Business writing remains one of the essential skills in HR every professional should master. After all, your writing is representative of not only your professionalism but, more importantly, the company—especially when speaking in regards to job postings, internal policies, or communication with partners and vendors. Improving business writing skills is vital for being an excellent employee, growing as a specialist, and being more effective at your position.
PurposeS of Improving Your Business Writing
Let's start with the reasons why effective writing skills in the workplace are essential, especially today.
1. Bad Written Communication
Extremely detrimental to business. It seems evident on an everyday level - if you write an unprofessional and full of mistakes letter to a candidate, they might refuse the offer. But the statistic shows the astonishing scale of this problem – businesses spend $3.1 billion per year on writing training for their employees.
2. Growing Importance
The importance of good writing skills in the workplace has grown since the COVID pandemic. Do not get me wrong; it has been one of the main channels of work-related communication before, with 306 billion emails sent every day globally. But now, as a lot of work has been done remotely, it often becomes the only and primary way to collaborate on something. There might be no chance to elaborate on something in person in the reality of working from home; that's why it is crucial to write correctly.
The documents, letters, job postings – all of these texts represent you and our skills. So if you are wondering what the purpose of improving your business writing is, the answer is simple – to be effective at your job. And to get a promotion too. Imagine a HR department that cannot complete an internal policy of a welcome letter without causing misunderstanding or without grammar errors. What are the chances of such an employee getting a promotion? Very low, to be honest.
There is a reason why 26% of employees think that emails are the workplace's leading productivity killer. After all, deciphering poorly written emails is commonplace. Here come misunderstanding, endless clarifications, questions, and lengthy email chains. Improving business writing is the best way to increase productivity and be effective at communication, whether you want to attract the right candidate or create an excellent policy.
HONING Your Writing Skills at Work
The main goal of business writing is to deliver a clear message, persuade the audience, or make a proposal. It is all about being precise, build the argument on facts, and sticking to the main point. Luckily, no one is born an excellent writer. It is just a skill that anyone can learn, the way you develop other e-learning skills. Here's what you can do to improve your business writing skills.
1. Begin with Analysis
The first step is to read your texts and figure out the weak points. It can be something like a grammar or spelling error, unclear delivery, illogical flow, structure, wording, or tone. Highlight what causes the most issues and looks unprofessional.
2. Define the Objective
To improve business writing, always start with the objective – the main message you want to deliver. You can even write it down on the draft. It doesn't have to be anything like a thesis statement in an essay. It is essential to remember what you want the receiver to get from the text. This objective will influence the tone of writing, language use, and structure.
3. Keep in Mind the Audience
The next step in how to improve business writing skills is to always write for a specific audience. Whether it is one person or a team – it doesn't matter. Your text should appeal to them specifically. It means that the tone and language should be appropriate. For example, if you are working on internal policy, the tone needs to be more friendly and close to conversational. There is no need to scare employees with complicated abbreviations. Do not try to impress them with niche terms.
4. Use Mockups for Structure
The importance of business writing skills is based on the logical flow and appeal to facts rather than emotions. The most efficient way to make your text more logical is to use structured mockups of drafts. You can use corporate ones or create your own. Even something as simple as a general sequence of thoughts will help stick to the objective and develop arguments accordingly. Always start with the main idea because lots of people do not read the text thoroughly. Make it structural and easy to perceive – break down into paragraphs, sub-headings, use proper formatting.
5. Do Your Research
Sometimes the first impression is the only shot you've got. And if one of your claims in the text is not researched well and false, it can ruin everything. Such a small mistake can undermine the validity of the whole text. What is the purpose of improving your business writing if you do not fact-check yourself? Always do your research, especially when writing for outside parties. Everything should be factual, objective, and verified. And avoid meaningless buzzwords like "agile," "talent pool," "innovative," etc.
Before you send something, always take time to proofread. There are useful apps like Grammarly and Hemingwayapp, that help with grammar, spelling, and readability. But you also need always proofread it yourself to analyze whether the message is clear, the wording is simple, and the tone is correct. Imagine that you are the receiver and think whether you've got all information clear.
This guide on improving business writing skills will be useful not only for HR professionals but also for any employee who regularly deals with professional communication. There is no secret on how to improve business writing except practice, focus, and precision. Always think about the message and the audience to use the best ways of effective delivery.
Author's bio: Vasy Kafidoff is co-founder and CEO at WritingMetier. He is an experienced writer that built a career out of his skill. He believes that it is one of the most crucial skills in the modern workforce.