails in their inboxes. A generic or unclear subject line can easily be overlooked.
As the piece of text that plays such a crucial role in your email open rate, the subject line needs to be cleverly composed.
"What kind of subject lines perform best with employees?" – a question that must've popped in your mind. So, let's answer it.
Here are a few characteristics of an effective HR email subject lines:
Overall, you want to specify what the email is about. "New information about Christmas charity" won't be as tempting to open as "Date change for the Christmas charity."
When employees know what to expect, they won't dismiss the email as an irrelevant HR outreach.
Now, this is a tip you want to carve in your memory deeply. Why? Because there's nothing less appealing than receiving an essay-long HR email.
Brevity is imperative when it comes to HR emails. Show consideration for employees' busy schedules and an endless list of responsibilities. Your effort to state what you have in as few words as possible will be rewarded with efficient internal communication.
However, the key is to write concisely without sacrificing clarity. Don't leave out important details. In this way, you will only make the employees lose time asking for more information.
To find the balance between clarity and brevity, you should think about what matters to email recipients. While you organize the ideas you want to share in the email, learn how to segment necessities from unnecessary information.
Another useful tip for achieving conciseness is being direct and avoiding fluff. Don't prolong the email with irrelevant introductions or empty talk. Get straight to the point, state what needs to be said, and let that be the end.
Make the Emails Readable and Skimmable
The structure of an email immensely affects its readability and comprehension. How you form the email content can help employees read your emails faster.
What's more, a skimmable structure allows employees to find relevant details in the email within seconds. A simple glance at the content will help them spot what they've been looking for.
If you wish to know how to make your emails readable and skimmable, consider these tips:
- Segment your ideas in paragraphs
- Make the paragraphs short
- Separate paragraphs with spaces
- Use bolded text to emphasize key information
- Use bullet points and numbering for steps, tips, guides, and so on.
Well-structured email is less time-consuming and more engaging. These are the qualities that effective HR emails must-have.
Tailor Your Writing Style and Tone
Boost your email's engagement with the right style and tone of writing. How you express yourself matters.
So, what kind of writing will resonate with the employees best? That's what we are about to uncover.
Follow these guidelines for making your writing HR-appropriate and employee-friendly:
- Write respectfully but not too formally
- Use everyday language
- Be polite (use "please," "thank you," "have a nice day," etc.)
- Ask, don't order (e.g., "Could you please send a response today" instead of "Respond to this email today")
- Avoid humor
- Avoid slang and idioms
- Be careful with emoticons (if your company culture support it, use them sparingly)
Writing respectfully will make your emails more pleasant to read. A little dose of politeness can go a long way.
If you can't seem to find the right style or if you are unsure of the quality of your writing, ask for help. You can hire a writing and editing service to give you some suggestions. Experienced writing service Ultius is no stranger to these types of requests. Professionals like them can quickly assess your writing and provide you with pointers for improvement.
Stick to One Email, One Topic Approach
Discussing more than one topic per email can be overwhelming. Not to mention that emails with jumbled topics will make finding key information much harder for employees.
When you are initiating a correspondence, try to stick to one email, one topic approach.
Writing about new health regulations and initiation for a more diversified workplace within a single email can turn into a mess. So, try not to mix and match if you don't have to.
Revise and Proofread
You are bound to make mistakes in writing. Everyone does. But there is no excuse for not editing those mistakes. Therefore, the final and unavoidable step is proofreading.
Reread your emails to make sure that they are error-free. Even if you use proofreading tools, you should always give the email one last look.
Keep in mind that editing software can't read your mind. They won't be able to spot if you expressed yourself improperly. That's why reading the email is still a must.
Also, when you read the email once again, you can notice the weak parts and improve them. Whenever you spot a segment that lacks clarity, make some changes.
Rewriting a sentence or deleting something won't take even a minute of your time. But it will make a difference in the final result.
Effective communication demands some effort. But is it worth it? Absolutely yes.
Considering how many emails you get to send and respond to daily, perfecting written communication skills is a clever idea.
Hopefully, these tips will give you some guidance on what it takes to write great HR emails.
About the Author: Jessica Fender is a professional writer and educational blogger. Jessica enjoys sharing her ideas to make writing and learning fun.