Training new people in your company or business means that you must quickly and effectively outline the information that they need to have in order to get the job done. All written materials—whether in physical form or online—must follow the following four Cs of good writing in order to clearly convey what it is your team members must know. However you choose to train your new employees, these four Cs should be considered gospel to the writers and developers of training materials: clear, concise, complete, and correct.
Clear writing is understandable writing. This means that each sentence and each paragraph are written directly to your target audience, using words and terms that they can understand. Clear writing should not include technical terms, abbreviations, acronyms, or other business jargon that a new hire coming from outside the company culture will not be familiar with and cannot be expected to already know. Clear writing is also unambiguous, meaning that the reader can easily discern the information you want to share without being confused about what, exactly, you are trying to say.
Being concise can sometimes be the hardest of the four Cs to accomplish. Being concise in your training course materials requires you to edit, edit, and edit again. The point of conciseness is to use the minimum number of words to convey an idea or instruction. The more words you add, the less likely it is that your employee will understand what it is you are trying to teach while also becoming overwhelmed and bored with the sheer volume of stuff to read and memorize. Eliminate anything in your training materials that is not directly relevant to the topic under each heading, sub-heading, or paragraph.
Can you blame a new hire for not automatically knowing something that is not included in the training materials? Not without looking unfair and mean-spirited. Whatever you want your employee to know about successfully accomplishing his or her particular job must be included in the training. Make sure that training materials include all the terms, concepts, and procedures that are part of the job.
Spelling, grammar, and punctuation aren’t just useful for making you look intelligent. Correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation also make it easy for your new hire to understand the information clearly. Incorrect spelling, grammar, and punctuation can frequently convey meanings that are the opposite of what you want your employee to understand or will muddle the message you are trying to send. Spend the time it takes to make sure your training is correctly written.
Good written and online training materials will help your company growth go forward more smoothly because you’ll spend less time haphazardly fitting in training when you have the time or can assign it to someone else. For small business owners, taking the time to lay out training materials that follow the four Cs can make all the difference between new employees who hit the ground running and confused workers who aren’t quite sure what you expect of them.
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