In order to remain competitive both locally and in the global economy, and to meet the demands of best practice, businesses require employees to have strong business writing skills. These skills are the backbone of a company and can be the deciding factor as to whether or not customers choose one company over another.
This is according to Michael Walker, the owner of Language Boss, a niche training company that specialises in teaching people to write better in the workplace. He says that although most employees spend the majority of their time communicating via email, many don’t possess good writing skills, which are absolutely essential in the modern workplace.
“According to research conducted by the McKinsey Global Institute, the average employee spends two and a half hours per day dealing with emails, which is equivalent to 81 working days every year or a quarter of the average working life. According to O2 Business in the UK, the average worker spends 288 hours a year writing emails, and sends more than 4,000 in the process.
“Communication is the core of every business and in order for businesses and their employees to thrive in the 21st century, employees need to master email writing skills and use email as the sharp business tool it is. Not only will it help unlock employee value and productivity, but contribute towards the business’ bottom line.”
Walker says that we have evolved into a keyboard generation, which sees us writing more now than ever before thanks to technology - from laptops to iPads and cellphones. “With this bad writing habits have formed such as writing in sentence fragments, punctuating incorrectly, and using inappropriate abbreviations. These bad habits are transferred into email writing, which together with spelling errors, bad tone and poor choice of words, ultimately reflect badly on the employee and on the company, and can be detrimental to the business.”
He says that poorly written emails can convey the wrong message and tone to the customer and can imply that the employee is unprofessional and incompetent. “This says a lot about how a business is run, and can be costly to the company’s reputation.