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How Shall I Address my Email?

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 8 Sep 2010 | comments*Discuss
Workplace Etiquette Email Behaviour

Q.How do you address an email to fellow colleagues(12 ) who work under you, telling them to adhere to workplace etiquette?

(Mr James Shannon, 24 September 2008)


When you’re sending an e-mail to a group of fellow colleagues about the type of things you expect with regard to conduct or behaviour at work or issues relating to workplace etiquette, it’s important to remember to practice etiquette yourself. Here, the important thing to remember is that many of your colleagues might already be adopting good practice when it comes to etiquette so they will not take kindly if your tone comes across as accusatory. Therefore, a suitable title in the subject line might be ‘A gentle reminder about workplace etiquette’.

You should include each of their e-mail addresses in the ‘to’ box not the cc box and definitely not the bcc box because if each employee has no record of other members of the team being sent the e-mail, they may feel that they are being singled out. The salutation you use will depend on your familiarity at work. ‘Dear All’ or ‘To the team’ are both perfectly acceptable in most cases.

You should begin your e-mail by telling them that you wish to draw their attention to your company’s workplace etiquette and the standards the company expects. If you have not encountered any issues with them regarding etiquette, you can simply say something along the lines of “I’d like to thank you for all of your efforts with regard to your expected conduct and behaviour in the workplace but just to recap, here is a short list of what the company expects.” Then you can go on to bullet point the relevant expectations.

On the other hand, if you’ve had problems with this aspect of your colleagues’ performance, it is perfectly acceptable to begin with something like, “There have been a few problems recently with regards to X (i.e. the behaviour in question). Therefore, I am sending you all a brief list which outlines what is expected of you with regards to your conduct in the workplace. Then follow that with your list of bullet points. Keep it brief and then end the e-mail by saying that if anybody has any questions to come to speak with you personally.

Although e-mail is a far more instantaneous form of communication, think first before you send an e-mail about this because if, for example, it’s only one or two members who are flaunting the rules surrounding workplace etiquette, it will always be better to speak to them in private. This is because if most of your colleagues are adhering to the rules, then to receive an e-mail ‘reminding’ them of what’s expected might be demoralising to those who have been putting the effort in to comply.

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Not a comment but a question. Should I address missing hours from my check in front of co-workers? Thank you.
Nathanial - 31-Jan-12 @ 4:08 AM
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