No matter how talented and skillful your employees are, you should train them and help them keep growing professionally. You should ensure that people who work for your company possess all skills necessary to lead your brand to success.
One of the essential skills that we tend to overlook is business writing skills. Today, we will talk about its importance. Also, we will discuss the steps one should take to improve employees’ business writing skills.
Why it’s important to improve your employees’ business writing skills?
First of all, let’s talk about the importance of business writing skills. Let’s figure out why you should care about how well your employees write.
If you help your employees to improve their skills, you will achieve the following results.
Ensure effective communication in the workplace
When employees communicate their ideas clearly, there are no conflicts and misunderstandings in the workplace. Since everyone has a clear understanding of the situation, conversations and discussions go smoothly.
Employees who have outstanding writing skills complete simple writing tasks faster and more effectively than others. They don’t spend that much time editing reports and proofreading emails – they have more time to focus on their main work activities.
Protect your brand’s reputation
By sending poorly written emails and reports to clients and suppliers, employees put a brand image at risk. Since people don’t trust individuals who write in poor grammar and don’t trust companies that employ such employees, it’s crucially important to ensure that everyone who works for your company has high writing skills.
Here are: Top Brand Reputation Management Tools
Engage your customers
Marketers, sales managers, and customer support representatives present your brand to your customers through writing. And it’s important to ensure that each of your employees knows the basics of engaging writing and understands how to use the power of words to make people fall in love with your brand.
That said, here are the ways you can improve your employees’ business writing skills;
1. Pay for online courses
Probably one of the easiest, yet the most effective ways to help employees to acquire new skills is through online courses.
Online courses allow your employees to study at their own pace and require no extra input from you.
There are a bunch of business writing classes on the web. If you want to pick one that perfectly fits your organization and your employees’ needs, check out the following educational platforms:
When choosing an online course, you should consider the following:
- Length of the course. Some courses last for one week, others – for a few months. Don’t pay for 12-weeks-long courses if your employees are not enthusiastic about studying.
- The effort required. Depending on the chosen course, it will take an employee from one to ten hours a week to work on tasks. Consider allowing employees to study during working hours so that they don’t have to sacrifice their personal time.
- Pricing. Some courses are overpriced. Read reviews before making any payments.
- Flexibility. Different employees have different needs and personal preferences. Allow them to enroll in the courses of their choice.
- Affordability. Some platforms like Udemy offer free classes. If you operate on a budget, free classes are a perfect solution for you.
2. Organize a business writing training
Do poor business writing skills of your employees cause you big issues and financial losses? Don’t hesitate to invite a professional coach to the office. The coach will assess the current level of your employees’ skills and offer a personalized solution.
What are the main benefits of working with a coach? The coach will help your team to achieve great results in a short period of time.
What are the main drawbacks? It’s the most expensive way to train employees. If you run a small company, you can hardly afford it.
Are there any alternative solutions? Actually, yes. If you have outstanding business writing skills and some teaching and coaching skills, you can design an educational course by yourself. Since you know the strengths and weaknesses of each of your employees, you will be able to create the most suitable program.
3. Provide free access to proofreading tools
Poor grammar is a big problem that has a straightforward solution. Thanks to new technologies, we can get rid of proofreading issues literally in a few clicks.
If your employees make tons of spelling mistakes and typos, offer them to use proofreading tools like Grammarly.
AI-powered grammar checkers will ease the work of your employees a lot and help them learn from their mistakes. The system highlights all the misspelled words and incorrectly written phrases letting employees understand what common errors they make and how to fix them.
Popular grammar checkers are affordable for everyone – most of them have free versions. So even if you’re currently experiencing financial difficulties, you can still take advantage of new technologies.
4. Provide adequate feedback
When it comes to skill improvement, feedback is extremely important.
You, as a leader, should discuss with employees their mistakes. But you should do it wisely. Since, for most people, it’s hard to accept criticism, you should carefully choose the words. You need to ensure that your feedback will not hurt the employees’ feelings and self-esteem.
Don’t make employees feel guilty for the mistakes made. Show them your support and provide them with a possible solution.
If you don’t want to criticize your employees’ skills, you can choose another approach. You can use a writing service as an intermediary – a professional editor will review your employees’ writings and give constructive feedback. In such a way, you will not destroy trust with employees.
5. Become a role model
Now be honest answering the following questions:
- What is your level of business writing skills?
- Do you have perfect grammar?
- Do you put any effort into improving your skills?
Your employees see you as a role model. They try to follow you in everything you do. So if you admit that your writing skills are not perfect and start working on your mistakes, it’s highly likely that your employees will do the same.
Enroll in an online course. Install a grammar checking browser extension. And take other steps to become a better writer. Your employees will follow you, and it will greatly benefit your company in the long run.
6. Take advantage of gamification
Humans are competitive by nature. Every time we see competitors on our way, we put more effort into our work, aiming to become winners.
If you pair the competitive spirit with gamification, you will motivate your employees to work harder on their business writing skills improvement. Here are a few ideas of what you can do:
- Run a competition “Business writer of the month”. Encourage employees to edit their reports more meticulously to get awarded.
- Use points, badges, and leaderboards. Let your employees see how well they are doing in writing in comparison with their colleagues.
- Use interactive content like infographics and games to engage your employees in the studying process.
7. Encourage your employees to read more
The more people read, the better they write. So if you want your employees to become better writers, you should encourage them to spend more time reading. You can do it in multiple ways:
- Provide free magazine subscriptions (online or offline)
- Gift books
- Offer gift certificates to local bookstores
If your employees enjoy reading books related to their jobs and your niche, that’s great. But if they don’t like it, let them read sci-fi novels and other not-related-to-work literature of their choice.
8. Design writing guides and templates
It will be easier for your employees to create text documents if they have a clear understanding of how a perfect document looks like.
You should design templates that show the proper structure of email, memo, and other short texts. Also, you should create writing guides that explain how to create large text files from scratch. In your guide, you should specify the structure of a particular document, for instance, a monthly report, and the peculiarities of its formatting.
Depending on your skills and the amount of time you possess, you can design templates and guides by yourself or use online writing services.
A few things you need to know about improving your employees’ writing skills…
- Don’t expect fast results. Employees need time to cultivate business writing skills. So please, be patient.
- Don’t expect the same progress from different employees. Every person is unique: some people acquire new skills faster, others do it slower.
- Even though you can access free writing tools, consider investing money in professionally designed training courses and writing support programs. That will benefit your company in the long run.
In 2020, you have all tools necessary to help your employees to improve their business writing skills. So don’t hesitate to take the next step – provide your employees with adequate support and assistance. Your efforts will be rewarded with higher productivity levels and a stronger brand image.
8 Ways to Improve Your Employees’ Business Writing Skills
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