When I first entered the working world, training usually meant sitting through a series of videos about the company I had joined and the importance of customer service. Today, companies are investing a good deal of time and energy in training that’s not just company specific but job and skill specific. In science, technology, and engineering-driven companies, that training often includes instruction in writing for the specialized audiences they serve.
The need for such focused training often means that companies have to bring in help from outside the organization. Sure, businesses can find prefabricated videos, webinars, and online courses aimed at particular roles or industry verticals, but that’s not the same as truly customized instruction.
Work with real writing examples
One of Hurley Write’s greatest advantages is that everything we do is customized. Our courses are tailored to each organization and its specific needs. I have yet to encounter another company that customizes its courses like we do. I think the reason is that it takes time, attention, and effort to make writing instruction relevant to every participant. Many training providers don’t have the ability or desire to invest that kind of time in the courses they offer.
However, the results of generic training courses speak for themselves. The most common complaint I hear about general training is that the courses don’t provide sufficient guidance on how staff should approach the specific documents they are producing for the company.
General overviews have their place, but they won’t produce long-term results. In our classes, we spend time applying concepts to documents that participants actually write in their day-to-day jobs. The idea is that when they leave our class, they can confidently apply the strategies they’ve learned because they’ve already done it.
In a canned solution, participants don’t get that same confidence because they’re being forced to apply concepts that may or may not be applicable to their work.
Choose your instructors wisely
Just as it takes time to customize instruction, it also takes deep expertise to specialize in just one type of instruction. Many well-known companies offer writing courses along with courses on leadership, career-building, and other topics. However, just because a training firm is well-known doesn’t mean they’re the best, and it doesn’t mean they can work with the material your writers must produce.
We teach writing. That’s all we do, and we’re great at it. Companies that really want to see improved communications from their technology developers, scientists, and engineers hire us time and again because we get results.
So, how do you choose a training company? My advice is to take your time in choosing. Companies should look for a track record of success before they hire any training company. Be sure that the firm you choose has the proper credentials, including at least five years’ experience teaching writing in your industry. Your chosen provider should be able to demonstrate an understanding of how the writing in your industry differs from that in other industries.
For some companies, truly improving the writing they get from their teams isn’t their priority. However, for technical, scientific, and engineering companies, information is their most important product and clear communication is essential. General writing instruction simply doesn’t deliver the skills those teams need to produce stellar work.