In a company or organization when there is a lot on your plate, from making sure you are doing your job effectively down to ensuring those under your supervision also does the same. There needs to be harmony within the company or organization in order to achieve the goals and/or objectives that have been set. Thus, there is a need to have a clear method of communication between executives and employees.
With that in mind, a memo or memorandum is used within a company or organization to communicate policies, procedures, or related official business. Memorandum means reminder and in the same sense, it functions to remind and inform those involved of decisions that concern them. A memo is typically functioned in a one-to-all perspective just like mass communication. It comes from one person to an audience i.e. supervisor to subordinates.
A memo is an important document that helps maintain unity and harmony within a company or organization through clear and effective information dissemination. It helps all employees stay on the loop on how things are going concerning certain projects, activities, events, action, observance, etc. A memo’s main purpose is to provide pertinent information about a topic in order to inform, educate or direct. Here are the essential elements a memo should include are listed below:
1. Heading: The heading of a memo should provide pertinent information as to what the memo is for. This is an important element of a memo because it provides a background about who, what, why, etc. the memo was sent out. Most memos follow the basic format:
2. Opening: The opening usually includes the purpose of the memo, the context and problem, and the specific assignment or task. However, before you indulge the reader with the details and the context, you should first provide an overview. It is best to keep your introduction to be direct and brief.
3. Summary: Once you have written the body of your memo, you can proceed to write its summary. A summary paragraph is more necessary and relevant if you have covered several important issues or events, or your analysis is fairly detailed. However, remember to keep it as direct and brief as possible.
4. Discussion paragraph/s: The discussion paragraph is where you lay out all the details; facts statistics, hypotheses, that support what you have already discussed beforehand. Begin with the most compelling information down to the least. It is best to keep facts or details into bulleted or numbered lists.
5. Closing: After giving your reader all the information relevant to the topic that they need to know, courteously close the memo with the actions you want them to take, and point out how those actions will benefit everyone. In addition, always consider and describe how you can make those actions easier. You may also see office memo examples.
6. Attachments: Provide whatever documentation or additional information your readers will need to understand the event, issue, or problem you have described, and list such attachments at the end of the memo.
Since a memo is an important document used in the office, it is necessary to make it with precision and clarity as to what it will be used for. The success of carrying out the purpose of the memo highly depends on how well it was written. In this case, here is an easy guide you can follow to write a successful memo:
1. Write the title on the center of the top most part of the page. In this case, write the word Memorandum as the title of the document.
2. After that, complete the content of your heading. As explained earlier, you can use the basic format consisting of the following: To, Cc, From, Date, Subject. Make sure to complete all the information for the following inclusions in order for the memo to provide pertinent information.
3. Next, write the opening for your memo. In one paragraph you should be able to clearly provide context about the memo which means you need to describe what it the event, situation, issue, etc. you are addressing. You should also describe the actions you have been doing to address the issue, and lastly, you should fluently explain why you are writing the memo. Make sure to only provide what is needed for the reader to know; keep it direct.
4. The summary of your memo comes next. In the summary, write the key recommendations that you have reached. The main goal of the summary is to help the reader understand the key points of your memo immediately. Thus, briefly but clearly explain and summarize the points you have made along with the recommendations; you may also include references to methods and sources you have already used so far.
5. The discussion segment is the longest part of your memo that requires you to provide all the relevant details about the topic. You can begin by including the key findings or recommendations. Remember that the key here is to discuss the strongest details first moving down to the weakest. Make sure that you include your facts, ideas, research to support the actions that you recommend. This is the most crucial part of your memo; make sure to take your time and write it as clearly as possible.
6. After making all your points and presenting the facts and details about the topic, you have to courteously close the memo. You have to politely state what action you want your reader to take along with the benefit they and all involved will gain and how you can make it easier for them.
7. Lastly, provide detailed information, if necessary. You can easily do this by attaching lists, graphs, tables, etc. at the end of your memo. However, make sure you mention you attachment/s in the memo and add a notation on the end part of the memo.
A memo needs to be written with accuracy and precision since it will deliver facts and important details about the topic being discussed. And now that you know the basics in writing a memo, here are some additional tips you can follow:
A memo is an informative document that can help you communicate important and relevant information. It can also be used for a variety of reasons; hence, it also has various types that can be used for specific reasons/purposes. Listed below are the different types of a memo that you can use:
1. Request Memo: A request memo is written and sent in order to gain a favorable response for a favor. It should be written in a convincing manner with persuasive words. This considers the situation and outlook of the reader. The memo is clear and direct and motivates the reader to take action.
2. Confirmation Memo: A confirmation memo confirms a verbal agreement on paper. This memo is written to certify that you agree on what has been demanded or requested. You should state the conditions of the agreement and encourage the reader to ask for clarifications. You may also see employee memo examples.
3. Ideas and Suggestion Memo: This memo is written to convey ideas or suggestions. It is also used by management to solicit ideas or suggestions from employees to address certain situations or issues. It also specifies how suggestions should be forwarded.
4. Periodic Report Memo: A periodic report memo is written after a certain period of time to give an account to the progress that has been made so far. Oftentimes, this memo is preprinted into a fill-in form format so that the writer can easily and quickly fill it out. This usually consists of graphics that present the progress with regards to a certain task or activity.
5. Informal Study Results Memo: When personnel are asked to write results of an informal study, they write an informal study results memo. The memo presents the information in an easy-to-read and understandable manner. This is basically written to inform those concerned with the current results or outcome of a certain action or activity.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about memo:
A bad memo has the following characteristics:
A memo is very inexpensive to make, but it’s harder to dispute than oral communication or agreement. A memo most of the time shows a timeline of what has happened. These are just some of the advantages of using a memo in communicating within an organization/company.