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Here's just some of what we'll cover:
- Wording that could land your company in a legal landmine
- The difference between a policy and a procedure - and how to reflect them in your writing style
- Red flags that tell you a policy should be reconsidered or communicated more effectively
- Shortcuts that trim hours off your writing and compilation time
- Guidelines on writing policies and procedures about sensitive subjects without offending
- How to make sure your manual doesn't turn into a long list of "don'ts"
- Four questions to ask yourself before publishing any policy
- Policies and procedures defined - and how they’re different from each other
- Telltale signs that your organization needs a written policy or procedure
- The benefits of policies and procedures - with respect to money, time and peace of mind
- How to identify the areas within your company that are most in need of a new or refreshed handbook or manual
- The very real risks of poorly written policies and procedures
- What the law says about a company’s employee communications
- The role of HR in developing documentation - what your department can and cannot do
- Clues that your verbal guidelines may need to be formalized into written rules
The Critical Pre-Writing Phase
- Four foolproof steps to designing an on-target policy or procedure
- When it’s best to start from scratch, and when you should revise existing documents
- A simple way to know which policies and procedures to include
- Great ideas for communicating complex procedures
- Tips that save time without sacrificing quality when information is needed fast
- How to choose the appropriate voice or tone for your writing: firm, friendly, compassionate, clinical, confident, authoritative or even a combination
- The four critical phases of development
- How to identify your company’s style and follow this standard
- When it’s better not to put a policy in writing
The Written Word
- Tools and techniques that make corporate writing a snap
- Wording tips from the pros to help you craft clear, concise, and correct documentation
- Five easy steps for writing the perfect document every time
- What you don’t include, and why it’s as important as what you do include
- The four essential elements of every workbook or manual
- Phrases that connect with employees - and others that are turnoffs
- The most important thought to keep in mind while writing your manual
- Which of the "old rules" no longer applies
- How the pros walk the fine line between clarity and thoroughness
- The art of cutting text without mortally wounding your message
- Strategies for avoiding language that creates an uncomfortable, legally binding contract
- How to set aside personal feelings about policies you don’t agree with
The Ideal Format
- How to determine which format matches your message
- Simple graphic elements and techniques that add interest and pizzazz that draw the reader in
- How graphics affect the readability and accessibility of your information
- Various ways to deliver your message (the Web, contracts, forms, handbooks, email, and intranet) and the advantages of each
- The vital element that is often omitted from a manual
- Flow-charting techniques that eliminate pages of text and communicate the message clearly
- Common design mistakes and how to avoid them
The Final Development Phase: Approval
- How to determine who should — and who shouldn’t — review your document
- A proofreading process that catches not only spelling and grammar mistakes, but content errors as well
- The best time to edit your own work
- A proven way to speed up the review process without sacrificing quality
- What to do to prevent a jumbled mess of changes you can’t follow
- How to diplomatically put a limit on further changes once the document has been circulated
- The complete revision process, start to finish, and how to manage it
Implementation and Enforcement
- A surefire way to get employees to read your policies and procedures
- Advantages and disadvantages of distributing policies online
- The best approach to distribution — how and when
- Techniques for defending a policy that employees dislike
- How to handle “fear of change” among doubters
- Three proven guidelines for announcing changes that you know will be unpopular
- The secret to being firm and committed without seeming like a steamroller
- Tips for preventing the misunderstandings that often develop when employees are notified of a change as a group
Maintenance — How to Keep Up Your Good Work
- Why you should have a timetable for updating policies and procedures
- A sure sign that it’s time to bring things up to date
- The hidden danger in not regularly reviewing old policies and procedures
- How to know whether your organization has too few — or too many — rules
- Going digital: what it means, when and how you should make the leap
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