Effective Leader Communications – email

A client recently sent out this email to all staff at the medical clinic she owns. It’s a very effective email, because it does some key things right:

Hello TEAM,
I know you have been over next door checking on the progress and eagerly anticipating the move [to a larger facility], but you must have been in your own office a bit lately because the patient numbers have ballooned out of control. Drum roll PLEASE, as of 4/24/08 we have scheduled and seen a total of [nnn] patients—with still one week left to schedule patients. Now, anything that I could say would be a great understatement at this point. We have double and triple scheduled our rooms, comp’ed massages because there was no room to do them in, and ended up doing more postural analysis to compensate. All I can say is that all my patients are now well schooled in Princess Posture and that they are all hoping that we move next door very soon. To be sure, we are all hoping the same.

New developments so far: We have hired Dr. B___. She is a chiropractic physician who specializes in women and children’s chiropractic health care. She owns a $12,000 cold laser that she will be bringing to our clinic, which on its own will bring interest and new patients to the clinic. She is a skilled marketer and will add a lot to our current marketing plan. She is training for a marathon right now, but she says that not even that can prepare her for the pace WE are running. She will have her first offical day on May 5, so make her welcome to our team.

I am in the process of negotiating the contract with J___, licensed acupunturist. We are expected to sign the contract on Monday. She will be sharing a space with me, so that we can have optimal patient flow through the clinic during my mornings “off” and give additional support to our corporate wellness programs.

As a show of solidarity, Tom Cox, our strategic planner, forwarded the Grand Opening invitation to all of his personal and business contacts. That is how strong the momentum is of the wave pushing us forward. We have people stepping forward to move furniture, transport chairs across town, and of course to extort a few friends’ favor by coming out to support us on our important day.

Excellent job, everyone. G___ is setting up appointments out to December when people come to the window, so be aware that you have an entire team here committed to your success. We are an unbeatable TEAM.

Sincerely,

A___

This is a great team communication. Here are some of the elements that make it work:

  1. Metrics. Winning teams know the score, and this shares the score with them. When you share a metric, you’re telling people “this is what is important here”. The metric “patient visits” is exactly the right metric for this business right now.
  2. News. This reports progress on things that the owner can see, and that are likely invisible to most of the team – i.e. the hiring of new people, how far along it is, the timeline, etc. This keeps everybody connected in – they all feel like insiders because they know this crucial info early.
  3. Details. From the $12,000 laser to the appointments in December, these specifics make it all much more real, and more interesting, and more relevant, than the same email without those details.
  4. Call to action. It’s implied – the need to work together, to work with G___, to be careful about double booking, to make progress on tasks supporting the big Grand Opening event. Leaders call people to action. (If the owner follows this up with brief one-on-one emails or meetings with folks on their action items and their progress, that would be a very good way to round out this Call to Action.)
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