In this activity, you will write two short emails, each one experimenting with the direct and indirect approach to messaging. You can read about the direct and indirect approach by reading this short chapter: Choosing an Organizational Pattern (Links to an external site.).
You’ve already been introduced emails in the chapter on correspondence, (Links to an external site.)but you might want to look over the chapter on emails (Links to an external site.), which explains how to format an email, what the screen test is, and how indirect/direct approach work in an email.
Scenario 1: Email 1:
You’re an executive director at a non-for-profit organization in Miami. Because of Covid-19 state-cuts, you are losing a state-funded program and hence one position. After consulting with your regional director and the VP of operations, you found a way to transfer the employee (Black American woman) that would have been otherwise laid off to another position. The employee has previously expressed interest in that position and is excited about the opportunity.
As this position carries more responsibilities, the pay scale for the new position is higher than her current salary. You advocated to bring her salary up to the medium range of the new pay scale. The management wanted to keep her at the current salary, justifying this decision with the recent cuts and the overall economic crisis. You perceive such decision as unfair considering that the pay rate of other–mostly male– employees in the same position at your organization is higher. After a long back-and forth with your superiors, and much pleading, they only agreed to give the employee a small raise (low end of the new pay scale).
After you relayed this information to your employee, she asks for a higher raise. You know there is absolutely no chance the higher-ups will agree to any additional salary increase. Considering the circumstances and your efforts to save the employee’s job, you feel a little put off by her email. You do, however, understand the reality of increased responsibilities that comes with the new position, so you know she isn’t out of line. You are also happy with this employee’s performance and you hope to retain her. You are also confident there will be opportunities for promotion and salary increases in the future.
Here’s the email she sent you when you notified her of the opportunity:
First I wanted to say that I deeply appreciate the opportunity. I am excited about this new challenge and about continuing to work with our team in this new capacity.
But considering my current life situation (single income household), I need to ask if the salary is negotiable. Would you consider bringing me to the 57,000 mid range annual salary for the position? My years of experience, expertise, and dedication speak volume to my value as an employee. This excellent performance was reflected in my end of the year evaluation a few months back.
Please let me know if we could meet virtually to discuss this further.
Thank you for your consideration,
Your job: You will respond to this email with an email of your own.
Scenario 2: Email 2:
The scenario above is the same, except that before you went to the supervisors and pled your case, you asked Bianca to give you an updated resume and a paragraph explaining her accomplishments at the company. When you go to the supervisors and plead for her to be given the medium range of the base salary for the new position, you present these materials to the supervisors as evidence, and argue that the cost of losing an employee like Bianca will ultimately cost the company more. The supervisors relent and offer Bianca the medium range pay for her new position, which is 57,000.
Your job: You will write an email to Bianca delivering the news. Note, in this scenario, she has not written you an email because she will be learning about the loss of her current job and the new position (and salary) for the first time.
In both cases, you can make up necessary details to complete the emails.
Task: (What you are turning in)
- Analyze the purpose and audience for each of the email response you are to write.
- Choose between Direct and Indirect Pattern for each communication task.
- Draft your emails and proofread for tone.
- Make sure that your emails are properly formatted as emails! It should not look like a memo or text message or a letter. That’s why I suggest reading over the chapter.
- Post both emails (labelled as Scenario 1 and Scenario 2) to the discussion board.
Respond to two classmates. What did you like about their emails? What do you think they did well? What would you recommend they revise in the emails? Write at least 50 words each and show that you engaged with their emails.
Here’s how you’ll be graded:
- Discussion post is well-developed, thorough, and detailed. Responds to assigned text(s) or prompt. (8 points)
- Discussion responses to peers are detailed and thorough, showing thoughtful engagement with peers’ original posts. Two peer responses posted. (5 points)
- Both discussion posts and responses to peers show evidence of proofreading and editing. (2 points)