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Why Human Resources Should Handle Policy Writing

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It makes sense that the Human Resources department might want to write up the policies for each department. But since many companies are more than willing to hand over this sort of work to the department in which the policies will be used, it seems that policy manuals have become less than accurate – or helpful.

Choosing to create a more effective policy requires technical writing to be at least supported by the Human Resources department of the company, along with the help of the management team in the affected department. This combination of talent will help to create a policy, which will cover the issues the department might face, while also helping to create a standard for future employees and Human Resources personnel.

Here are some tips for ensuring the policy is drafted to be helpful as well as accurate:

  • Answer questions – The policy should offer answers to the following questions: Who, What, Where, When, Why and How. When these questions are answered, the policy covers anything a reader might ask.
  • Grammar police needed – When a policy isn’t grammatically accurate, it can be difficult to read and to understand. Employing a technical writer with grammar skills is the best way to ensure grammar usage is appropriate.
  • Know the reader – If the reading audience is not kept in mind, the writing will not be effective. The technical writer should always know who the audience is in order to create text which will help the reader, rather than confuse them. Additional, some consideration needs to be given to the diversity of the audience.
  • Short and sweet – The long policies that are often included in Human Resources handbooks might have the best of intentions, but they can also be confusing and difficult on the reader. When you need a policy to be followed, make it as simple (and as short) as possible.
  • Use another set of eyes before publication – By asking someone else to read the text, you will ensure you are able to convey the ideas you need to convey before you print out the new policy manual. As a rule, technical writers are especially appreciative of the value of a second set of eyes.

Creating new policies, with the help of a technical writer, makes sense. Combining the experience of HR with the skills of a professional writer allow everyone to win.

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