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All right, bosses. Listen up. I'm about to share with you my six tips for supervisors and managers. Following my advice can help make you a better boss, give you happier employees, and reduce stress in the office. You ready? Number one, manage from beyond your Inbox. As tempting and time-efficient as it may be, avoid managing from your Inbox-- that is, firing off e-mails rather than giving face time to your staff. Many employees resent this behavior, and you miss out on valuable feedback from face-to-face or telephone-based conversations.
Remember that e-mail can only convey words, and someone's expressions and inflections are much more valuable for interpreting what they're saying. Number two, avoid discipline. While it may be tempting to fire back a quick retort to an employee who just broke the rules, resist your urge. Your employee will likely sit fuming at your message for the rest of the day, and your message will not be as well received as a face-to-face discussion. Number three, use e-mail to follow-up.
E-mail can be a great tool to document a verbal discussion you've just had with an employee, especially for disciplinary purposes. After telling your employee what they need to improve, follow it up with an e-mail that outlines your discussion and expectations. You'll have it in writing, and they'll have it as a reminder. Number four, be to the point. E-mail should always be brief and to the point, avoiding sarcasm and leaving little room for interpretation. If you need something done, just say it. If your message is too complicated to express over an e-mail, don't even try. Number five, carbon-copy others on successes.
People love recognition. So when a member of your team does something right, tell everyone. Draft the message with your star as the recipient and everyone else as the Cc. What's even better? Putting your boss in the Cc as well. That's a digital pat on the back that would be sure to make their day. Number six, review important memos in person. We're all too quick to send out a memo to the staff via e-mail and assume that they're going to read it. Let's not make that mistake with e-mail.
After all, do you read every single e-mail that you get? Probably not. Whenever you send out important news via e-mail, make sure you follow up at your next face-to-face meeting, and make sure they got the message. It's also a good time to ask for feedback or quiz them. And you might even give a small reward to those who actually read your memo. You've reached the end of chapter 7, miscellaneous tips that span throughout all of Outlook. So what's left? The joy of customization. In chapter 8, I'll discuss ways to tweak Outlook's interface to make your life a little easier.
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