Today's blog is brought to you by a Guest Contributor, Suvarna Bhat.
In the workplace, writing is a crucial means of communication. On a daily basis, professionals write emails, memos, reports and proposals either to persuade the reader to take an action or to convince the reader to accept a viewpoint. To write business documents, which are persuasive, professionals must possess effective writing skills.
A report from National Commission on Writing states, "A survey of 120 major American corporations employing nearly 8 million people concludes that in today's workplace writing is a ‘threshold skill' for hiring and promotion among salaried (i.e., professional) employees. Survey results indicate that writing is a ticket to professional opportunity." Writing: A Ticket to Work...Or a Ticket Out.
In that case, are our professionals equipped to write effective workplace documents? What is usually taught in our schools is pure semantics. Is that knowledge sufficient enough to craft documents which can persuade or convince an audience? Maybe, yes for expository essays, but no for workplace documents! They need more than that.
Workplace documents must have a clear purpose and be written for a specific audience. The purpose of these documents is to effectuate an action from the audience. Therefore, professionals must explore the available means of persuasion and this needs knowledge of invention strategies. The organization principle, in arranging the supporting ideas, must be appropriate to the purpose and the audience. If the writing style is clear and concise, the document becomes easy to read.
Sentence variety and emphasis makes the document impressive. Write in a style that emphasizes your offering. Tell your client, "Our products are robust." Avoid negative connotation by writing, "Our products do not crash on fault." Workplace documents must have a positive note and be courteous. Adopting the right business tone develops customer confidence. You can assure your customer by saying, "We ensure you timely delivery of goods through our collaborative marketing network." and not saying, "We will try our best to deliver goods on time."
Every single workplace document has an intended business impact. Any degree of miscommunication can translate into business loss. Even a badly written strategy can result in loss of working hours and rework. So why not train our professionals in effective writing skills and experience the business benefits?