Robby Slaughter wrote a guest post for The Circle R blog in regards to conforming to legal requirements in business. According to him, compliance can actually create a more effective and efficient environment.
Some may view business compliance as a task that ruins productivity. But in his post Compliance Doesn’t Have To Mean Drudgery, Slaughter provided some tips on ways in which adhering to the process can become easier and less time consuming. Below are some of his suggestions:
Marks, Language, and Reference Cards
An everyday requirement of business is that we use defined terms correctly.
- The easiest solution is to produce a reference card which outlines the typical uses of common marks in your organization. That way everyone has a place to confirm that it’s Baker & Daniels, not “Baker and Daniels.”
- Tools like ShortKeys, AutoHotKey, and Texter let you create key sequences that are automatically replaced with longer strings of text.
Selective Medium, Selective Memory
Another challenge we face has to do with how we correspond at work.
- You don’t have to use email for everything.
- Leverage your IT department. If it’s a corporate responsibility to save old messages, than ask your information technology department to consider investing in dedicated email archiving solutions.
- There really isn’t a great reason to use email for internal communications . . . within your own company, you’re much better off to leverage more optimized systems for communicating.
One great instance of the first category being instituted is the world of journalism. AP Style is journalism 101, and everyone who took even a basic class is familiar with inverted pyramid style. The Purdue English site breaks down some of the reasoning behind AP Style’s implementation.
The content of newspapers and other mass media is typically the result of many different writers and editors working together. AP style provides consistent guidelines for such publications in terms of grammar, spelling, punctuation and language usage. Some guiding principles behind AP style are:
AP style also aims to avoid stereotypes and unintentionally offensive language.
It may seem overly comprehensive, but when it comes to clarity in writing, that’s almost impossible. Check out one of the overview sections for example:
dates, months, years, days of the week
For dates and years, use figures. Do not use st, nd, rd, or th with dates, and use Arabic figures. Always capitalize months. Spell out the month unless it is used with a date. When used with a date, abbreviate only the following months: Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec.
Commas are not necessary if only a year and month are given, but commas should be used to set off a year if the date, month and year are given. Use the letter s but not an apostrophe after the figures when expressing decades or centuries. Do, however, use an apostrophe before figures expressing a decade if numerals are left out. Examples: Classes begin Aug. 25. Purdue University was founded May 6, 1869. The semester begins in January. The 1800s. The ’90s.
If you refer to an event that occurred the day prior to when the article will appear, do not use the word yesterday. Instead, use the day of the week. Capitalize days of the week, but do not abbreviate. If an event occurs more than seven days before or after the current date, use the month and a figure.
The second category Slaughter presents are dealt with much better on a business to business basis. Some larger companies may do well to have a comprehensive, searchable code of conduct, but for some smaller organizations, that could be overkill. It’s about finding what is right and efficient for your organization.
Whether you are part of a small business, work for a non-profit or government agency, or work within a major corporation, AccelaWork wants to learn more about your operation and how we can help you improve your processes. Our model begins with conversation. Contact our business improvement solutions firm to start the discussion.