Foundations of Professional Communication

ENGL510 – Foundations of Professional Communication

Writing Assignment 1 – Routine Informative Message (Draft and Revision)

Also called positive/neutral informative messages or routine announcements, Routine Informative Messages are a common type of Professional Communication. To practice writing a Routine Informative Message, write a one-page memo to employees announcing the new and revised employee education policies.

Read the scenario below and present a solution in your own words, using your own analysis. You will not useall of the information included in the scenario.  Some of the information will help you understand the context and implications of the document you create, but would not be included in the actual message.  Remember it is never appropriate to cut and paste entire sections from the scenario as a substitute for your own writing and thinking.

Business Communication Scenario:  Announcing an Employee Education Program

You are the human resources director for Easy to Be Green (EBG), an innovative new company that helps homeowners, businesses, and municipalities become more environmentally friendly.  EBG wants all employees, whatever their position, to be able to discuss with customers, at least in a basic way, the scientific concepts behind the company’s products and services. Therefore, all employees are given a thorough orientation and ongoing training in these concepts. However, the trainers have begun to realize that for this training to be successful many employees need background work in reading, writing, and math.  In addition, because of the company’s rapid growth and because of continuing developments in the field, even employees with advanced scientific training are having trouble keeping up with new developments.

Beginning six months from now, EBG will offer basic, intermediate, and advanced courses in reading, writing, and math.  In the meantime, managers will evaluate employees and may recommend that employees take one or more of these courses. In addition, employees can choose to take a course or courses without their manager’s recommendation.  The courses will be offered during work hours, employees will be paid for the time they spend in class, though homework and studying must be done on employees’ own time. Books will be provided. Progress in these courses will be taken into account in employees’ quarterly performance reviews and annual salary reviews.

Employees who are beyond these basic courses but who need help in keeping up with scientific developments related to their work are encouraged to take courses at local universities, using the company’s tuition reimbursement program. Employees have expressed the following concerns about the tuition reimbursement program: 1) that the maximum reimbursement is not high enough for the better schools, 2)  that the program doesn’t cover books, and  3) that new employees are not eligible,.  Therefore, also beginning in six months, the company will enhance its existing tuition reimbursement program. The current maximum reimbursement of $3000 a year will increase to $5000 a year, and employees will be reimbursed for books as well as tuition and fees.

Currently, full-time employees must be with the company for six months to be eligible; now all full-time employees will be eligible.   Additionally with approval from their managers, employees will be able to take off a half day, with pay, on the days their courses meet. To receive reimbursement under these special conditions; however, employees must receive at least a B in the course. Otherwise the required grade for reimbursement is C.  Other current tuition reimbursement policies will remain the same. Finally, to help employees who have not been able to find appropriate courses, the company will provide a list of available and recommended courses at local universities

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Write a one-page memo to employees announcing the new and revised employee education policies.  In your memo, select, organize, and format the necessary information into an effective, reader-friendly routine informative message.  Plan carefully which information you need to include and which information you will leave out.

Introduce the message in a short first paragraph with the goal of encouraging readers to take advantage of the program.  The introduction should provide a brief overview of the information in the message and should avoid focusing on one aspect of the message to the exclusion of others.

Organize the necessary information under headings in the body of the message. Use headings that make the information as easily accessible to readers as possible.    Do not use a heading for the first and last paragraph, both of which should be fairly brief.

  • For reasons of logic, there must be at least two headings; for reasons of readability, avoid more than about five.
  • Keep items in a bulleted or numbered list logically and formally parallel.  The bulleted or numbered points can be phrases, sentences, or brief paragraphs, as long as the list as a whole is consistent.

Additional Resources 

See Doc Sharing for the assignment Grading Rubric and a Sample Routine Informative Message to use as a model as you work on the draft and final copy of this assignment.

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