Write a brief memo to your employees. In the memo, explain why business etiquette is important to employees’ individual careers as well as the company’s overall success.
This assignment serves three purposes:
· It is an opportunity to apply the rhetorical concepts we’ve discussed so far in class
· It asks you to practice those course concepts within the most common medium for workplace communication (i.e. memos, e-mails, letters)
· It encourages you to begin studying your own writing for criteria like style, tone, effectiveness, and the audience-centered approach
Strategies for planning/prewriting a memo are provided on the other side of this sheet.
Use the following scenario as the background for your internal memo:
As the regional manager of an international accounting firm, you place high priority on professional etiquette. Not only does it communicate respect to your clients, it also instills confidence in your firm by showing that you and your staff are aware of and able to meet the expectations of almost any audience. Earlier today, you took four recently hired college graduates to lunch with an important client. You’ve done this for years, and it’s usually an upbeat experience for everyone, but today’s lunch was a disaster. One of the new employees made not one, not two, but three calls on his mobile phone during lunch. Another interrupted the client several times and even got into a mild argument. The third employee kept making sarcastic jokes about politics, making everyone at the table uncomfortable. And the fourth showed up dressed like she was expecting to bale hay or work in a coal mine, not have a business lunch in a posh restaurant. You’ve already called the client to apologize, but now you need to coach these employees on proper business etiquette.
(Drawn from Bovee and Thill, page 60.)
Organization and Formatting
· 1” margins with single-spaced, standard font style and size (e.g. Arial, 11)
· Refer to the “Memos” section in Appendix A of the course textbook (page 561).
· For reference, a sample heading:
To: Recently-Hired Employees
From: Regional Manager Rampa
Date: April 3, 2017
Subject: Improvements Needed to Business Etiquette
Strategies for planning and pre-writing a memo
Having trouble developing content (or hitting the minimum word count)? Try brainstorming with some of the following questions:
· The problems with the meeting have been explained in the scenario, but what constitutes an effective business meeting? How could the employees use this information?
· (See “Conducting and Contributing to Efficient Meetings” on page 45.)
· Business etiquette is important, but what are some of the specific ways it can be developed?
· (See “Developing Your Business Etiquette” on pages 52-55.)
· Do the fundamentals of nonverbal communication apply here? If so, how?
· (See “Recognizing Nonverbal Communication” on page 50.)
If you’re having trouble deciding how to organize the memo, refer back to
“Outlining Your Content” in Chapter 4 on page 108. You can also determine whether you’ll use a direct approach or indirect approach, as either option will have a large impact on the structure of your memo. For example:
· In the body of your memo, will you utilize a direct approach and connect each new hire to the inappropriate behavior they exhibited during the meeting? (E.g. “John, you answered your phone three times.”)
· Or will you use an indirect approach, focusing on the inappropriate behavior without addresses each new hire by name? (E.g. “When an employee answers their phone during a meeting, that employee is being disrespectful to the client.”)
Your assignment will be graded according to the following criteria:
|Criteria||Description of Criteria|
|Awareness of Situation
(See pages 93-96 and pages 120-126)
|Message content demonstrates the writer’s awareness of the particular communication situation, including the general purpose, specific purpose, and the audience’s needs.|
|Selection of Information
(See pages 96-98)
|Information included in the message satisfies the audience’s needs in an accurate, ethical, and pertinent manner. If research is included, sources are credible and relevant to the situation, as well as purposefully and properly integrated and cited per assignment guidelines.|
|Style and Tone
(See pages 126-138 and pages 151-157)
|The writer’s style of expression cultivates a tone that is appropriate to the purpose of the message and to the audience’s needs. The writer has carefully revised her/his message for readability, clarity, and concision.|
(See pages 103-111 and pages 133-138)
|The message is reasonable in scope and appropriate in approach (direct or indirect). The main point is clearly stated at the outset and consecutive points and details support the main point in a unified and coherent manner on the sentence-, paragraph- and whole-document levels.|
(See pages 148-164)
|Design and formatting choices are appropriate to the communication situation, and the message demonstrates a professional level of proofreading.|
Types of Feedback
I can provide two different types of feedback for the major assignments in this course. Written feedback (an end comment and in-line feedback) is provided for complete rough drafts sent to me via e-mail by 11:59 PM the day before an assignment is due. This type of feedback is useful for the kind of writer who likes to revise throughout multiple drafts in order to produce a final version.
Rubric feedback (ratings provided through the assignment rubric) is available by default, and it’s used to indicate areas of strength and room for improvement in an uploaded assignment. The rubric provides ratings based on assessment criteria, and is useful for writers who write a final draft in one or two sittings and need general feedback to make improvements on subsequent assignments.