Business writing development for employees is sometimes an afterthought for organizations. This is a mistake that can weigh down any business. How well each person employed in your business unit performs is a reflection of the organization’s work efficiency as a whole, and even something as apparently small as ambiguity in written instructions circulating within the department, or poor written communication with customers, can have serious consequences.
Written communication is often responsible for the first impression the world has of your team, and you don’t want that impression to be negative because your team has weak business writing skills.
I am sure that you, among many other business leaders, find yourself wishing that your employees had better business writing skills to articulate a message clearly or deliver an error-free business report. I hear this often and have worked with many business units with similar needs and helped them enhance their work efficiency through clear and effective written communication.
Here are three ways I’ve witnessed weak business writing skills inhibit business efficiency.
Confusion and Delays
Effective written communication within the organization is critical. I have far too often seen unclear instructions cause confusion among employees and management, resulting in delays in business process. Whether it is an email, a company-wide notice, or a report, it is essential that the information delivered is precise, short, and to the point, leaving no room for assumptions among the management and staff.
Every employee has to deliver parts of critical information to the rest of the team through email, and ineffective or poor writing that fails to deliver the real message causes delays. With the current pace of work, none of your employees has the time to peruse every sentence in a business email – we get an email, we scan it at a glance, and we do whatever we then think needs to be done. Well-articulated, concise messages that are clear on the first read are essential.
Having coached many senior business executives over the years, I have seen that written communication creates unfavorable impressions fast. Any functional error that you or your employee makes requires time to correct and time to smooth over any annoyance. If the apology or correction continues to reflect weak business writing skills, and is riddled with improper grammar and sentence structure, you’re bound to face embarrassment. This reflects on not only the employee handling outside communications, but on the business as a whole.
No business leader can allow their business to convey a negative impression.
Low Efficiency and Morale
Weak business writing not only wastes time until the errors have been fixed or everyone finally understands the poorly written instructions and what they really mean. It also impacts employee morale and efficiency.
Teams that are confident about their written communication are able to work more efficiently than those who are not. With no constant back and forth for clarification and ambiguity, confusion and delays are minimized.
Many employees have excellent general business skills related to their position, but weak business writing skills. Those otherwise skilled employees who are responsible for the poorly worded emails or ambiguous reports can easily feel embarrassed or demoralized by their weak writing. Morale suffers, especially if written communication is a large part of their job duties. These skilled employees could become so much more valuable to your team if they were offered business writing training that allows them to express their contributions and knowledge well in writing.
Too often, I have seen skilled employees lose their confidence because of weak business writing skills. However, you can easily and effectively change the impression of your organization through business writing training.
Improve Business Writing Skills
Don’t allow your business to continue to suffer ambiguous and poorly written communication – this is something that CAN be resolved, provided you take the right steps. We can help you untangle your workflow communication process so that it is efficient and clear with no more syntax mistakes.
Contact me for a complimentary consultation.
To learn the key four steps to help you improve your team’s writing at work, download my Four Steps to Improve Your Teams Business Writing Skills eBook.