Improve written communication at work

How to Improve Your Writing at Work

February 26, 2024
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From sending emails to preparing reports, drafting blog articles like this one to writing proposals, sharpening your writing skills can improve the effectiveness of your work and how it’s received.   


So read on to find actionable techniques that you can use to ensure your writing is as clear and strong as possible in the workplace and beyond.

The Basics of Effective Written Communication in the Workplace

When improving your written communication, focusing on clarity, concision, tone, and purpose is essential. These four pillars can guide you to express your ideas effectively and ensure your message is received as intended. So, to enhance your writing based on these principles, consider the following guiding questions and tips to improve your written communication skills: 

Clarity

What is the main message you want to convey? 

  • Ensure that your central idea is clear and straightforward.

Are your sentences straightforward and easy to understand? 

  • Avoid complex sentence structures and jargon that might confuse your reader.

Concision

Are there any redundant words or phrases you can eliminate? 

  • Remove unnecessary details that don’t contribute to your main message.

Is every part of your message necessary for your reader? 

  • Ensure that each sentence adds value to your communication.

Tone

Is your tone appropriate for your audience and purpose? 

  • Adjust your tone to match the expectations of your audience and the context of your message.

How might your message be perceived by your reader? 

  • Consider the emotional impact of your words and strive for a tone that fosters positive engagement.

Purpose

What do you want the reader to know, feel, or do after reading your writing? 

  • Be clear about your intended outcome.

Is your purpose evident throughout the message? 

  • Ensure that your purpose remains the focal point from start to finish.

Additional factors to consider when writing:

  • Audience: Who are you writing for? Tailor your message to their level of understanding, interests, and expectations so it’s easier to read.
  • Structure: Is your message organized logically? A well-structured message guides the reader through your points efficiently.
  • Evidence: Have you supported your claims with evidence? Providing data, examples, or background information can add credibility to your message.
  • Feedback: Can you seek feedback on your draft? External perspectives can highlight areas for improvement you might have overlooked.
  • Revision: Have you reviewed and revised your message? Proofreading your writing is an essential part of the writing process to enhance clarity, conciseness, tone, and purpose. (Bonus tip: Try to read your writing out loud to catch any last-minute errors, too!)

By addressing these questions and considering additional aspects, you can refine your piece of writing to be more effective and impactful.

4 Advanced Writing Techniques for the Workplace

For business writing, you might also be interested in developing more tailored writing skills that can take your effectiveness and professionalism to a more advanced level. Let's delve into some of these next-level strategies commonly used while communicating in the workplace:

  1. Persuasive writing: This is the technique you’ll use if you’re pitching an idea or trying to sway someone’s opinion. Research suggests that incorporating evidence-based arguments and logical appeals can increase the persuasiveness of your key points.
  2. Technical writing: Technical writing involves communicating complex information to a specific audience, usually in a format like an instruction sheet or manual. In this type of writing, precision and accuracy are crucial in reducing the risk of errors. 
  3. Report writing: Reports can come in a variety of forms, but in general, your goal is to organize complex information into a logical structure and determine a clear purpose in order to share your key message. 
  4. Storytelling: Upon first glance this may seem far from technical, however, storytelling is a timeless technique that—when used effectively—can captivate your audience, convey a message, and enhance recall. So if you have a personal or real-life example to share, don’t be afraid to include it! 

Online Tools to Try to Help Improve Your Writing

With a strong foundation in the basics of writing and knowledge of some specialized skills, you’ll be set up for success for communicating effectively in the workplace. And, we have more good news: There are even more tools available that can bring your writing from good to great, and many of them are right at your fingertips. 

That’s right: We’re talking about technology, and here's how you can use it to your advantage:

  • Online grammar checkers: Tools like Grammarly and Hemingway Editor can help you catch typos, grammatical errors, and style inconsistencies.
  • Readability tools: Readable and the Gunning Fog Index can assess the readability of your writing, making sure it can be easily understood by your audience.
  • AI writing assistants: AI-powered tools can provide personalized suggestions, facilitate brainstorming, and help you organize your thoughts. 

Using Brain Training and Cognitive Development for Better Writing

Did you know that playing writing, grammar, and vocabulary brain games could also translate into improved writing skills? That’s because they both challenge and teach you the fundamentals of writing in a fun, low-stakes setting. 

And the more you learn, the better you’ll get—in more ways than one! That's because a solid grasp of your writing process and style can help you communicate more persuasively and help you become a critical thinker. 

So, what’s our favorite way to practice brain training? Enter: The Elevate app. Elevate helps you hone in on the exact skills needed for excellent communication, from punctuation to word choice. And not only can the Elevate app improve the way you communicate, it can also track your progress. As you train, the program adjusts to your specific learning level and grows with you.

The Importance of Feedback and Regular Practice in Writing

Becoming a strong writer is a valuable skill, but it requires dedication to actually improve. 

To find long-term success, consider seeking feedback and asking for it frequently. Feedback from peers, mentors, or supervisors can help you identify areas for improvement and refine your personal writing style. 

Is there someone in your network who could provide insightful feedback on your writing?

Start Improving Your Communication Skills Today

Whether you’re just entering the job market or an established professional, excellent writing skills can help you take your career to the next level. By building a strong foundation, exploring advanced techniques, and leveraging technology and peers for support, you’ll be well on your way to success. 

One of the easiest ways to start improving your writing skills is by downloading the Elevate app, available on iOS and Android. Elevate is an award-winning brain training program consisting of 40+ games that help boost your writing, speaking, memory, and so much more. 

Don’t wait: Push play on Elevate’s writing games today!

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