Why Management Needs Written Communication Skills | Paymo (2023)

From writing complex proposals to formulating a basic email – managers spend a lot of their time typing behind a keyboard. But how perfect do managers’ written communication skills really need to be? Is it enough to just be ‘okay’ or ‘average’?

The short answer is no. Managers must have perfect written communication skills to be effective within their management role. With over 3,000 remote writers to manage at The Content Panel, we’ve learned a thing or two over the years about communicating effectively with a team almost exclusively via written methods.

Here’s a closer look at why great writing skills are so necessary and what managers can do to actively improve their written communication at work.

5 Reasons Why Management Needs Perfect Written Communication Skills

1. They send and receive A LOT of emails

To put it simply, managers send and receive a ton of emails throughout their day at work – it’s just a part of their job. In fact, on average, office workers receive nearly 120 emails per day and send an average of 40 emails per day. And for many managers, that number is much higher.

Surely, they need to delegate and declutter their inboxesand see how much time they waste on unproductive tasks.If you’re working and want to look for advice on how to be more productive, read this article about productivity.

But having good written communication skills not only helps managers to process this high volume of information at work, but they can also respond to important emails in a timely and efficient manner. Also, writing well-crafted professional emails is a must for business conversations.

Conversely, time theft is done unknowingly by employees when they take their time reading through an article looking for buzzwords for those emails instead of writing them.

2. They can demonstrate basic professionalism

Good writing demonstrates that you have a basic level of professionalism and is a sign of respect to others – both inside and outside of your organization.

In some cases, your level of written professionalism can even put your company’s bottom line at stake. For example, a proposal or report written in the wrong tone could make or break a business deal. Therefore, managers must recognize this responsibility. They should write and formulate these documents correctly, in the right tone, and in a way that will adequately inform or persuade the reader.

3. It can help them maintain good record-keeping practices

From employee performance reviews to financial reports – managers have a lot of documents to keep track of. Managers with strong written communication skills are not only able to efficiently document important information regularly, but they are also able to analyze and understand records from the past. They can then use this knowledge to make good decisions for their team and the business as a whole.

(Video) The Secret to Business Writing: Crash Course Business - Soft Skills #3

4. It shows they can process complex thoughts and ideas

Great writers have the ability to not just process complex thoughts, but they can communicate those thoughts clearly to other people. This is a skill that most managers must have to perform their job effectively. Without the ability to write well, managers may struggle to explain their ideas in a way their team members can understand.

5. They can persuade and influence others

One of the key reasons why managers need good written communication skills is to persuade other people. Whether it’s to convince an investor to sponsor a project or to motivate a supplier to agree on a lower price – managers often find themselves in a position where they need to use the art of influence through written reports, emails, and sometimes even handwritten letters. For good writers, this is easy. However, bad writers may struggle to form convincing arguments.

Developing Written Communication Skills: 10 Tips for Managers

1. Read more… and then some more

One of the easiest ways to become a better writer at work is to read as much as possible. Reading a variety of content regularly exposes you to new ideas and trends and helps you get a feel for what good writing looks like.

Try to set aside a few minutes at the beginning and end of each workday to read something that challenges you. Whether it’s an article by a business leader on Medium or a column in a top industry publication, the important thing is to at least read something new each day. Over time, you will quickly notice that as you read more writing from others, your writing improves.

2. Think about your readers first

Remember, the purpose of writing is often to convey a piece of information or an idea to someone else. Before writing any piece of content such as a memo, report, or proposal, always consider:

  • Who the message is for
  • What they need to know
  • Why they need to know it and
  • The context of their role and department

Additionally, you should always keep your tone of voice in mind. For example, a piece of writing intended for your team that is formal in tone may come across as cold and unfriendly. On the contrary, a proposal intended for your boss that is too laid back may give off unprofessional vibes.

To prevent misunderstandings, always ensure that the tone of your written message matches the audience receiving it.

