Ever opened an e-mail from a co-worker only to spend the next 15 minutes trying to figure out what that co-worker was actually trying to say?
Welcome to the club. Whether it’s e-mail, instant messaging or even text messaging, written communication dominates today’s office culture. And most staffers could use more than a simple refresher on spelling and grammar.
In fact, 81% of corporate execs rated the writing skills of high school graduate employees as deficient, and almost 28% ranked their college graduate staff almost as low, according to a 2006 survey by the Conference Board and the Society for Human Resource Management and others.
The effects of poor, unclear writing can run the gamut from misunderstandings and lost work time all the way to lost business.
But with abbreviations, emoticons and other text message-style shorthand seeping into business communications, is it really worth worrying about the effectiveness of your staff’s writing?
More and more companies are addressing bad writing by enlisting help from the pros. Companies seeking to remedy employee writing problems are increasingly utilizing the services of business writing workshops and classes, and even personal writing coaches.
Do these things work? Currently, there’s little research that assigns a concrete figure to the effectiveness of these services. But we’ll keep you posted.
Has your company had success with a business writing workshop, class or personal coach? Feel free to share your story with us.