Distribution lists can be a very handy thing to use when you have to send out emails to groups of people. It’s fairly easy to set up the contact groups you want. There is information all over the internet on how to do it. What none of them really talk about is the maintenance required. The larger your organization the more likely it will be that your lists will become outdated.
People get promotions. People retire or resign. People move to new sections. It’s easy to set up your groups then act like nothing will ever change but that’s just not reality. When people don’t get the information they need because you didn’t keep track of your contact groups you will be dealing with annoyed and angry people.
I just listened to someone who had gone through exactly this scenario. The woman had several contact groups that she needed to inform of various situations on a fairly regular basis. The command staff was not getting the information. It was eventually discovered, when one of the command staff got angry about not getting information, that she didn’t have ANY of the command staff in her command staff contact group. What was she thinking? Sure some people had moved on and others had gotten promoted but where was her head that she didn’t think to update her groups?
She complained to me about people getting upset over nothing. Uh, you weren’t getting them the information they needed. That’s not nothing. You were sending out information to people it didn’t apply to and who couldn’t care less. Let’s talk about wasting company time and poor job performance. As you can imagine, coming to me for sympathy was not her brightest move either. I didn’t hammer her but I did point out the obvious issues.
Considering all the things that can go wrong in an organization, this is a little thing but people remember the things that annoy and/or anger them. Don’t leave people with a negative memory of you if you can avoid it. You never know when someone will ask that person what kind of a worker you are because they are thinking of offering you a position and that person turns around and trashes you because of a careless mistake.