3. Take a moment to jot down your ideas

Before typing anything on your computer, try to take a moment to jot down some of your ideas on a piece of paper. Oftentimes this can help you clarify and organize your thoughts, and it may even inspire you with new ideas that you haven’t even thought of yet.

While it may not be practical to do this for every single email you send, it is still a helpful exercise in cases where you need to write something more elaborate or particularly sensitive. For example, when writing a delicate email to a colleague, a report for your boss, or a monthly newsletter to your team.

TIP: You can apply the Pomodoro method, in this case, to timebox your work session—that time of the day when you need to fully focus on emails—through a web app.

(Video) Written Communication

4. Less is more

Never forget that your colleagues at work consume a lot of written content throughout their workday. To make their life easier, try to take a ‘less is more’ approach when writing professional emails and documents. This means:

  • Only writing the absolute bare minimum of what you need to write
  • Not including any unnecessary details and
  • Keeping sentences as short as possible

Though it may be a difficult transition at first, a ‘less is more’ approach to writing makes things easier on you since you will be writing fewer words. Not only that, but it’s also much easier for your readers to quickly digest and understand what you are trying to communicate to them.

5. Read what you have written aloud

This might seem like a silly tip – but it can make a huge difference! After writing an email or proposal, go somewhere private and read it out loud to yourself. You will quickly realize which sentences of your writing sound natural and which sound clunky, out of place, or grammatically incorrect. If you’re not comfortable with reading out loud, you can always try using a text-to-speech or voice reader app to read your writing for you.

Again, you won’t have to do this for every piece of writing that you send out, but it’s worth doing for important emails and reports.

6. Stay away from buzzwords and jargon

Good writing is clear writing, which means you should try to stay away from using trendy buzzwords or jargon that your readers may not understand. Additionally, avoid using complex wording that only individuals in your department would know.

For example, if you work as a manager in the finance department, those in marketing may not understand the meaning of certain words used in finance and accounting. When writing for them, try to remember this, or at least include a definition for them when conveying any technical information.

7. Don’t be afraid to use headings, subheadings, and bullet points

The majority of your business writing will not be in an essay format. Therefore, feel free to use as many headings, subheadings, and bullet points as you want. This makes it much easier for your readers to understand and process the information you are trying to communicate.

Headings and subheadings work great as guides in longer pieces of writing, and bullet points come in handy when you need to organize your information into lists. You can also play with bolding, italics, and underlining to ensure that your most critical points are highlighted and easy to find.

8. Write in an active voice

It is easy to get into the habit of only writing in the passive voice, which can make your writing become overly wordy and complicated. Instead, try to make sure that your writing stays in an active voice.

For example, the following sentence can be written in two ways:

(Video) Tips to Improve Verbal and Written Communication Skills | Beyond Tech

  • Passive voice: “It was decided by the team to move the weekly meeting to Monday mornings at 10 am”.
  • Active voice: “The team decided to move the weekly meeting to Monday mornings at 10 am”.

Though subtle, the active voice is much easier for your readers to understand as it positions “the team” as the noun that is doing something. In cases with the passive voice, it can be difficult for readers to process what is happening.

If you ever feel like your writing is too wordy, you are likely writing too much in the passive voice. To help, try rearranging a few sentences and seeing where you can change passive words into active words – your audience will thank you for it!

9. Make it clear what you want or need from your readers

With each piece of writing, you should always clarify what exactly you want or need from your readers. Sometimes, you may need to inform them of something. However, in other cases, you may need them to either abide by a new policy, sign up for training, or respond to you by a specific time.

No matter what you need them to do, you must spell out that information clearly and locate it in an easy-to-find place within the document or email. This ensures that your writing has a real impact on your readers and that they respond in the way you want them to.

10. Double check your grammar

Even the most seasoned writers make grammatical mistakes every now and then – it’s simply a part of the writing process. However, that is no excuse for delivering a piece of writing that is full of mistakes and errors.

To make sure that your writing is the best it can be, you should always run it through a last-minute grammar checker. Online services like Grammarly are super easy to use and can often catch mistakes that Word and Google Docs may miss.

