It’s true that not everyone is a naturally gifted writer. This is okay as not everyone is destined to be a best-selling novelist, but should we be encouraging professionals to flex their writing skills on a daily basis? There are many reasons why developing solid writing skills is important in this day and age.
The professional world is full of correspondence, be it an email between coworkers or a negotiation with a new client. Writing skills are more important than people realize. Therefore, nurturing these skills by encouraging regular practice is a good idea for these reasons:
The bottom line is that good writing demonstrates professionalism. Anyone who works in a corporate environment can easily vouch for the importance of being professional in all situations. This includes writing.
Good writing within the organization looks good to potential employees. It will be especially attractive to those who value professionalism and intelligence and aren’t simply looking for the first job they can find. These are the employees you want to have on your team.
Just as importantly, proper writing shows a degree of professionalism to outsiders. Whether you’re emailing a client, writing a short story about your work day, or writing a piece for the company blog, it’s important that it’s error-free. This content will be viewed by the public and it should emulate the professionalism and quality of the company itself.
Within any workplace, regardless of size, type, or industry, good communication between all is important. Whether it’s from upper management trickling down the chain of command, co-worker to co-worker, or communicating with customers and clients, it should always be clear.
Especially when communicating with anyone outside the company, be it a client or a contractor, poor communication will waste time and resources. Poor communication can come in many forms but is most commonly unchecked grammar and spelling.
This is easily solved by a solid proofreading protocol and perhaps some editing software. A good rule of thumb is to never send a message without reading it over first, no matter how short or trivial it might seem. Small mistakes add up.
Within the company, bad communication may not be making anyone look bad to the customer, but it can still waste time. Bad grammar is one thing, but, the inability to communicate messages succinctly and clearly will result in wasted time. People will start turning in incorrect work if they didn’t understand the instructions.
For this reason, it’s essential that all employees, regardless of position, maintain their writing skills at a certain level. Learning how to write dialogue is one good way to keep basic skills sharp and intact. Writing dialogue requires thinking, creativity, and accuracy.
Every so often, run writing challenges that include dialogue, at least for those in the company that writes on a regular basis. It’ll challenge them, keep them on their toes, and identify potential problem areas in their writing.
In addition to maintaining strong and good quality communication, good writing builds credibility for both the company and each individual. Strong, clear writing demonstrates a level of intelligence that people will automatically respect. On the other hand, consistently poor writing skills within a corporate environment will make you appear less intelligent and therefore less credible and reliable.
As with communication, this applies both within the company and when communicating outside the company. You want to appear credible and intelligent to customers, both new, old, and prospective. As individuals, employees are smart to build credibility for themselves within the company, and part of that is good quality writing in their correspondence
A Good First Impression
Making a good first impression is as important as they say it is. Regardless of what you do afterward, people remember their first impression of you for a long time and it can be hard to change it. This goes for individuals and the company as a whole.
When an employee starts at their job, everyone’s first impression is formed pretty fast. If the first few things they write while on the job are filled with problems and no one can understand it, this is how people will see them. They will come off as unintelligent and careless, whether that’s fully true or not.
The same thing applies when dealing with new customers. A potential customer’s first point of contact is going to shape their first impression of the company. This is why it’s so important to train all employees in how to handle clients and customers – especially those who deal with them regularly, like customer service.
If they receive a poorly written email in response to their inquiry, it will no doubt leave a bad impression. This might not be indicative of the quality of service they would receive with the company, but it was their very first experience and it’s now been tainted. For this reason, all employees should have basic writing skills.
You Should Encourage Your Team to Write Daily
Even if it’s only a little bit, encouraging your team to write on a regular basis to keep their skills sharp and up to date is a good idea. You can offer them ideas for activities, challenges, and journaling. You can even try incentivizing it with prizes for those who meet certain goals and milestones.
You can even run group challenges or contests. For example, everyone can learn how to write a short story together. Then, the whole office can vote on who writes the best one, and the winner gets a small prize.