Being a Good Writer in the Workplace
Lainie Petersen reports:
"When an email, letter, text message or social media post is well[-]written, well[-]organized and grammatically correct, the reader will form a good opinion of the writer. On the other hand, misspellings, poorly organized thoughts and grammatical errors make the writer appear unintelligent and unprofessional. At the application or interview stage, this could cost a worker a job offer or result in a salary offer that is lower than what it might have been otherwise. In a business context, bad writing in external communications may reflect poorly on the company. Coworkers may also take notice of poor writing habits, which could affect how they perceive the writer's competence...Good business writing demonstrates that the writer values the reader's time. When a writer is able to organize his thoughts and concerns and present them in a way that is easily read and understood, the reader benefits. On the other hand, poor writing forces the reader to spend time and energy trying to understand what is being communicated. In many cases, the reader may have to ask the writer clarifying questions. Writing clearly shows that the writer respects the reader's time and doesn't want to waste it...Good business decisions depend on clear communication. This is true whether the communications are internal or external. It is far easier to coordinate internal projects and share ideas when all coworkers understand the ideas that are being put forth, as well as processes for completing the project. When employees understand what they can expect of each other, morale often improves. Similarly, workers will have far better relationships with people outside the company when their communications are easy to comprehend. Coordinating meetings, setting goals and negotiating agreements becomes far more straightforward when both parties are able to write clearly...In many cases, a person can improve their writing by taking extra time to compose messages and then to proofread them. Workers should not treat business communications as chores to be completed as quickly as possible, but as projects in their own right. When possible, it's advisable to write important letters and emails at least a few hours before they are to be sent out to allow the writer to take a break from the piece and then review it with fresh eyes...Word processing software usually includes a grammar checker, but there are standalone programs that can often provide more robust proofreading and feedback for even greater clarity...After writing a particularly important letter or email, it might be a good idea for an employee to ask his manager or a colleague to look over the piece and give feedback...There are many options for improving one's writing skills through educational programs. Community colleges and adult education programs offer courses in business writing, and many of these courses can be taken online."
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