Bonus Tip: Take a business writing course

There is nothing wrong with participating in a business writing course to brush up on your written communication skills. Check out LinkedIn, Coursera, and Udemy to explore your options both for yourself and your team. Nobody’s writing is perfect, and there is nothing wrong with setting aside some time to make your writing better.

Key Takeaways

So there you have it – a crash course into the most important written communication skills in the workplace. In a nutshell, you need to:

(Video) Written Communication - Introduction to Communication Skills - Communication Skills

  1. Consider your relationship with the recipient
  2. Be mindful of your tone of voice
  3. Take the time to ensure you are being clear
  4. Proofread out loud

Remember these four general points, and you’ll be a master wordsmith in no time.

First published on October 28, 2020.

Jade Bloom is the CMO ofThe Content Panel, a content & blog writing service.She loves writing, snowboarding, and geeking out over the latest AI trends.


Why do we need written communication skills? ›

Written communication is a crucial skill to have in the modern information age. Most jobs require you to communicate in writing, whether through email, formal letters, notes, text messages or online messaging. Written communication skills allow you to give direction effectively.

Why do project managers need good oral and written communication skills? ›

Without strong communication skills, project managers would find it incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to effectively manage their teams and coordinate efforts in order to bring about a project's successful resolution.

Why is writing important in management? ›

Strong writing skills are essential for anyone in business. You need them to effectively communicate with colleagues, employees, and bosses and to sell any ideas, products, or services you're offering.

Why written communications are important in your workplace? ›

Team building- Effective written communication assists employees in understanding their respective roles and responsibilities. Clear concise communication about role expectations help to decrease stress, provide direction, and limit both costly mistakes and a hostile company culture.

What are written communication skills examples? ›

Here are some examples of each of these elements:
  • Conciseness. The goal of every written communication is to get to the point quickly. ...
  • Clarity. Clarity helps your readers understand the message you are trying to convey. ...
  • Tone. ...
  • Active Voice. ...
  • Grammar and punctuation.
6 Jun 2021

Why is written communication better than oral communication? ›

The written word is better than oral communication when conveying complex information. The receiver can read the written document several times until they understand the message completely.

How do you manage written communication? ›

Key points to remember:
  1. Plan your communication.
  2. Be direct.
  3. Don't fluff your language – keep it concise.
  4. Don't use unnecessary buzzwords and jargon.
  5. Practice your written communication.
  6. Read and edit your work.
11 Jan 2018

What is written communication? ›

Written communication involves any type of message that makes use of the written word. Written communication is the most important and the most effective of any mode of business communication. Some of the various forms of written communications that are used internally for business operations include: Memos. Reports.

What are the various written communication that a manager does? ›

Four of the most common types of written communication in business include emails, memorandums (memos), faxes, and advertisements.

How is writing used in business management? ›

The purpose of business writing is to convey information to someone else or to request information from them. To be effective writing for business, you must be complete, concise, and accurate.

Why writing is the most important skill? ›

Writing expresses who we are, even after our life time. It makes our knowledge, our personal aspirations and our work for the future visible to others. Writing is the means to explain our ideas to ourselves and to others while preserving our personal experiences and our memories. No one else can do it for you.

Why writing skills are more important than ever? ›

Written communication has become more important than ever. In a world that's run by e-mail, text messaging, and social media, the ability to express yourself in writing clearly and effectively is crucial to building relationships.

When should you use written communication? ›

Written communication is generally used when the audiences are in a distant location or when a permanent record is required to be kept for use as a reference to solve any future problem.

How do you say you have good written communication skills? ›

I would describe my written skills as concise and cordial." "I have strong written communication skills. I spend a lot of time working on teams from around the world and have to be able to communicate clearly." "I communicate diligently with my clients who often request every decision in writing.

What are the characteristics of written communication? ›

Characteristics of Written Communication
  • Most formal type of Communication. ...
  • Used for documentation. ...
  • Used for circulation of information. ...
  • Conventional by nature. ...
  • Presence of both sender and receiver is not necessary at the same time. ...
  • Time factor. ...
  • It has fewer cycles. ...
  • A creative activity.

