E-mail Norms for PPS Staff

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Please keep in mind the following Axioms when communicating via e-mail at PPS:

Avoid email wars

If you receive an email that makes you angry, do not counterattack.  If you sense an “email war” beginning, break the chain and call the person.


Be more polite than when you speak

Email is often misunderstood.  Don’t take chances. Be extra polite in email.


Use proper grammar and spelling


Write every email to be seen by your boss and/or or the public.

Email is not private, and cannot be made so.



Do not CC unless absolutely necessary. It generates a storm of multiplying, unwanted messages. If you constantly CC your recipient’s supervisor, you will annoy the supervisor and alienate the recipient.  If you commonly CC many people, all staff, etc, you are a menace to navigation.


When you’re out of the office, set up an automatic response that lets people know you aren’t responding to your email

The speed of emails has created an expectation of immediate response. When people don’t hear back, they may feel ignored or snubbed.


Do not use your work email for non-work activities. 

This will decrease your SPAM. Especially when visiting commercial web sites, do not enter your work email address. 


Email and Leadership, dos and don’ts:


Do use email for:

  • scheduling,
  • question and answer (simple information only.)
  • updates (simple information only)
  • routine administrative communication


Do not use email for:

  • Delegation
  • Discipline
  • Complex information or instructions
  • Coaching or Feedback
  • Private or sensitive communication
  • Negative messages