Worst Organizational Announcement email

Mixed Emotions email

"Mixed Emotions"

At a previous employer it was not uncommon to send out “Organizational Announcement” emails from time to time. Sometimes it was a re-org, others a promotion, but frequently it was a resignation or transfer.

In these cases it was customary to send an announcement to the various teams and management groups that would be impacted.

About ten years ago a young front-line manager at this organization needed to craft and send such an announcement for someone on his team who was taking an awesome job outside the company. One of those once-in-a-lifetime jobs that was as much an excellent change for this employee at this stage in his career as it was a feather in the manager’s hat.

I’m told it took a good chunk of the day to write: several drafts and more than a couple of hours. How to express both the excitement of his new adventure and the hurt of the loss? The employee was a huge asset to the team and the company. Losing him was going to hurt. Seeing him off to broader horizons and more-golden sunrises made this manager grin with approval. And with those two images in mind, he typed out a the introduction to a missive:

It is with mixed emotions that I announce…

It went out to a couple dozen employees including some impacted managers. A group manager above him liked it and used that introduction for a transfer in his group a few weeks later. A division manager up a level and over in a different area got a copy and used it for for his missive. It quickly became “the standard” introduction to these sorts of emails.

It is said that “imitation is the sincerest of flattery”… but I don’t feel very flattered any more. Yes, those were my words and my main objection to them is that they mean nothing.

It’s been a decade and during that time I’ve had to write a few more of these sorts of announcement emails. I know that I haven’t written anything worse, but I’m not sure that I’ve done much better.

If you have a great “organization announcement” email introduction (or even one worse than my example), please share it in the comments!


Please find attached

"Please find attached"

Postscript

I was sent an example that may be even worse: a short, blunt email asking the reader to “Please find attached” and directing them to an intensely formal document, usually a printed, signed and scanned PDF.

I don’t know that I’ll ever understand this one.

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