6 Ways to Improve Your Employees’ Business Writing Skills
Do your employees spend too much time planning, writing, and proofreading business reports? Do you spot the grammar and syntax errors in e-mails sent by your staff? If the answers are “Yes,” you need to find a way to fix the situation.
Your employees’ poor writing skills may negatively impact overall productivity and hurt your online reputation. So you can’t just ignore this problem.
Before you start training your employees, you should assess their current skills and identify the key problems.
Take a report written by your employee and analyze it in detail. First, evaluate the quality of the document in terms of content by answering the following questions “Yes” or “No”:
- Does the author of the report present his or her ideas clearly?
- Does the author use appropriate wording and language?
- Does the report have a clear, logical structure?
Next, you should check the grammar of the document:
- Are there any grammar and syntax errors in the document?
- Are there any typos in the document?
- Is the text easy to read?
The analysis will help you figure out what specific skills your employees need to improve. So you will know what steps you should take next—i.e., to teach your staff to express their ideas more clearly, to train them to create easy-to-read sentences, or simply to show them new ways to proofread their writings.
Here are six tips to help improve your employees’ business writing skills and lead your company to success:
1. Provide free access to proofreading tools.
Let’s start with the simplest issue and the simplest solution.
If your employees forget to use commas in complex sentences and misuse superlative and comparative forms of adjectives, provide them with access to online tools like Grammarly. The tool checks up to 400 elements of grammar in text and points out common punctuation issues, poor sentence structure, and contextual spelling errors.
If your team members use online grammar checkers or best writing Websites on a regular basis, they will be able to proofread their reports and e-mails faster. Also, they will improve their grammar skills and expand their vocabulary.
2. Create a competitive environment.
People like to compete. It’s just a human nature thing.
Employees participate in competitions not only because they want to get a specific monetary reward, but also because they want to satisfy their self-esteem needs. And you can use that to your advantage.
By using game-based elements like leaderboards, points, and badges, you can invoke a feeling of competition and engage employees in improving their business writing skills. Trying to show that they are better and smarter than their co-workers, staffers will work harder to polish their writing.
3. Hire an expert.
Do you lack the time or skills to train your employees on your own? In this case, you should consider hiring an expert in writing and teaching.
It may result in some extra expenses, but you can be sure that if you hire a real professional, the results will be worth every penny spent. The trainer will engage your employees in the writing process and encourage them to practice with dedication. At the end of the course, your staff will write memos, e-mails, and reports like pros.
When choosing a business writing training company or expert, pay attention to the following:
- The structure of the offered training program
- The ability to customize the training so it will fit your company
- Availability of ongoing support materials
- Customer testimonials
4. Model strong business writing.
As you probably know, employees tend to model their bosses’ behavior. So if you want to achieve the highest results possible, you will need to improve the skills of team leaders and top managers first.
Yes, that’s right. If people who are seen as role models in your company demonstrate strong business writing skills, other employees will aspire to enhance their skills. So your primary task is to ensure that managers set a good example to follow.
5. Encourage employees to write more.
When it comes to new skills development, practice is essential. The more time your employees spend writing, the better the results they will achieve. So be creative and find a way to encourage your staff to practice not only at work but also at home.
For instance, you may gift your employees with a personalized notebook for journaling. Whether your employees have ever kept a journal before or not, your gift may inspire them to try it out. If it works, your employees will start writing short entries on a daily basis, and their skills will get better.
6. Provide adequate feedback.
Your employees should clearly understand what they do right and what they do wrong. So please, do them a favor and provide constructive feedback with examples.
Don’t ask an employee to “try a different approach.” Be specific and ask him or her to rewrite a chosen paragraph or edit a concrete page of the report.
It’s worth mentioning that you should start your feedback by acknowledging something positive. Because if you start with “Your whole writing strategy needs work,” you will upset the employee. And as a consequence, he or she will not be inclined to put in the work to improve his or her business writing skills.
The Write Stuff
Help your employees to improve their business writing skills systematically, and you will be amazed at the results. Just imagine what changes will happen if you do everything right. Your staff’s writings will be perfect—no more grammar mistakes in e-mails or having to rewrite vague business proposals. That will boost overall productivity and lead your company to success.
Daniela McVicker is a blogger and a freelance writer who works closely with B2B and B2C businesses providing blog writing, copywriting, and ghostwriting services. When McVicker isn’t writing, she loves to travel, read romance and science fiction, and try new wines. You can check her last review of Grabmyessay.