e-communication Protocols For Startups


One factor that allows companies to function effectively is the availability of numerous and varied communication technologies. However, although these technologies provide the opportunity to transfer increased amounts of information, they do not necessarily improve communication effectiveness.

In order to facilitate two-way communication and make the most effective use of technology, many companies establish communication protocols. When using e-mail, for example, they may agree to a no-scrolling rule (the message should be short enough to fit on one screen so that they do not require scrolling) or to check e-mail at certain intervals during the workday. Here are examples of e – mail and voice mail protocols, which I have found to be beneficial at work place.

E – Mail Protocol For Startups

We will clearly identify the subject of the message in the subject line.

All e – mail messages will be short (no scrolling required) and to the point.

E – mail will not be used for philosophical debates.

All distribution lists will be kept current.

E – mail will not be used for urgent messages.

We accept responsibility for a personal delivery (face-to-face or voice-to-voice) of any urgent message.

To enable message prioritization, we will code the top of each message with either ? requires action? or ? for your information (FYI). ?

We will sign all messages.

We agree that e – mail is a supplement to, not a substitute for, personal interaction.

We will not spam.

We will treat people electronically the same way we would in person.

Instead of copying long quotes from others, we will briefly summarize them and add attachments, if necessary.

Voice Mail Protocol For Startups

We do not leave messages longer than ten seconds.

We check our voice mail at least once a day.

We use the ? urgent ? code only when a message is truly urgent.

We limit the use of the ? group send ? option. We use it only when a message is relevant to all members.

When forwarding messages, we will leave an explanatory message so the individual knows why the message is being sent.

We take accountability to follow up voice mail messages with written documentation when necessary.

We never use voice mail to leave emotionally charged messages. We wait to talk with the person directly (phone or in person) so the problem or issue can be jointly resolved.

Must Read:?Why Shared Offices Make Good Sense?

The use of technology protocols also allows team members to acknowledge and incorporate technology preferences into the way they work (for example, John prefers e – mails, while Jenny prefers instant messaging).

By using these protocols, teams can align expectations around potentially disruptive communication concerns like:

Why do some people reply more quickly to e-mails than others do

Why do some people answer e- mails on weekends while others will not?

With a technology-enabled social system, these agreements may also help people avoid stress related illnesses and productivity problems by ensuring more effective work/home life balance.

Jappreet Sethi

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