One of the most essential skills in the workplace is writing. Every day, you send emails, fill out reports, and write memos. Honing this skill set is an important part of being seen as reliable and being taken seriously at work. Learning how to become a better writer isn’t about becoming a world-class novelist. Rather, it’s about learning to communicate effectively with the written word.
Although learning to write better does require practice, there are a few tools to implement that can help. Changing how you approach work emails and other written documents will assist you with being more clear and more concise. Let’s take a close look at the things you can do to help you become a better writer at work.
Answering emails can be one of the most time-consuming parts of the workday. It’s an inevitable part of the job for most people. Emails that are well-written and communicate effectively take up much less time and leave less room for confusion. Here’s how to write an email, and a few tips to improve your email communication skills.
Attention spans are short and people are busy. People are less likely to read and fully internalize long emails with a ton of information. Emails should be about one major idea or topic. The recipient is far more likely to absorb the information without getting overwhelmed by an overload of information.
Label the email clearly with a relevant subject line. This way, it can be pulled up quickly in a search function for future reference. An email with several different topics is hard to label concisely. If you can’t remember what the email contained, it is much harder to find with a search function.
Your email isn’t a place to socialize. The people you are writing to are also at work, and they don’t have time for long meandering intros. Be upfront about what you need and when you need it. You don’t have to be curt or rude. But getting to the point respects their time and lets the reader move on with their day.
When you are writing, use statements instead of open-ended questions as much as possible. Make it clear what you need from the other person and how they can help you. If they have questions or need further clarification, they will contact you. Otherwise, they can complete your request without worrying about answering open-ended questions.
Good writing is a skill that takes practice to perfect. While you’re practicing, here are some quick tips on how to write more effectively at work:
Use built-in grammar checks or subscribe to a program like Grammarly. A grammar assistant will help improve your confidence and avoid basic errors. We are all human, we make mistakes. A grammar check will help you make fewer glaringly obvious mistakes.
Before you start, decide what your main point is and how your other points coincide with it. Rambling or disconnected thoughts are hard for other people to follow. Don’t make them have to search for the point in your writing.
Take a Writing Course
If all else fails, take a writing course. Places like Purdue University offer writing courses to help people improve their skills quickly. This can come in handy if slowly improving over time doesn’t fit your needs.
The American Society of Administrative Professionals has a wide range of resources for admins looking to improve their craft. We offer articles, webinars, events, and more to help you stay current in the ever-changing professional world. Become a member today and get free weekly resources.