Writing is a baseline skill. It’s an essential part of any professional’s daily tasks, even if they don’t realize it. You may not think it’s necessary to help your team improve their writing skills, but it’s costing you if you don’t.
Just how important are proper grammar and concise sentences? About $3 billion worth, according to one study. Every year, businesses spend billions of dollars on remedial writing training for their employees.
Many people don’t think it’s practical or worthwhile to work on their writing skills. “But knowing how to fashion an interesting and intelligent sentence is essential to communicating effectively, winning business, and setting yourself apart,” according to Harvard Business Review. Let’s cover the basics of business writing and five simple ways you can help your employees become proficient writers.
Business writing encompasses many forms of written communication. It’s meant to inform, persuade, and explain processes effectively and efficiently. Most business writing falls into four different categories:
Instructional This type of writing guides the reader through the process of completing a task, such as a user manual or standard operating procedure. It provides step-by-step instruction and should be straightforward and organized.
Informational Informational writing conveys information about a specific topic, such as white papers or financial statements. You communicate facts and information to your colleagues, customers, and business partners through this form of writing.
Persuasive The purpose of persuasive writing is to engage and convince the reader to purchase a product or service. Email marketing campaigns and press releases are two examples of persuasive writing.
Transactional This is the type of writing you most likely do every day. Emails, recommendation letters, and internal memos are examples of transactional writing.
Whether your staff members write reports for the U.S. government or send customers marketing emails, strong writing skills can make a big difference on your bottom line. For example, inefficient content doesn’t convert sales and can hurt your company’s reputation. Proficient writers are viewed as more trustworthy. So, when someone reads an article or email containing grammatical errors, they’ll often assume the person who wrote it doesn’t know enough about the subject. This breaks their confidence in the writer and the organization. Good writing boosts your credibility and helps your brand stand out.
Another way poor writing negatively affects your business is by wasting time. Readers don’t want to reread emails, articles, and reports, but if the content isn’t clear enough, they’re forced to spend extra minutes trying to make sense of it. This could annoy them, or they may grasp what’s being asked of them. To limit confusion, you need a team of proficient writers.
While not everyone is a natural-born writer, it’s possible to improve your writing skills. We’ve compiled a list of the ways you can help your staff grow into proficient writers without breaking the bank.
Figure out what you want to convey before putting that pen to paper, whether you’re writing a blog post or an internal email. By thinking about what you want to say and organizing your ideas before you start to write, you’ll be better able to communicate your point. It improves the flow, and your readers will have an easier time following the ideas you’re trying to get across.
Put it into action:
To get your point across, your writing should be clear and concise. If it isn’t, your reader may not understand what you’re trying to say and misinterpret your message.
Good writing has been scientifically proven to get a reader’s dopamine flowing but only if they like what they’re reading. As they read, they’re subconsciously thinking about how it’s adding value, what they can learn from it, and if it makes sense. Understanding your audience is key to striking the proper tone and sharing the right information.
Remember to write customer-centric copy that focuses on your reader’s needs and wants. Otherwise, you’ll lose your audience’s attention.
Readers tend to pick up on grammatical errors, even subtle ones. Giving your work a once-over before publishing or sending it would be helpful, but a thorough proofread will help you catch and revise any errors you made in your first and second drafts. Remember that grammatically correct content leads to more success.
Put it into action:
If you’re on a tight budget, there are many inexpensive ways to improve your team’s writing skills. In addition to the steps outlined above, there are several tools you’ll want to make use of as you work toward writing proficiency. Some are free while others may cost a little money upfront, but remember that spending now can help you save in the long run.
By working with your staff to improve their writing skills, they’ll have an easier time communicating with their customers and colleagues. The process may seem overwhelming, but the tips above can help you get started. By writing content that’s honest, clear, and grammatically correct, you’ll find that your staff is more confident and better able to connect with clients and coworkers.
When you’re ready to take the next step in fine-tuning your staff’s writing skills, Proofed is here to help. Our editors provide quality feedback on every document they work on. So, besides improving flow, concision, and clarity, they offer educational advice in each edit to ensure your employees receive practical advice on how to improve their writing. Schedule a call with us today and discover why we’re trusted by hundreds of organizations, from award-winning start-ups to Fortune 500 companies.
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