My Boss Doesn’t Answer My E-mails! What Should I Do?

Published on: December 13, 2009

My boss does not answer my e-mails! What do I do?Everywhere you turn, someone is typing away on their Blackberry or iPhone.  While more and more of us are plugged in 24/7, since smartphone technology has become easier to use and cheaper to acquire, you’d think people would be responding more quickly to all their emails.  But, I’m actually not surprised that one of the most searched terms on my blog is: “boss does not respond to e-mails,” because the person sending the message often forgets that they are responsible for making sure the message AND the method of delivery encourages the receiver’s response. I have already written an article on how to write e-mails to your boss or an executive, but now want to focus on a different angle, because many times it is not the message, but in the way it was delivered that keeps it from being read.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Not everyone cares for technology. Just because you have seen your CFO with a Blackberry, does not mean he/she uses the darn thing for anything but phone calls. How do you find out? …ASK!!! It’s important to find out how he/she prefers to receive their information. Some just want that contract, proposal, or report printed and handed to them.
  • Time your messages! If they do prefer e-mail, ask them when they read most of their messages. One of my former execs was a morning person, so I would time my e-mail program to fire out all e-mails for him at 6AM, because that is when he would fire up Outlook. If I sent him my e-mails at the time I prefer (I am a night owl), my message would be buried at the bottom of his mailbox.
  • If all else fails… Some people are just overloaded and you will have to get creative. Don’t get frustrated – ask! The oddest direction I ever received from one of my former executives was to catch him on the way out of the bathroom before he walked back into the office. Anytime I needed a quick executive decision, I would just wait for him to pass my office on the way to the bathroom and I would be right behind him waiting in the hallway for him to walk out.