Today's Employers Need Workers With Strong Writing Skills

Posted on May 10, 2006

SHRM Online reports on a study by Communicare Inc. that found that poor writing in the workplace wastes time. This is not a surprise to anyone who has ever had to decipher a poorly written email or memo at the office. What is important for writers is that strong workplace writing skills are very important to today's employers. The SHRM article cites a 2004 study that found business writing is a "threshold skill" that can help workers get hired and promoted. Corporations are finding that they have to spend money on expensive training courses to train employees that lack business writing and technical writing skills.

The average cost of employer-provided training is about $950 per employee across industries, according to the report, but it can range from online tutoring programs to full-scale writing workshops.

"We're likely to send out 200 to 300 people annually for skills upgrade courses like business writing or technical writing," said one unidentified respondent quoted in the report.

Another said they provide training in business writing and documentation but not basic writing. One person noted that they have offered in-house programs on improving writing and communication skills for several years and even brought in a college professor to develop six courses for the employer.

A fourth said that their employer, who found in-house training too complex, spends between $2,500 and $3,500 on training per individual when it's "absolutely necessary."

Thanks to communications tools like email, instant messanging and social networking software strong writing skills are in demand.
"Writing skills are fundamental in business," observed one unidentified respondent quoted in the report. "It's increasingly important to be able to convey content in a tight, logical, direct manner, particularly in a fast-paced technological environment."
This is great news for any job seekers that have strong writing skills.