A written confirmation: A simple yet powerful tool

written confirmation, e-mail communication, human resources, hr, good workplace practice, workplace practice, work ethics

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
― Maya Angelou

I recently opened up a new category on this blog called „professional development“ as I’ve been experiencing other people’s either lack of workplace etiquette or simply confusion on how to progress in their career. One topic which is heavily underestimated but quite important in my opinion is the conduct in managing daily tasks, activities or communication in the workplace. This doesn’t have much to do with common sense concerning the aforementioned but rather how cause and effect influence the desired outcomes or incidentally lack thereof. I’m talking about a simple written confirmation on whatever task/activity held place in order to assure the progress of the activity, protect your own personal ethics in possible future conflict scenarios or just simply have another organizational tool that helps managing it. Many companies don’t have this practice as a part of their company culture which is concerning due to the fact how much this simple business act helps in daily work. There are many instances in which situations arise between couple of parties and one cannot prove their point against the other simply because they don’t have a written confirmation or trail on their topic/activity/task/agenda. To get into more details, let’s break down couple of different areas where a written confirmation or trail could save your life, so to speak.

Every meeting should have a following written confirmation

I would say this example is the most prevalent one. There are countless times I could remember where there were quite a few topics discussed during a meeting but less than half of them were addressed later on simply because there wasn’t a follow-up with a written confirmation in an e-mail after that meeting. „Minutes of meeting“ is an essential act of managing tasks and making sure everything is tackled. A written confirmation solidifies everything that was discussed and adds sort of an assurance that it won’t go unnoticed or be „swept“ under the rug. This is a very good practice for managers who like to structure their delegated tasks and make sure everyone received the proper message of expected execution. Large corporations suffer dearly if this practice isn’t modus operandi because of obvious reasons. People can only handle so much information at once and having a written confirmation on anything in your Outlook can make your work much easier.

written confirmation, e-mail communication, human resources, hr, good workplace practice, workplace practice, work ethics
If agreed verbally, put it in writing

Every discussion outside of meetings without written confirmation isn’t official

As people, employees discuss the work on the daily, whether it’s in meetings, coffee breaks or in the hallways. It’s not uncommon that a friendly banter turns into a serious discussion about work and potentially evolves into a possible solution but all that isn’t justified if the official channels aren’t used to deliver this information. Think about it. Without proper written confirmation, the majority of the communication that happens in unofficial matter would be taken at face value and employees would expect an official reaction even if it wasn’t warranted. I experienced decision-making during a friendly banter without proper notification through the proper communication channel. The outcome of that are uninformed employees, questionable work ethics and the blur between professionalism and private behavior. Having a written confirmation transforms every discussion into an official activity and gives you sort of an assurance that it’s compliant to work relativity.

written confirmation, e-mail communication, human resources, hr, good workplace practice, workplace practice, work ethics
No minutes of meeting? Don’t expect efficiency

Easy substitute to a lack of trust

It’s always a bad sign if there is no trust between employees or that’s an overall atmosphere within a company but if that’s the case then written confirmation can assure you the trust that’s very much needed to get the job done. Even if we were to not make the situation as grim, there are many instances in which some employees are less trustworthy and who need a little bit more „encouragement“ so this technique works quite well. It pops up as a reminder, forces them to act on it (send a reply) and is a due date in on itself.


Having a written confirmation is one of the first things I learned at the start of my career and it’s been a real helper ever since. Your working hours will be made easier because it will help with organization, tracking, better communication and creating a good ethics practice. Other employees will regard you as more serious, efficient and goal-oriented. If you’re a manager, this will put a positive impact on your employees and will force them to act on agreed activities even more than usual with faster results. Whatever you agree verbally, put it in writing.

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