Organization: City of Lincoln (www.ci.lincoln.ca.us )
Challenge: Most adults don't want to take a writing class. After all, they have been writing for years and are very accomplished in their professions. In addition, at the City of Lincoln, each department over time had evolved its own style of writing reports. The various styles impeded council members in quickly gleaning necessary information from reports to make decisions. Staff is also under pressure to quickly write reports every other week for upcoming City Council meetings. The challenge was to develop a training course that would appeal to adult learners, develop a consistent report writing style, offer a brush up on grammar and help staff write clearly written, concise reports more quickly.
Solution: According to Debbie Lindh, Human Resources Manager, Sierra College worked with the City to make the training a very positive process for employees. "Before the training, the Sierra College Trainer asked for several writing samples including those that we felt were effective, well-written reports," said Lindh. "So he a very concrete idea of the variation in style and what outcome we expected."
"During the training, the instructor immediately put our employees at ease by addressing their feelings about being in a writing course. His humor and real examples taken from City of Lincoln documents effectively engaged our staff."
Competitiveness: "The end result is that we've raised the bar. Our reports have more fluidity and are more consistent in style and format after presenting this class."
Customization: "Sierra College Training & Development designed the course around our specific needs based on our writing samples and demonstrated to employees the benefits of using these writing tools."
Feedback: Attendees reported on evaluations that: "I became aware that I needed to improve my writing," "It was a good refresher with a deliverable plan to improve," "The guidelines on word usage, grammar rules and common errors were helpful," "I learned how be more concise and less wordy," "Using the tips will make it more compelling for people to read my letters," and "Going over email etiquette was helpful."