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Personal Message to Employees

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The purpose of my message is to tell employees of the sales department at Branford’s department store that any requests for taking time off during the months of November and December will not be approved. I need to explain to them the importance of having a full staff during the holiday season, and why there needs to be a blackout for time off.

My primary audience is the entire catalog sales department of Branford’s department store, which is located in Miami. I have seventeen full time employees,  most of whom are high school graduates. Many of these employees are also female.  

I should use an indirect organizational plan for giving my employees the information.  Indirect organizational plans are best when you’re writing to someone who will resist your message but is also likely to read the entire message.  My audience will most likely react negatively, but those who have been with the company for a long time will understand that the holidays are the busiest time of the year for retail businesses. This vacation blackout will most likely not come as a surprise to them.  In using the indirect plan I will also avoid stating my purpose in the very beginning of my message, making it more likely that my employees will finish reading the memo.  Since my message is likely to upset people and ruffle some feathers, I should provide my rationale before delivering the bad news, in an effort to soften the blow as much as possible.  

My message should focus more on the reasons for my decision, and any explanation I can give my employees, rather than the bad news itself. I can do some research on business volume and customer turnout for the given time period, and provide my employees with some key figures. The more they know about typical sales for the holiday season, the more they will understand by reasons for denying vacation requests over the holidays. As much as they may not like it, any employee that works in retail knows that the holidays are always the busiest time of the year. Make sure they know that this was a business decision, and not a personal one.

I need to avoid using “I” and “me” throughout the memo as much as possible. This issue isn’t about me or my needs, and I should make it sound like it’s about the employees and their needs, because it is. I should emphasize what a great job they do throughout the year, and make sure they know that I appreciate all of their hard work and the efforts they put forth. Even though I am unable to grant any vacation requests in the months of November and December, my employees needs are important to me, and I want them to be happy at work. I can talk about it being a time of year when we all pull together to make the holiday season the most successful yet.

Memos are reminders or notifications of important items. They are often sent to notify staff members about an upcoming meeting or a policy change that the company believes deserves more than a simple word of mouth mention. They are generally informal, and are less concerned with sentence structure, formatting, and grammar. Letters are formal documents that are sent to people who are outside of the company. They are usually printed on high quality paper and carefully edited for errors.  

I should format this document as a memo. My target audience is within my company, and I want  to be able to print the document for those employees who do not have access to computers. The company logo and professional titles will be included to make it more significant so that the employees recognize that it’s an important message.



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