Communication Pool: Improving Memos

A while back, I posted the following memo sent out to employees:

THE MATS HAVE ARRIVED! PLEASE ENSURE THEY ARE DEEP CLEANED NIGHTLY! WITH HOT SOAPY WATER! AND YOUR FLOORS ARE DONE MORE OFTEN THEN THEY ARE NOW, WITH HOT FRESH WATER EVERY 15 MINUTES! IM NOT IMPRESSED SO FAR WITH HOW WE ARE HANDLING THIS. PLEASE STAY ON TOP OF THIS AND EXERTIORS.

Why is this another example of a bad memo?

  • All caps signify yelling. Use caps and lower case correctly.
  • Choppy, unclear phrases: with hot soapy water; with hot fresh water every 15 minutes–it is unclear whether this refers to doing the floors more often or changing the water more often; please stay on top of this and exertiors–this are two different tasks–sentences are most effective when they focus on a single idea; the memo is about mats–it seems exteriors are thrown in as an afterthought.
  • Punctuation needs checking: exclamation marks, Im
  • Spelling needs checking: exertiors, Im

Here’s an improved version:

The mats have arrived. Please ensure they are deep-cleaned nightly with hot soapy water, and your floors are done more often than they are now, with hot soapy water changed every 15 minutes. Exteriors should also be cleaned regularly. I would like to see this handled more efficiently. With your cooperation, we can make a good impression on our customers. Thank you.

Additional comments:

When communicating with your employees, be respectful. A leader who does not show respect will not earn respect.

Employees respond better to a friendly tone. Better results can be achieved when their cooperation is sought, rather than when they are ordered to do things. It makes them feel more like part of the organization.

If the writer wanted to speak about several issues related to cleaning and mopping, bullet points (in any case) would be more effective.

 

 

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