How to Write a Management Memo

by Kristin Swain
Many managers choose to send memos through email rather than distribute paper copies.

Many managers choose to send memos through email rather than distribute paper copies.

As a manager, you are called upon to send out memos to your staff on a regular basis. These memos may concern changes in company policy, a notice about vacation days or an update to an ongoing project. You must write a memo in such a way that your employees, who may read a hundred messages a day, can easily read and understand the entire memo.

Consider Your Audience

Think about the audience for your memo and what information you wish to convey. If the information is of a sensitive nature you might consider a personal email or delivering the news yourself. For information that needs to be distributed company-wide rather than just for a department or two you, could transmit it as a newsletter rather than a memo. Your memo should only cover one topic. Address the information that the intended recipients need and nothing more.

Have a Simple Layout

The layout of your memo should be concise and easy to read. Indicate at the top of the page that it is a memo and indicate who it is from. Then, address the memo to its recipients and indicate whether the information it contains is important or classified. The sections that follow contain your thesis and the body of the memo.

Write a Thesis

Your managerial memo needs a thesis. A thesis is a one sentence statement that declares what the memo is about and sums up the information contained in the body of the message. If you are sending the memo out as a email, the thesis is a reiteration of the subject line. For instance, if your memo concerns updates to a departmental project, your subject line may state the project name; your thesis provides a one sentence summary to the memo's content and captures your audience's interest.

Let Your Words Work for You

Each word you use in the memo should convey information in the most concise way possible. The information you impart is clear and easy to understand so that employees read the entire memo. Keep the content of your memo to one or two short paragraphs. Put contact information at the bottom of your closing so that employees may get in touch with you if they have any questions or need clarification on the information presented in the memo.

About the Author

Residing in Los Angeles, Kristin Swain has been a professional writer since 2008. Her experience includes finance, travel, marketing and television. Swain holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from Georgia State University.

Photo Credits

  • David De Lossy/Digital Vision/Getty Images