Is it possible for a company’s value to be correlated with the amount of time employees spend on job-related writing assignments? Studies show this answer is yes.
When writing isn’t considered an essential job duty, it’s often not taken seriously. Less time is spent crafting and editing documents because other tasks appear more significant.
Even in industries where writing and editing assignments are a main part of a job description, time is seen as more valuable. The opportunity cost of time saved however, may be higher than previously anticipated.
A recent analysis of the news industry on journalistsresource.org reveals how a shift in editing standards has left readers questioning the quality and value of journalism products.
As people’s inclination to access mobile information has grown, their patience has also worn thin for anything not available on-demand. Newsrooms have relinquished the traditional copy editing process, along with the copy editors, in favor of a “publish now, edit later” approach. The rationale here is that it’s more important for an assignment to be completed quickly, instead of clearly or even accurately. But is this really the case?
A 2014 study in Digital Journalism, referenced by Journalist’s Resource, examined the impact of unedited articles on the perception of a news organization’s professionalism and worth. The results were unsurprising. According to this synopsis , “On average, study participants gave higher ratings to stories that had been edited than those that hadn’t.” These ratings were also regardless of a participant’s primary type of news source, political views, age, or willingness to pay for information.
Yet, people’s willingness, or rather unwillingness, to pay is a growing concern in the journalism industry, and may even contribute to these poorly written articles.
This pressure to appease the masses in the digital age exists outside of journalism as well. Employees are likely to feel torn between the value of the pre-writing process and their need to meet multiple deadlines in a short period.
If editing is required, that task usually falls on a colleague or manager after a deadline has passed, and is completed without necessary collaboration from the document’s original writer. Therefore, potential for miscommunication is high.
In the journalism industry, clearly the tradeoff hasn’t been equal, and in sacrificing quality for time, customers have been lost. Imagine how similar scenarios could occur in businesses across the county. A rush to complete reports, proposals, and procedures on demand has likely left consumers confused and employees frustrated.
At Hurley Write, Inc., we believe that a tradeoff doesn’t need to exist between speed and clarity or consistency. In fact, our strategies for writing usable documents actually allow writers to improve on all counts, saving companies both time and money. For more information on how our courses can help your employees learn to write and work more efficiently, visit us at https://www.hurleywrite.com.