THE USE OF e-mail is central to most business operations and LKSs are no exception. It is one of the quickest and easiest methods of communicating with colleagues and users. The language used and the way that e-mails are written and managed can have a huge impact on the recipient. Many organizations have an e-mail acceptable use policy, which is likely to outline how e-mail should be used and whether there are any restrictions on employees, for example, whether they can use work e-mail for personal use. As a supervisor or manager, you need to have a good understanding of your organization's email policy so that you can direct your staff to these documents if there are any issues with the way they use it. However, a policy will not outline how you use e-mail within your LKS and, to a large extent, how you use it to communicate with your employees and direct reports will set the tone for your service.
Your employees will use e-mail to communicate with each other, colleagues throughout the organization, LKS staff outside your service and crucially with your users; it will be an integral part of their working lives. E-mail may be used in one-to-one conversations, including a select group of people or on a distribution list where many of the recipients are not known to the sender.
However, just because e-mail is quick and easy to use, Morgan (2013) states that it can become a source of misery for staff. We are all too familiar with the overloaded inbox or wading our way through a long thread within a forwarded message to try and find the crux of the conversation. Also, the immediacy of email has changed our expectations about turnaround and the e-mail inbox can soon become a pressured environment. Morgan (2013) suggests that we are prone to overuse e-mail, which can have a negative impact on the way our employees see us and the way we see them. Sometimes we should just talk to each other rather than e-mailing colleagues sitting two feet away from us.