HR Policy Writing: Conversations or Lectures?
HR policy writing is not always simple. First, you need to condense a lot of information into a small space – no easy task. At the same time, the text needs to be as clear as possible so as to educate the reading audience. But even before you get started, you need to think about what tone to use with the reading audience.
Perhaps the stodgy ways of the past aren’t the ways of the future anymore.
When writing for the everyday employee, the technical writer should be focused on writing in a more conversational tone. Not only will this help express ideas in a more compelling manner, it will make the many policies easier to read, easier to digest, and easier to remember.
While some Human Resources technical writing might focus on the lecture tone, this can actually do a disservice to those who read it. It can often lead to a reading audience that is less than receptive to the ideas presented since they may feel they are being talked down to.
Though there are some policies which can not be explained in layman’s terms or in slang, having a technical writer who can write in a more loose style may be just what the policy manual needs to become less of a paperweight and more of a useful reference tool for employees.
Conversational writing is something that may not come easily for some technical writers, so looking at a wide variety of candidates helps ensure that the desired tone for the HR policy manual can be achieved. It might take a few tries to get the tone just right, but when accomplished, it makes it much easier for Human Resources to show new employees what they need to know.