Four Quick Tips to Improve Workplace Writing

             

Writing for external audiences can easily take the lion's share of your teams’ attention. Internal audiences (e.g., email recipients, project team members, document users) are often just as important — and the quality of your organization’s writing needs to reflect that.

 

Consider the types of content that you produce for readers inside your organization:

 Human resources (HR) policies or manuals

  • Company rules and regulations
  • Project assignments or instructions
  • SOPs
  • Email messages
  • Meeting agendas and minutes
  • Status updates

 These documents might not seem as important as the content that is destined for an outside audience. However, if these types of communicative documents aren't well planned and well written, the results can cause real problems.

 

Follow a Plan

Good writing in the workplace provides clear direction, improves efficiency — even boosts morale. Internal document writers should follow similar guidelines to external content:

  • Plan well. Just as you analyze your audience before writing a marketing piece, feature article, or deliverable report, you must evaluate the audience for your internal writing. You also want to pin down the primary purpose of the document. Is it informative? Persuasive? Decide before you begin writing.
  • Format for readability. Just because your colleagues are the intended audience doesn't mean you should skimp on good writing habits such as clarity and conciseness. Remember, short sentences and paragraphs, active phrasing, and bulleted or numbered lists can improve the readability of your document.
  • Maintain a consistent style. If your company has a style guide, use it. If not, at the very least, try not to reinvent the wheel.
  • Put on the polish. If you value your reputation among colleagues, don't skip the final step of creating content. Check spelling, grammar, and format before pressing Send or passing out a report.

 Regardless of whether your organization’s employees are producing content for research groups, grant reviewers, or their own peers, their good writing skills will benefit everyone they work with. Contact Hurley Write if you are interested in a customized course designed for improving workplace writing.