The Importance Of Improving Your Business Writing Skills
Business writing is one of the most crucial skills in any company. According to the National Commission on Writing, 67% of employees in major American companies spend a lot of their time writing.
Business professionals document procedures, report problems, create PowerPoint presentations, write emails, and prepare business plans. As you can see, the business world revolves around writing. Most business leaders though, don’t know how to write in a professional setting. Here’s a great example.
Verizon Media acquired Yahoo in 2017 for $4.5 billion. CEO Marissa Mayer communicated the acquisition through a lengthy email to Yahoo employees. The email was vague and 500 words long.
Throughout the email, the words “incredibly” and “incredible” appeared six times. In one paragraph, the CEO used these words four times! While she got the message across, one thing was clear; she had limited vocabulary and grammar skills.
Improving your writing skills is in your best interest as a business leader.
A survey published by the Harvard Business Review showed that most business professionals feel that unfocused, sloppy, and disorganized writing is unproductive and wastes a lot of their time.
Good writing skills are essential for every leader whether your company has 5 employees or 5,000 employees. Here are five ways they can enhance your leadership.
Clear Business Writing Will Boost Employee Morale
Written communication is important in every aspect of business, especially when it comes to communicating with your employees. Emails, newsletters, and memos are all written to keep employees updated. How you communicate with your team will determine their morale and the company’s success.
Poor writing can misinform employees and leave them confused, frustrated, and generally unhappy. This can be catastrophic for business and can lead to employees feeling unappreciated, calling off more often, displaying lower productivity, and higher turnover.
When you write well, you boost employee morale and output and win their trust and loyalty. In my previous job, our CEO would send out a monthly email with company updates and shoutouts to employees going above and beyond. He wrote the email in a way that made it easy to read and digest. He communicated his thoughts and business objectives clearly and we all knew what our responsibilities were to make those happen. His writing style and transparency created a cohesive work environment.
Your Writing Can Build Or Destroy Your Brand
A carefully crafted newsletter or email can help you attract top talent and build trust with investors. A poorly written blog post, on the other hand, can make you a laughing stock in your industry.
Great writing skills are vital to success in business. The only way a company can grow is if leaders communicate clearly. Good communication encourages investors to invest in the business, employees to be productive, and customers to buy products. If you can’t communicate well through writing, you can’t make these things happen.
Remember, everything you write represents you and your brand whether it’s meant for employees or customers. You can’t afford to misspell words or make grammar mistakes. Potential customers will think, “If they can’t even write this email well, how can I trust them with my content?”
Remember, people usually research brands before buying products or services. And since the internet never forgets and people love drama, your bad writing may show up first on Google before your business. Potential clients will have a good laugh, close the page, and forget you exist.
Employee Productivity Increases
In business, productivity keeps a company alive and ensures consistent growth. When employees are productive, you probably don’t think about it too much. But when they aren’t, you notice it immediately.
If you effectively communicate expectations and responsibilities to employees, you’ll be rewarded with an engaged, productive workforce. You won’t have to micromanage them as everyone will know what’s expected of them and how to manage their time and resources.
Strong writing simplifies complex information, outlines the scope of work, and lets employees know the requirements. They don’t struggle to understand what you’re saying.
How Do You Become Better at Business Writing?
Reading content created by outstanding writers improves your writing skills. It increases your vocabulary, enhances your cognitive ability, and boosts your concentration.
Reading also builds your emotional intelligence, traits that are crucial for good leadership. Your creativity improves and you’re more open-minded. When you’re open-minded, you adapt to change more easily and listen to your employee’s ideas.
Great leaders are constantly improving. They educate themselves continually and work toward their goals daily.
Bonus Tip: Reading can also help you live longer. A Yale study showed that people over 50 years who read books for 30 minutes a day, live approximately two years longer.
Write, Write, and Write Some More
Writing is a perishable skill and the best way to become better at it is to keep writing. You can start writing blog posts for the company blog, company newsletters, or industry white papers. Writing those industry white papers can also position your company as a leader in your field.
When you write consistently, you’ll get better. Employees will love reading your emails and customers will trust your brand. Some of my favorite emails from those that I’m signed up for are simple, short, and to the point. I actually look forward to them each week.
To streamline the editing process, use online tools such as Grammarly. Grammarly will check your writing style, structure, grammar, and punctuation to determine how strong and readable the content is. The more you edit, the more you’ll learn.
Technology has made it mandatory for leaders to write. Every day, they write emails, social media posts, newsletters, memos, and other business materials.
Good leaders continually improve their writing because they know it is a critical business skill.