Writing to organisational standards
Documents are part of the regular role of community care workers. Your day-to-day communications may include:
- case management reports
- written referrals
- case notes
- letters to clients
- letters to external service providers
- emails to co-workers.
General principles for effective writing in different situations apply to any organisational writing. The following chart may be a good starting point for writing effectively:
Tips for better written communication include:
- Language. Use plain language and short sentences and paragraphs. Avoid jargon – terms used by people within a particular organisation or profession.
- Tone. Consider the tone of the communication. Is the tone too formal or informal, does it convey an appropriate attitude?
- Editing. Have another person edit your work if appropriate (remember confidentiality, etc.)
- Graphics. Consider whether the use of graphics would be a better way to convey some information.
Writing for organisational purposes
When you write to someone inside your own organisation, you must consider the organisation as your audience. In many cases, documents will be kept on file.
Your organisation may have a corporate style guide or style manual that provides instructions on how documents are to be written, to whom they should be addressed and in what format they should be written.
The tone of your writing will depend on your intended audience:
- When you are writing to a senior person in your organisation, or to a person outside your organisation, your tone will be more formal.
- When you are writing to a colleague whom you know well, your tone may be less formal.
- Your organisation may also have specific guidelines for writing to a client.
For support workers, confidentiality and clients' right to privacy is a primary consideration in what information is written down, how it is comunicated, where it is filed, and who is allowed access to read it.
Organisational writing standards