With customers and client bases more connected than ever, companies that communicate well are at an advantage in the marketplace. And whether it's on Twitter, through a blog, or through a company white paper , communicating in writing is necessary. But even if you don't see your position as consumer-facing, poor writing skills at work can have a serious impact on your job performance – and here's why:
- Whether it's updating a supervisor on the status of a task or providing information to one of your direct reports, miscommunication can tangle your workflow.
- You need to write to coordinate. If you need to manage or contribute to the efforts of a team, you have to help them understand the scope of your work and what you need from them. Written documents allow your coworkers to review requirements and updates whenever they need to; poor written communications waste time and effort.
- Resources that are unclear or incomplete, errors in web content, policies that cause delays because they can't be understood and applied, and poor marketing materials can drive customers and consumers away from your business.
- While privacy is a paramount concern, leaks can happen at the biggest companies. If poor writing skills are observed in internal documents, they might well cast aspersions on the company. One thing that turned public sentiment against Nixon during the Watergate scandal was the rough, unedited transcripts of the President speaking crudely and unprofessionally. The contrast to his usually composed and polished public demeanor shocked many.
- Anyone interacting with your company, from contractors to job applicants, expects it to comport itself professionally. Even if they're not target consumers, how they see your company affects the quality of interactions you have with them.
Images via Shutterstock.com