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Email is not effective for delegation and follow up?

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  • Email is not effective for delegation and follow up?

    I'm a sales manager. I have a team of 30 people (4 direct). My Waiting For list is full of items that I check weekly and write followup emails. I just got that there're lots of emails (70%) that I keep sending and get no responce. Does it mean email is not effective for delegating and followup? Should I do more one-on-ones instead? Please HELP!

  • #2
    You have to set clear expectations for individuals: "On August 12th, I sent you a request.... You have not responded. This is not acceptable."

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    • #3
      It's just a tool. And it is effective.

      Originally posted by Timurtimur View Post
      Does it mean email is not effective for delegating and followup?
      It's just a tool. And it is effective. It is unprofessional to ignore e-mails from one's boss. I think you should make it clear. Don't tolerate such behaviors in your team.

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      • #4
        Not answering email is unprofessional from anyone, IMO!

        Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
        It's just a tool. And it is effective. It is unprofessional to ignore e-mails from one's boss. I think you should make it clear. Don't tolerate such behaviors in your team.
        I would extend this to include anyone you work with. I think it is very unprofessional and just plain rude to just let an email drop. At the very least you should reply with something like "Sorry, I don't foresee having the time to get to that in the near future", or "This is not really my area, please refer the matter to xxxx". I look at an unanswered email as a big festering open loop that needs to be processed and closed.

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        • #5
          Don't forget to track e-mails for which you're awaiting a response

          Keep a copy of all sent delegating e-mails in an e-mail folder called @Waiting For. It will save you a ton of grief in tracking who has the ball on something. Depending on the e-mail system you're using, you can also create a "rule" or "filter" to do this automatically for you when you add a key string like *wf* in the body of your e-mail somewhere.

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          • #6
            I do keep but the amount of WF drives me crazy...

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            • #7
              It drives me crazy, too, having to be everyone's mother. But it's the only way to make sure that you get what you need from everyone.

              I attach my first outgoing message to an Outlook task, set a reasonable date in the @Waiting For folder, and wait. When the time's up, I forward my original message to the original recipient with a "Do you have any information for me on the attached?" note. That way, he sees the date/time-stamped version of my original request. Repeat as necessary. My record was 9 layers of messages. In that particular case, I just gave up, as it was clear that he was not going to respond.

              Joe

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              • #8
                Not every single e-mail requires that you track it in @Waiting For; it's only necessary if you *really* care about getting a response or the execution of your work depends on it. Even then, if the list is huge, don't let it drive you crazy. Be thankful that your brain isn't tasked with tracking that huge list!

                I have one extra tip to offer Outlook users. You can flag e-mails for follow up and set a time-specific reminder. Look for the red flag button on the toolbar. You don't need to duplicate the reminder in your @Waiting For task list.

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