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The bottom-line impact of poor writing

HelenWilkieI’ve said it before – People judge you based on your writing skills. Turns out it isn’t just your character that is at stake, it’s also the bottom line profitability of your organization! Today I am fortunate to have my colleague Helen Wilkie guesting on the blog, writing about the connection between poor writing skills and lost profitability. Helen is a speaker and author of six books about communication at work, and I’m delighted that she’s agreed to share some of her insights with us today on the blog.

Employees’ writing skills — or the lack of them — affect the bottom line in ways you may never have considered. Here are just a few.

  • Badly written instructions can lead to incorrect procedures, lost time, damaged equipment, lost customers — and lost profit.
  • Ineffective email messages, which often took too long to write in the first place, can create a poor company image, wasted time, bad customer or supplier relations, lost customers — and lost profit.
  • Interdepartmental miscommunication — often through incomprehensible e-mail exchanges — can lead to fragmentation of the workforce, loss of corporate loyalty, missed collaboration opportunities, possibly lost employees resulting in more recruitment and training costs — and lost profit.
  • Cold, impersonal “boilerplate” letters in response to customers’ problems or complaints can lead to loss of those customers, bad news spread to their friends and colleagues, loss of present and future income — and lost profit.

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