Living in a hectic world is not easy. We miss out on even the most important things in our day to day activities. Yes, you can be well-organized and insist that you have always been dependable in whatever it is you do but, we cannot always say the same thing for others. A lot of factors can affect one’s efficiency as well as the success of every task, and if we are not careful, we might just forget and overlook central points in our task.
That is why there is always the need to make follow-ups. There are various ways you can do this as indicated below:
Follow-Up through Email
An electronic message or e-mail should not be regarded lightly. It is a popular communication medium that is used today, for both personal and business purposes. Whether you are making a follow-up with people internally (people in your team or department) or externally (people outside your department or even outside your company), you need to be careful when sending out an email.
The follow-up email should contain salient information which may include the list of things this particular person was assigned to do, the deadline that you have set, and any other details that need to be mentioned. The tone of the email should be formal but not stiff, and neither should it be too casual especially if you are sending it to someone from the outside.
However, it is always recommended to be courteous, professional, and appropriately friendly in writing emails. This form of communication tool can be easily misconstrued so do not write anything that might be taken wrongly by the receiver.
Follow-Up through Phone Call
A follow-up phone call could make a whole lot of difference to you and the person whom you are following up on. It is also more convenient and easy to do, instead of spending more than a few minutes constructing an email.
However, people seem to prefer an email to a phone call because it is less confrontational, and you can do it no matter what time of day or night you want to make a follow-up. Regardless, it is important to note that when making a phone call to check on updates or feedback, you should remain polite and professional especially when dealing with an external group.
Many times we make the mistake of calling for a follow-up when we are not in the best of moods and we end up saying the wrong things. To avoid this, you should see to it that you refrain from making a follow-up call when upset, aggravated, or angry.
Certain telephone skills need to be incorporated even when making follow-ups. Smile when you are on the phone, and be ready for the information that you need to relay. You might also be bombarded with questions and concerns regarding the tasks given so, be prepared to answer these too.
Other Ways to Follow-Up
Aside from phone calls and emails, you can also make a follow-up by leaving voicemail messages and posting sticky notes on the person’s desk. For voicemail messages, you can do this whenever the person in unavailable to take the call; sticky notes are applicable when making follow-ups on people who are in the same department as you, just to give a reminder.
But probably the best means to make a follow up is to simply set a time to meet with the person. This could be an informal meeting and you can simply go to their desk to see how they are doing with the task you have given them. Ask them if they need assistance on anything. Usually, with all the tasks they need to work on everyday, some things can be missed, so it is necessary for you to make sure you remind them of what they need to do.
A follow-up is an effective way to keep everyone working towards a common goal. It motivates and challenges every individual to do what is assigned to them and make sure to complete it at a specified time. If you fail to do follow-ups, you could be putting the tasks at risk of not being completed, or not be performed up to standards. In task management, you should not take this for granted.