Writing a Formal Report

No skill is as important to managers as report writing. Managers and HR specialists have to write progress reports, proposals, accident reports and evaluation reports, to name but a few. You should use a formal report format if your subject matter is important to your organization, if your findings are extensive, if the analysis is complex or if it is to be used over a long period of time. Many of the assignments in the section ‘Practising human resource management’ ask you to write a formal report. Remember that a formal report, especially if it is to be sent outside the organization, is meant to reflect and maintain the organization’s professional image.

In this HR-related skill module we shall be concerned only with suggestions for the writers of formal management reports. We shall not try to present a comprehensive treatment of informal reports, including information reports, recommendation reports, justification reports, and proposals. See Suggested Further Reading.