Virtually nobody can be bothered to read wordy, jargon heavy policy documents. This includes important legal documents like terms and conditions. For instances, Deloitte found that 90% of consumers simply don’t read policies they are signing up their names against. By making your documents easier to read, you’ll increase the likelihood that key information is both available, legally compliant and actually digested by those it’s intended for.
Using plain language is essential if you want a reader to understand, take in and apply any policy you have. This could be your staff, customers, a service user; whoever. The fact is, that by adopting the straightforward principles of plain language and by tailoring information to your audience, you can expect to see reader comprehension rise by up to 90%. Remarkable!
Cut costs, save time and increase efficiency. There is a broad body of research that now supports the fact that putting information into a clear and accessible format saves costs; up to 30% in fact. Finances are key critical for organisations of all sizes, so it’s essential you’re not pouring resources into cumbersome policies that harm your efficiency without even achieving your end goal.
Be inclusive and increase your numbers with it. People with additional needs, particularly literacy needs, are routinely excluded from access to information. The laws of probability dictate that these people will likely be amongst your staff, but certainly could be customers you’re overlooking. This additional need could be anything like dyslexia or a diagnosed learning disability. One in ten people have dyslexia in the United Kingdom, a significant proportion of any intended audience to disregard. Simply by putting information into a format that would support that area of need, increases the reach of a potential message by up to six million people.
Get compliant. If you’re information isn’t accessible, then depending upon your jurisdiction, you’re probably breaking the law. There are often guidelines that dictate a public/government bodies responsibilities when it comes to accessible (Accessible Information Standard: UK). This is often reinforced in law, such as the Equality Act in the UK, or Chapter 3 in the EU Charter.