Posted August 27, 2019
One of the most common – and damaging – misconceptions about business writing is that it’s solely about making oneself understood.
Certainly, it’s critical that the writing in business documents – emails, memos, reports, proposals, presentations, and more – must be able to communicate clearly and facilitate mutual understanding. But good writing does more than that: it serves a functional purpose that can enhance business performance and strengthen relationships within and around the workplace.
How? Well, solid business writing solves problems before they occur, reduces friction in interactions with colleagues and customers, showcases expertise and professionalism, and ultimately strengthens the relationships that are vital to good business outcomes.
Consider Dillard’s, for example. This department store is one of the nation’s largest apparel, cosmetics, and home furnishings retailers. With hundreds of retail locations in 29 states, Dillard’s IT department coordinates and communicates with a huge variety of internal stakeholders and external users. One of the major ways the IT team interfaces with its multiple audiences is through writing: instructional materials, tech support, Q&A, and more.
Dillard’s wanted to strengthen its IT team’s writing skills and reached out to Hurley Write for help. The major goal: produce written materials that would be clear and understandable enough that both internal customers and external end-users could quickly resolve – or entirely avoid – IT-related problems. In other words, better writing improves customer experience, which in turn reinforces the relationship.
In fact, in addition to increasing customer satisfaction, strong writing skills signal that both the writer and the business take their work seriously, know what they’re talking about, and undertake their work with professionalism and skill. Thus, good writing makes them more credible to the people with whom they work and inspires confidence in their abilities – often enough to drive business relationships forward.
Another Hurley Write client exemplifies this idea. America-Reads Mississippi (ARM) is an AmeriCorps program that works with schools in the state of Mississippi to improve student literacy and reading skills and boost the number of certified teachers in the state. With improved communication and writing abilities, ARM members became more viable candidates for local teaching positions. “Hurley Write’s services have helped our members, which in turn improves our organization,” said Ronjanett Taylor, state program director at ARM. “It gives each individual the tools they need to be more marketable to future employers.
Ultimately, writing is a fulcrum that can be used to lift workplace relationships and enable people to work more efficiently with fewer problems. The stronger the writing, the better the performance, the greater the lift to the business relationships. And as ARM indicates, it can even cause new relationships to blossom.
About Hurley Write, Inc.
Hurley Write, Inc., a certified women-owned small business (WBENC and WOSB), Historically Underutilized (HUB), and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), has been designing and teaching customized onsite and online technical, business, and scientific writing courses for over 30 years. We also develop and teach specialty courses, such as how to write proposals and standard operating procedures (SOPs) and deviation and investigation reports, and how to prepare and give great presentations.