Unfortunately, our writing skills have substantially eroded over the years as we’ve become overly dependent on autocorrect, emojis and text-speak to convey our thoughts.
Whether it’s a simple email or a 50-page report on the commodities supercycle, good written communication skills can benefit both your career development and your company since quality correspondence with multiple parties is paramount.
Ultimately, your writing abilities can both make a good first impression and place you in a positive light during your tenure.
But what else can the written word do for your career? We have compiled a guide explaining the importance of good writing skills in the workplace.
1. They enhance business communication
Communication is a soft skill that is sorely lacking in today’s office environment.
Enter: Effective writing skills.
Strong writing proficiency facilitates a high level of efficacy in corporate communication; it connects various parties associated with the company, from employees to partners to clients to stakeholders.
Having stellar writing skills can help you convey information in a more comprehensive, informative, clear and direct way without getting lost in translation.
2. They can demonstrate your acumen
Not every job role requires a ton of writing. However, you must take advantage of the opportunity when it arises because a presentation, a white paper or even an email still showcases your intelligence and knowledge within your field.
While flawless grammar and punctuation might not be prerequisites, you need to ensure that you are not attaching your name to a document that looks like a third-grader penned it. Indeed, people notice small things, such as a missing period, typos, and starting a sentence with a conjunction. This could make your subordinates or colleagues second-guess you.
To avoid this, spelling errors need to be avoided, basic grammar must be abided by, and a few minutes of proofreading should be performed.
3. They highlight credibility
Good writers can gain instant credibility in the workplace. Indeed, when important documents or memos are well-written and contain zero abbreviations and misspelt words, your reliability and responsibility can expand exponentially.
Coming across somebody with advanced writing skills is uncommon these days, so when that does happen, it changes people’s perception of you for the better.
Imagine reading a business proposition full of awkward sentences, typographical mistakes and misplaced commas; you wouldn’t think highly of them because they didn’t take the time to proofread an important document, and that speaks volumes of their professionalism and attention to detail.
4. They help get persuasive points across
The art of persuasion is challenging to master. Not everybody possesses this skill. But there is a way to your odds of being influential, and that is having good writing skills.
Whether you’re trying to get the team to adopt a new strategy or attempting to convince the senior leadership to take a chance on your proposal, how you express your argument in written form can be an effective nudge to accomplishing your objectives. Indeed, don’t underestimate the power of well-written copy.
Moreover, strong writing skills can be a tremendous tactic to encourage personnel when morale is low.
5. They can improve office administration
Every professional environment requires impeccable record-keeping. But what good are administration and structure when the documents being filed away are ridden with incomprehensible writing?
Information is only useful when it is communicated effectively and accurately. Since your records need to be preserved throughout the firm’s life, they need to serve as reliable corporate relics that can help the business with accounting, litigation or taxes.
6. They increase confidence
Do you feel that you lack confidence at the office? If you wish to advance your career and move up the ranks, then you’ll need to build it back up. One factor that can contribute to this goal is being an effective writer.
It is imperative to remember that there is a purpose to business-related writing, such as attracting investors, reaching out to possible customers and composing a report to comb through the entity’s second-quarter financials.
When you craft a document that would put Fyodor Dostoevsky or Mark Twain to shame, this can earn you high praise from your manager and add an extra spring to your step.
7. They demonstrate courtesy and respect
When it comes to surviving and thriving in the cutthroat business world, professional courtesy can take you a long way. You may not think that people notice, but your colleagues will appreciate that you took the time to compose a cordial, well-written, and error-free text.
In today’s professional environment, where face-to-face interaction is being phased out with Slack meetings, emails, text messages, and Zoom calls, conveying courtesy through your writing can help you establish respectful relationships with your colleagues and superiors.
8. They can improve your thought process
Our brains are running a mile a minute these days. We’re trying to remember all of our tasks, maintain enough of our intelligence to keep using the French Defense strategy in chess and ensure we have a smattering of Slovenian and Icelandic.
As a result, our minds work overtime, leading to our thoughts and ideas not being conveyed clearly.
However, good writing skills will allow people to organise their thoughts and explore new ideas and express these more clearly.
9. They allow talented staff to stand out
While you showcase your writing skills regularly, your co-workers are incorporating text-speak, emoticons and slang in their writing. This is not the greatest strategy for impressing the boss or investors.
Good writing skills can help employees stand out from the crowd and get ahead in their careers as they can highlight their professional commitment and skills.
10. They enable you to build an impressive online presence
One of the best ways to cultivate and grow your career is by becoming an authoritative source that shares opinions and analyses news and developments within your industry. You can become the go-to person by constructing a web presence comprised of well-written blog posts, professional commentary and articles.
A writing portfolio that spotlights your acumen, professionalism and dedication can take your career to the next level, especially if noticed by the senior management team at the office.
This also ties into some previous points: An online presence can build upon your credibility, confidence and communication both within the workplace and beyond.
Ernest Hemingway once wrote, ‘There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.’ Indeed, to a literary genius like Hemingway, writing might seem like something as natural as breathing.
However, it can seem like an arduous task for most of us, especially if you’re not experienced, or you’re out of practice.
Like everything else in life, writing serves a purpose. In a professional environment, the written word could spark innovation, appeal to venture capitalists or force the boss to give you a promotion. Whatever the case may be, the importance of writing skills in the workplace cannot be stressed enough.
This article is an updated version of an earlier article originally published on 13 January 2016.