New Studies Show Poor Writing Skills Cost Businesses Billions

For any business to thrive, effective communication is an essential skill required of all employees, more so in writing. However, it is surprising how much businesses invest their time and money in raising their employees to a basic level of competence. A study by the panel of National Commission on Writing showed that well established companies spend almost $3.1 billion on remedial writing training annually, out of which $2.9 billion was spent on existing employees. It may appear that lack of education is the reason for poor writing skills, but this is not the case.

Going by what employers said in a report compiled by the Partnership for 21st-Century Skills, more than a quarter of college graduates demonstrated poor writing skills, which gave the impression that a college degree does not guarantee employees with effective writing skills.

Furthermore, the book “Academically Adrift 2011”, which monitored more than 2,300 students through college, reported that students acknowledged their poor writing skills, and only 50 percent of seniors felt their writing skills had improved in the course of their four year learning.

It is important for businesses to spot weak writers early, especially where their jobs entail communicating via email daily, writing reports, and presenting them at meetings.

Identify Poor Writing Skills & Train Employees

Employers are now giving much importance to writing skills during the employment process, to eliminate weak writers as early as possible. The resume and cover letter is the first area to look at when assessing writing skills. Those who make it past this stage are then requested to do a writing exercise during the interview process, to evaluate their writing skills before an offer is made. This fact is supported by the College Board data, where 50 percent of respondents said they assess writing skills when hiring professional staff, and 80 percent of companies with prospects of employment growth assess writing in the hiring process.

In the case of current employees, training is given to those who have deficient writing skills. This may be expensive initially but in the long run it saves the company losses that may be incurred through poor writing.

A telephone conversation is one way of assessing writing skills. The use of language and grammar, order of words, and response to questions during a telephone conversation can give some insight on their writing ability. This indicates that a good verbal communicator will most likely be able to apply the same skills when writing. Ability to communicate well in speech to a person who cannot see your facial expressions or body language could mean that the same will be applied in writing.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. P. C. Zick
    Mar 27, 2017 @ 07:52:47

    This trend has been on the rise for quite some time and only increases with our digital age where punctuation and grammar are blase and optional.


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