The ability to write clearly and concisely at work is essential for efficiency. Yet many team members struggle to write easy-to-read and grammatically correct communications, from emails to reports to procedures and simple instructions.
Poor written communication leads to frustration and misunderstanding. It discourages compliance, contributes to lost productivity and may even lead to reputational damage. At the extreme, unclear communication can lead to workplace accidents that could result in injury or death.
If your organisation relies heavily on written communications, how can you reduce the risks?
1. Prevent the problem. Résumés and job applications are no longer an accurate indication of a candidate’s writing ability as these are often prepared by a professional writer. As a result, many organisations discover too late that a team member’s writing ability is not up to scratch. A short pre-employment writing task can give you valuable insight into a candidate’s true writing ability.
2. Intervene early. If a team member’s writing issues become evident after they have been appointed to the job, it’s important to spot the warning signs early and get help. This could include sending your team member to a writing skills workshop or arranging individual coaching or mentoring.
3. Outsource. Although it’s not practical to outsource every written communication, you can save time and potentially get better results by outsourcing some of your writing tasks. A professional writer or editor will ensure your publications are of a high quality and comply with international readability standards.
A good grasp of the basic building blocks of language, particularly the ability to structure a sentence correctly, is essential for both internal and external communications. To reduce the risks from poor written communications, team members must also be able to create a logical flow of information, get to the point, and adopt the right tone for their reader.
For all your writing and training needs contact Concise Writing Consultancy today on +612 9238 6638 or enquire at www.concisewriting.com.au
For more information about how you can reduce the risk of poor communication at your organisation, download our free e-book Australia’s communication crisis: 5 warning signs managers can’t afford to ignore.