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Keeping it formal in employee communications

SmartPulse — our weekly reader poll in Smartbrief on Workforce — tracks feedback from leading managers and HR practitioners. We run the poll question each Wednesday in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: Do you stick to conventional formal standards in written communications to employees?

  • Sometimes, 54%
  • Always, 38%
  • Never, 9%

I know that at times, sticking to formal communication standards is essential. When you want an employee to read a piece of communication, though, deviation can prove useful. Going the informal route and simplifying the message can have a huge impact, especially in workplaces that have a mixture of blue and white collar workers.

Lance Haun is community director for, the main guy over at and a member of the SmartBrief on Workforce Advisory Board.