Dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s

Thursday February 2, 2017

Without doubt simple formalities and keeping an eye on that grammar can go a surprisingly long way, if you need to re-enforce the ground rules get in touch. The laws of grammar are all too easily brushed aside in this modern age of shorthand text and email. But when is exchanging ‘what’ for ‘wot’ or ‘too’ for ‘2’ (let’s not even get started on lol) really acceptable?

It all depends, of course, on the context. And such informality is unlikely to be welcome in very many workplaces at all. Lynne Truss’s excellent books “Eats, Shoots and Leaves“ and “Talk to the Hand” have a devoted following. Some say (only half in jest) that they should be compulsory reading for all school age children and their parents. Governments are yet to legislate on this.

Most of us will have faced a blatant disregard for correct grammar in the workplace, but HR people must often feel in the front line. CVs for example are a hotbed of wincingly bad grammar and inconsistency. And if they are not binned instantly because of a glaring error they may still be there to haunt the culprit when they try to wing it through an interview. “I pay great attention to detail” and “I always check my work” may slip easily off the tongue in interview but may quickly and irrevocably be disproved if the CV contains spelling and grammar mistakes. CVs written in American English also raise many an employer’s eyebrow upon reading. Confusing ‘stationery’ with ‘stationary’ and ‘License’ with ‘Licence’ are especially common. And as if the CV alone does not have the potential to end an employer’s interest in a candidate, there is always the covering letter or email. These too can be rife with grammatical error and are perhaps even more prone to degenerate into inappropriately lax language. Some may reveal a cut-and paste-job and even have the wrong company name on!

As you know, all of these errors are an immediate turn off for employers looking for the next bright spark to help move their organisation forwards. For those who don’t take care, the only thing getting fast-tracked will be their CV to the bin. Courtesy is another area where standards in the workplace have arguably slipped.  Simple formalities such as ringing an employer when taking a sick day or announcing a resignation with a letter are increasingly ignored. Handing in a resignation to an employer may be difficult but there is a procedure that has to be followed, take this resignation by cake as a bad example!

Without doubt simple formalities and keeping an eye on that grammar can go a surprisingly long way. If you are a frustrated employer who needs to re-enforce the ground rules with your staff, get in touch.

Preventing People Problems

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter

Office Address: CENTRAL OFFICE, The HR Dept. Ltd, First Floor, 3 Brook Office Park, Emersons Green, Bristol, BS16 7FL | VAT Number: GB821928327 | Registration Number: 04479417

Copyright © 2007 - 2019 The HR Dept Ltd. HR DEPT is a registered trademark belonging to The HR Dept Limited.