Communication is an essential component of any enterprise, but companies spend an astounding amount of time and money bringing employees up to basic proficiency standards. Businesses reportedly spend $3.1 billion on remedial writing training for their employees annually.
Increasingly, companies understand the key to productivity and organizational success lies in fortifying their internal writing standards, whether it’s around memos, emails, company news, internal documents, work order instructions, chats, or project collaboration.
Learn actionable tips for reaching a higher business standard and discover how modern digital communication tools like Grammarly Business can save time, money, and effort.
With more workers shifting to remote recently, self-mastery and collaboration emerged as “trends that will define the workplace.” Individual employees devote their attention to mastering stress and anxiety, taking control of their time to increase productivity, and improving their business writing, communication style, listening skills, and etiquette.
Bolstering business writing drives team performance overall. It also gives employees the tools they need to reduce stress, improve confidence, and work smarter. Improved communication enhances team collaboration, customer conversion, employee happiness, and retention.
Good business writing starts with a commitment from the upper echelons of management, team leads, supervisors, and executives. Employees need strong examples to follow as guides and feel confident with the advice and tools they need to succeed. Consider these eight pillars of strong business writing as a foundation for company-wide guidelines.
Modeling strong writing can have a trickle-down effect on an organization, but it may not be enough to propel your team to greatness. And individual coaching can be time-consuming, laborious, and expensive.
A digital writing assistant is an affordable alternative that helps new and existing employees review their messages and reach a higher standard of writing proficiency at every level in the organization.
Taking a moment to think about what you want to say can help you convey your message more effectively and clearly. Keep communications short and simple, ideally expressing one main idea per message to ensure the point lands.
However, you may need to combine several related points into one message to avoid bombarding colleagues with a full inbox; in these cases, number paragraphs or use bullet points to organize chunks of information into smaller, more digestible sections.
You can also outline or use planning tools (like mind maps) to assist with longer or more complicated documents. Diagrams can help clarify the relationships between different tasks, ideas, and priorities.
What is your purpose for communicating?
Clearly defining your purpose from the outset will set the tone, style, and structure of your message. You should also begin your message with the most essential information so the recipient knows what to expect up front and can prioritize the message accordingly.
For instance, if your purpose is to excite employees to join a team-building activity, you won’t want to write too formally, use heavy jargon, or bore them with paragraphs about how their participation will increase team productivity. Instead, keep the memo light and fun, using bullets to describe what will happen at the event, and wrap it all up with a call-to-action that encourages enrollment. You may not ordinarily use many exclamation points in a business setting, but the subject matter allows it in this less-formal instance.
Tone can be one of the trickiest aspects of writing because it requires you to see the message through the readers’ point of view to ensure there is no subtext between the lines. The right tone conveys confidence, respect, and professionalism, but the wrong tone can confuse, muddle the meaning of the message, or even sow discontent.
Be sure to avoid these pitfalls in conveying tone:
You always want to ask yourself, “Who am I writing this for?” Content should be tailored to prioritize what your audience values. Often, management talks down to employees and emphasizes that workers should care about a particular agenda because the corporate leaders care. Instead, communication should be written with a team mentality, emphasizing the collaborative corporate culture you want your organization to embody.
For example, in situations where management has to announce bad news to the sales department, try to go for a positive approach:
A business style guide may be used within an enterprise to keep a team writing consistently and professionally to preferred standards.
Business style guides typically include:
It can be difficult to remember all the subtleties of a style guide and ensure its reference and use company-wide. However, with Grammarly Business, leaders can customize the built-in style guide to their company’s preferences. Grammarly will automatically ensure each employee/team member’s writing adheres to the style guide and make suggestions as necessary.
As a leader, it’s your job to delegate tasks to empower your team, assist with professional development, and get projects completed.
If you’re collaborating with colleagues on a single project or document, make sure it’s clear who is responsible for what part of the project to avoid duplicate work. Let the individuals know why you’ve selected them to lead a particular effort to build trust and inspire confidence. Be sure everyone knows what decisions they have the authority to make and whom to speak to if there is an issue that arises beyond their own authority.
Clearly describe what goals, deadlines, or milestones you expect to reach. Let each team member tackle the job in their own way and at their own pace as much as possible to avoid micromanaging.
Business leaders often find they are writing many of the same types of messages:
Templates can be incredibly helpful to keep messaging consistent and provide teams with a blueprint of everything they need to know and/or include. They can encompass goals, success metrics, responsibilities, budgets, milestones, deliverables, schedules, and communication plans. Templates can take the pressure off of employees who are wondering if they included all necessary information, helping them streamline their processes and improve productivity.
Improving business writing across the entire organization takes time, patience, and consistent work. However, with the eight business writing tips mentioned above, you and your team can take the first steps toward business writing proficiency as soon as today!
Visit www.rapidezwriter.com for more advice. Also check our expert services.
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