As writers, we take responsibility for continually improving our craft. But what about other people? Do we have a responsibility to help them become better writers?
Anyone can learn writing, it’s a skilll and with enough training and practice, most people can get by. But the majority of non-writers it would seem take this skill for granted. They assume since everyone can do it, it’s not a big deal.
And here’s where they’re so, so wrong. Iiin fact, there are terrifying studies looking into the decline of writing skills that indicate this could become a serious issue in the workplace if the downward trend continues.
Great for freelance writers though. Just saying.
How to help your team become better writers
Anyway, today we’re talking about helping our non-writing teammates become better writers. Why would we invest like this? There are a few reasons.
For example, if you collaborate with a graphic designer it’s super helpful if they know and understand writing and have the skills to empower you to do your best work. They’ll help identify opportunities to tweak and improve your copy and point out typos.
Another example is if you work with a customer service team that doesn’t appreciate the importance of writing, then good luck trying to convince them to use scripts or stay on message! They won’t see the point and would prefer to wing it…which definitely can go sideways. All of a sudden a healthy regard for writing is looking pretty important!
But let’s say you work on a team that respects your skills and expertise and wants to learn from you. Here are a few suggestions to help them improve in their writing.
Review the latest best practices
Writing and language evolves. The rules shift. Let’s collectively let go of the old ways and move into the new with precision and grace. But wait, how can your workplace follow writing best practices unless they have a style guide from whence to grow and change?
First things first, get a style guide to follow, then keep it updated. And work on other high-level documents that take forever but are worth their weight in gold: communications strategy, communications plan, marketing strategy, marketing plan, digital strategy, etc. etc. Through this process you’ll settle on your organization’s style, tone, audience and MORE.
By the way, once you have all this in place now you’re ready to bring in the best SEO company to review your web presence and create recommendations and strategies to help you bring everything to the next level. While SEO involves lots of back-end, technical work, there is also a ton of writing opportunity so don’t shy away from SEO!
Offer professional training
There are many ways to help your team become better writers and professional training is a wonderful short cut. Whether you invest in online courses or sending team members to workshops or conferences, learning from another professional can be a great way to upskill without going back to school for an entire degree.
For team building you could even bring in a speaker and spend the day learning together. These sorts of experiences can be fun compared to other types of training, depending on your team’s availability, interest and personalities of course!
Implement tools to become better writers
There are SO many helpful writing tools you can use to help your team (and yourself) become better writers. You don’t need to memorize all the rules! Explore some of the latest online writing tools and see how they could benefit your team.
When it comes to business, words matter. First impressions last. And if the way potential customers notice you is because of poor writing, this could linger in their minds like a bad smell.
Helping non-writers become better writers may seem counter-intuitive but if they’re your co-workers, it will help your business and it will help you. If you can get them to a level where they can be trusted to use language well that takes some pressure off of you so you can focus on doing what you do best.
One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.
This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.