Staff reports are important communication tools in business. They summarize company news and information that busy managers and supervisors need at regular intervals. The information they contain should be presented in a way that's easy to understand and absorb. Common monthly staff report types include progress reports, incident reports, budget reports and meeting summaries, such as minutes with action items. If you are writing a monthly staff report, identify your audience, focus on your message, present the information in an engaging manner and avoid being vague or wordy, mixing tenses and showing prejudice.
Monthly staff reports are commonly prepared by administrative assistants, line managers and supervisors for senior managers and directors. The documents should be formatted in formal report form unless they are casual reports sent in memos or emails. Always anticipate a secondary audience, whose members may receive your report from the primary recipient. Keep the tone of the report businesslike for all who might see it. For example, if a monthly staff report is prepared for the sales manager, it may be copied to or at least discussed with the director of sales, and personal references and topics outside the scope of the report are best avoided.
Business reports are documents with specific subjects. Keep the report subject as the main message of the report. For example, monthly employee head count reports should include only information directly related to how many employees are employed as of the date or date range of the report. Information about how many items the production crew made this month or which employees were disciplined would be off the topic in a head count report and better reported in a different document.
Monthly staff reports may have good news or bad news to report, and the way the information is presented has a bearing on how it’s perceived and used. Good news, or good numbers, can be stated directly at the beginning of the report, with supporting information following it. Bad news or bad numbers should be positioned in the middle or toward the end of the report, with an introductory section before it and supporting explanation and suggested resolutions at the end of the report. Use a friendly, businesslike tone for business reports, with short sentences and active voice, and simple figures, calculations and graphs that pertain directly to the report topics.
Don’t be vague in format or content when preparing monthly staff reports. Use clear topic sentences, section heads and language. Check for spelling, vocabulary and grammar mistakes, and be careful not to mix past and present tense. Don’t present information in a biased way; be impartial as you present the facts without speculation, blame or innuendo. Use simple, direct wording and avoid big, complicated or pretentious words.