The Streamlined Business Blog

For Better Procedures Choose the Right Words

As we mentioned in an earlier post 4 Key Elements To Good Procedures, the audience is first element you should keep in mind for writing policies and procedures that your colleagues and employees WANT to read.

As you draft the text, continually ask what your employee readers need to know and how they want to see information presented. Remember that writing for an audience means writing in an easily understood style and vocabulary. More importantly, it means that you only include information that the audience needs.

When wording sentences and paragraphs, evaluate your audience’s needs, background, training, and educational level.

Here are some tips:

  • Trainees, new employees, or novice users frequently need a definition when you introduce a new term.
  • Experts and technicians are familiar and comfortable with technical terminology-terms rarely need definition. If you want to define terms, include them in a glossary.
  • A technical audience is usually comfortable with technical diagrams, charts, and tables without supporting text descriptions. You can drastically reduce your word count with effective graphics.
  • People who perform day-to-day tasks usually do not need theoretical or design descriptions. They are more interested in the step-by-step procedures, that is the “how to do it” information.

Watch our upcoming posts for more tips and techniques that you can use for writing policies and procedures that deliver more value. You might also want to check out our webinar series. Follow the link to download a datasheet.

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