Business writing is an essential component of most modern-day B2B and B2C communication. It involves anything from business proposals and report writing, to emails and marketing campaigns. Effective business writing helps build your brand, boosts its visibility, and improves your company’s reputation.
Every year, companies spend millions training their employees through team-building, motivation, leadership and whatnot, but don’t allot enough budget for business writing training. This can be a costly mistake. According to IHateWritingEssays founder David Anderson, “most employees spend about 40% of their work time writing each day. And so, improving staff skills can greatly reduce time writing business documents and yield better business writing.”
As a manager or business owner, the last thing your company needs is employees with poor business writing skills. This is why your main objective should be to assess your potential employees’ writing skills at the time of hiring. In any case, if you’re looking to conduct business writing training for your current employees, below are some things you need to keep in mind for more effective budgeting and cost-cutting:
Assessing Your Staff’s Current Skills
How good are your staff’s current business writing skills? Assessing and evaluating their skills and experience can help identify each of your employees’ strengths and weaknesses. This helps identify the need to invest on further training and allows you to decide which areas to focus training sessions on.
Accurate business writing skills assessment involves separation of the substance in written business documents from the language and syntax. When analyzing substance in documents, you must focus on the content and how ideas are organized. This allows you to parse well-written documents from the poorly written ones.
All business documents with substance have the following key elements:
- Logically organized, with headings and sub-headings;
- Resonates with its target audience;
- Matches the audience’s level of awareness;
- Properly sequenced, with great flow of thoughts and ideas that transition smoothly.
In short, any well-written business material, including marketing content and social media posts, should have summarized huge amounts of data and presented into easily digestible and relevant information to its targeted readers. Analyzing syntax and language includes identifying grammatical and punctuation errors, tone, tenses, and sentence structure. Every member of your staff, even those with great business writing skills, commit these errors from time to time, and it can easily be fixed through proofreading.
Once you’ve assessed your staff’s skills, you’ll have a better idea of their current business writing skills and how to improve it. Meanwhile, if you feel that some of them lacks the necessary skills to write relevant and structured content, you can improve it either by conducting internal training or hiring expert business writing training.
In-house training comes with a lot of benefits and yields better results both for your employees and the company as a whole. For one, training your staff within the company premises helps cut costs, especially if transportation is involved. As an alternative, you can even have your staff take online-based business writing courses.
If you’re a manager, you may be tempted to have the best writer in your team train their fellow employees, but this can be a costly mistake that you should avoid making. Sure, learning from someone you know can be beneficial and can even cut costs, but being a great writer doesn’t always mean they will be a good trainer.
Instead, you may want to consider hiring a business writing expert. They don’t come cheap, but your employees will greatly benefit from this in the long run, as they get to learn from the best. There are plenty of reputable writing agencies and workshops out there so make sure to team up with one that will connect you to the best writing expert who can stand as a mentor during the training process.
Tools and Customization
Besides internal training programs, there are several other off-the-shelf business writing courses, platforms, and software available in the market. These are cost-effective ways to help your employees improve their business writing skills, and they may just be the right match for the skill gaps and the type of business documents your company needs. Just remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all with business writing, given the wide and varying applications.
To avoid unnecessary spending, make sure to conduct thorough research on services that specialize in offering customize business writing training, as well as off-the-shelf options. This way, you can ensure that you’re dealing with a service that truly understands the type of training your staff needs. You can also save money from a customized writing training program that’s not built from scratch.
Continuous Training and Support
Training your employees doesn’t stop after a single session. It’s not a one-time event. Business trends and writing standards change, so your staff’s business writing skills should evolve with it through constant training.
After any business writing training session, make sure to give your employees the opportunity to ask questions, receive ongoing resources, and access to new information.
Taking time to assess your staff’s writing skills helps identify issues and key areas of improvement that can greatly help represent your brand as accurately as possible. Additionally, investing on improving your employees’ skills can help them feel more empowered and more secure because they know exactly what you need of them. Proper business writing training makes your staff more efficient, more productive, and increases the success of your marketing campaigns.
Ultimately, you’ll want to have the full support of your training efforts not just from your employees, but from the senior staff as well. Explain the long-term value of training budget allocation and employee development, so they’ll be able to assist and support you in every way possible.