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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Date stamp each incoming item - where appropriate record the time of initial receipt of urgent documents.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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

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