Good writing – what’s it worth to your business?
Most of us know that good writing is important in the professional world. But just how important is it? Can we put a dollar figure of the value of great written communication?
Let’s look at a few game-changing benefits of good writing and what they’re worth.
Increased performance and productivity
Have you ever sat staring at an email, trying to figure out what a colleague is trying to say? Then you already know the problems bad business writing can cause. Wasted time reading and re-reading, asking the writer for clarification, frustration, confusion, possibly taking the wrong action or just no action at all.
On the other hand, clear, coherent and concise messages reduce miscommunication and result in quicker, more accurate action. And that means increased productivity and cost savings.
When Fed Ex reviewed their operations manual, they found it took staff an average of five minutes to find the information they needed, if they found it at all (almost half never did).
They brought in a consultant to improve the manual’s readability, and the results were immediate.
The time taken to find information decreased by 28% and success in finding correct information rose by 27%. This increase in productivity saved the company $400,000 in just one year.
A better professional image
Your reader will quickly form an impression of you based on how you write. If your writing is unclear and disjointed, they might conclude your thinking is too. Obviously, that’s not good. As well as hurting your pride, it can mean your ideas and suggestions are ignored and you’re passed over for projects and promotions.
The same is true for your organisation’s brand image. The way you write as a brand creates an image of the way you operate and sets the tone for interactions with customers and clients. Consistent good writing enhances the image stakeholders have of you, making interactions more positive and increasing customer loyalty.
Team bonding and increased staff engagement
Teammates who communicate well like each other more! Bonded teammates collaborate better and are more likely to go out of their way to help each other. Work also feels more meaningful when you’re pulling together as a team so performance improves.
Good business writing also ensures that the organisation’s vision and strategy are effectively communicated to staff, inspiring and engaging them. This means better motivation and retention. Communicating the vision is particularly important in difficult times and can mean the difference between success and failure in a crisis.
Even something as small as saying ‘thank you’ makes a big difference.
Research by O.C. Tanner Company’s shows that adding ‘thank you’ in communications increased staff engagement by between 20 and 30%.
That’s how powerful words are.
What about in your company? Imagine all your teammates have been gifted with the power of great communication. How would things change in everyday working life? What problems would disappear and what exciting new things would happen? And what would the effect be on the bottom line?
You may not be able to put a number on it right now, but you can be sure it would be large!