The Memo: A Seamless Way to Keep Employees Informed
Memos or memorandums have been around since before the computer age and continue to be an essential tool for effective team communication. With the advent of e-mails, memos have gone paperless, making it easier to send updates to multiple employees in just a few clicks. In this article, we’ll guide you through writing a crisp and readable memo with step-by-step instructions and useful tips, based on the original article provided.
Bottom Line: Don’t let memos baffle you. Learn how to write engaging and informative memos that help your ecommerce business build a transparent company culture and keep employees on the same page.
What is a memo?
A memo is a written message aimed at communicating vital information within a workplace. Memos can address a range of topics, from minor office updates to significant corporate news, fostering a company culture of transparency and keeping employees well-informed. Memos must be concise and comprised of simple language, ensuring that employees can quickly digest the information provided.
Elements of a memo
- Heading: Include the sender, recipient, subject line, and date. Modern memos sent via email automatically have these components; you may also use an introductory phrase in the subject line for clarity.
- Introduction: The opening paragraph should highlight key information and explain the purpose of the memo.
- Body: Provide context for the information supplied in the introduction.
- Action items: Clearly outline any required actions or behavioral changes expected from the employees.
- Signoff: Conclude the memo with a brief signoff, including your name and contact information for any follow-up questions.
How to write a memo in 5 steps
- Decide what you need to say: Determine the memo’s purpose and its potential effects on employees.
- Determine your target audience: Identify who needs to know the information and limit unnecessary communication.
- Write a clear and succinct draft: Follow the standard memo format and use accessible writing to engage a broad audience.
- Proofread or run it by a colleague: Ensure the memo is free of typos and double-check its accuracy and tone.
- Send it and field any questions: Address employee comments or concerns and consult legal or HR when necessary.
6 tips for writing memos
- Be aware of public disclosures: Keep in mind that anything written could be shared publicly.
- Make it accessible: Avoid formal language, technical terms, or acronyms that may be unfamiliar to some employees.
- Keep it short: Concise memos are more likely to be read in their entirety.
- Write a strong headline: Grab the reader’s attention immediately with an engaging and relevant headline.
- Include relevant team members: Ensure only those directly affected by the memo’s content are included.
- Use a consistent memo format: Apply the same format for each memo while adjusting the subject line and message. Consider creating a standard template for future use.
In modern offices, memos are usually distributed via email, making them a subset of this larger category of communications. However, as we’ve seen, not all emails are memos. Learning to create clear, engaging, and informative memos is crucial to building efficient communication within your ecommerce business and, ultimately, helping your company succeed.