Guidelines for Handling Incoming Mail
1. Check all addresses on envelopes of unopened mail in case an item for another department has been inadvertently included and redirect it promptly.
- Use a paperknife or letter opener to open the mail taking special care not to leave enclosed items in envelopes or hidden under discarded wrappers etc.
- To avoid related documents from becoming separated, staple them together; many people dislice using paper clips as they tend to pick up other papers next to them which instantly become lost.
- Date stamp each incoming item - where appropriate record the time of initial receipt of urgent documents.
- Sort items into the various stacks which have been identified in the office - head of department, section heads, specific clerks for routine items such as invoices etc.
- Prioritise the sorted stacks according to these guidelines:
- Items marked 'urgent'
- Items from senior organisational staff and clients or customers
- Items which have been delayed in the external/internal post
- Non-routine items - individually composed letters as opposed to forms, dockets and sales literature
- Items for which an existing deadline is imminent
- Present incoming mail to your manager with the most important/urgent item first and the rest in descending order of importance in the stack.
Make it a regular practice to tell your manager straightaway of any high-priority, unusual or potentially problem-causing item. Managers always appreciate early warnings and prompts