One of the most widely used forms of communication in the business realm is email. Employees need to realize that even through impersonal communication such as emails, that the employee is representing the company. For businesses to strive, employees need to create working relationships with both customers and vendors by various sorts of communication in a professional voice.
To me, a professional voice is not only about proper formatting and etiquette, although that does play a role. It is much deeper than that. The professional voice is the working relationship which after time deepens the credibility of the writer. However, it is important to realize the fine line between being professional or conventional, and being too professional. Writing in an overly professional manner is portrayed as stuffy and difficult to read.
It is important to note that being too professional has its drawbacks. The writer loses his own personal touch and moreover just becomes a utility. This limits the feedback that can come associated with as the writer may not be perceived as approachable or unwilling to accept feedback. Another major problem I foresee with being overly professional is he or her communication abilities may be hindered as the receiver may not understand the message with the stuffy writing.
There are several advantages for conducting yourself in a professional manner. One of the major advantages is the ability to retain customers. This is huge in certain industries. For example, in the insurance industry, a businessman might renew his policy each year with the same provider after growing a relationship with the sales person. Another advantage of acting in a professional manner is it perceives competence, reliability, and integrity. These itself has several benefits for the individual and the company. If the employee is perceived as a good worker, this may provide a promotion and this is good for the company because in a sense, the individual is representative of the company.
As noted earlier, formatting and etiquette do play a role in professionalism. Knowing how to properly format a document helps validate the information. In emailing, it is important to add an appropriate subject in the subject line and send it to only the individuals it needs to be sent to. Next, add a warm yet professional greedy. The best way is to personalize the greeting by adding in a name of the recipient instead of a generic title. After, write the text with proper style and syntax. This means not using words “fancy” words you are unsure of and keep the information simple and direct. Then, close with a warm closing and signature which tells the audience where the email came from and how they can get in touch with you need it be. The most important and final step is to proofread before sending the email. Simple mistakes could have devastating effects and diminish the credibility of the author. Make sure also if an attachment is meant to be attached, that the appropriate attachment is actually the one attached.
Nicholas Palsis is a senior at the University of South Florida studying accounting.