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Campus & Community

Five to Thrive 10/21/2019

Your Weekly Tips for Workplace Success

By Thriving Workplace Initiative Staff

Illustration of leaves on a purple background

Illustration by Creative Strategies

Illustration by Creative Strategies

UMD’s Thriving Workplace Initiative is making the University of Maryland a great place to work by providing tools and support to foster engaged, inclusive and empowered faculty and staff across campus. 

Each Monday, its Five to Thrive list offers five strategies crowdsourced from research, experts and our own UMD community to help your workplace thrive. 

This week’s Five to Thrive offers a refresher course in email etiquette. Are you acing your emails? Find out with these quick tips: 

  • Keep inboxes beautiful: We’ve all been on the receiving end of the endless group email thread. Only hit “reply all” when everyone needs the update. 
  • Use specific subject lines: Most people choose what they open (or open first) based on the subject line. Those such as “updated chart numbers for report,” “meeting reschedule for today” or “cake in the breakroom, going fast” are more attention-grabbing than the vague “FYI.”
  • Get to the point. Unless copious details are required, quick notes that get down to business are a win-win: To-the-point questions are more likely to get answered fast, while pithy updates are a courtesy to the recipient’s time. 
  • Say why. If you’re forwarding an email, provide context in a quick sentence. The same rule applies when cc’ing: Tell the original sender why you’re looping in a third party. 
  • Confirm receipt. It’s easy for a message to get lost among hundreds received each day. If the email requires a more thoughtful or researched response, acknowledge it with a promise for a more thorough response later.  

Want more tips? Visit the Thriving Workplace Resource Library here or sign up for Food for Thought Friday, which delivers strategies to your inbox each week. Send an email to with the subject listserv to subscribe.

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