Why is it easier to communicate in writing? ›

Of course, it's not really that simple because writing has its advantages too. For one, it's easier to get your message right as you have time to revise, think through, and perfect your words without any pressure to say things 'on the fly'. Writing also gives more time to form and refine an idea before expressing it.

How can writing skills improve business communication? ›

These 10 Tips Will Improve Your Business Writing Skills
  1. Be Clear & Concise. ...
  2. Know Your Audience. ...
  3. Plan Your Approach. ...
  4. Take Advantage of Online Tools. ...
  5. Edit and Edit Again. ...
  6. Use Online Courses to Improve Your Skills. ...
  7. Have Someone Else Read Your Writing. ...
  8. Don't be Afraid to Get Creative.
8 Aug 2017

How written communication can be improved? ›

Try to Write Every Day

It is essential to write every day to improve written communication skills. It's essential to work on your written communication skills. It may be that you can't write just a little bit but need to work on it for a while before seeing results.

What is effective writing skills? ›

Effective writing is readable — that is, clear, accurate, and concise. When you are writing a paper, try to get your ideas across in such a way that the audience will understand them effortlessly, unambiguously, and rapidly. To this end, strive to write in a straightforward way.

What is good writing skills? ›

Some of the most important writing skills include correct grammar, conciseness, and writing for your audience and platform. Outlining, good organization, and using facts rather than opinions are also important writing skills to have. You can improve your writing skills by practicing, working with others, and reading.

What is mean by written business communication? ›

Business writing is any written communication used in a professional setting, including emails, memos, and reports. It's direct, clear, and designed to be read quickly.

Is there a lot of writing in business management? ›

Business majors have to do quite a lot of writing, both in their college courses and in their future career. Fortunately, you won't always have to do literary analyses, expository essays and annotated bibliographies.

Why is knowledge of the essentials of business writing important? ›

Good business writing is also important because it affects your company's credibility. If you lack good writing skills, you may seem less intelligent or less qualified than your competition, and if your writing has obvious mistakes, potential customers will not feel confident in paying money for your services.

Why is writing important in today's world? ›

Why is writing important? It's the fuel that drives communication, and communication serves as a framework for society. Clear communication—and hence, good writing—is critical because it facilitates coworker collaborations, business transactions and interpersonal interactions.

Why is writing ability Most important in business and how do you acquire it? ›

Writing skills ensure effective business communication

Everything you write must be tailored in a proficient, comprehensive, and informative way. Thus, the receivers will clearly understand your message. If a text is poorly written and structured, the subordinates will have troubles with deciphering it.

How does writing affect communication skills? ›

Writing skills are an important part of communication. Good writing skills allow you to communicate your message with clarity and ease to a far larger audience than through face-to-face or telephone conversations.

How will writing skills help in the future? ›

Developing structures within creative writing helps you to clarify your thoughts into a logical process, as well as your emotions. You'll be able to look at situations in the workplace and in the rest of your life with clarity, being able to define clear pathways in order to overcome problems in the future.

› writing-skills ›

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Interested in improving your writing skills and understanding why this soft skill is so important for your career advancement? We cover it all.

What are the benefits of good writing skills? ›

Benefits of Writing
  • Better Communication. The practice of writing makes you want to improve your vocabulary and phrase better. ...
  • Creativity. Creative writing is an art. ...
  • Sharpens Memory. ...
  • Makes you a better writer. ...
  • Improves health. ...
  • Improves self-expression. ...
  • Helps in deep and critical thinking.
27 Apr 2021

What does written communication skills mean? ›

Written Communication involves expressing yourself clearly, using language with precision; constructing a logical argument; note taking, editing and summarising; and writing reports. There are three main elements to written communication. Structure – the way the content is laid out. Style – the way it is written.

How can written communication be effective? ›

8 best practices to improve written communication
  1. Think about the purpose of your message.
  2. Put yourself in your reader's shoes.
  3. Keep it simple.
  4. Keep a place to jot down thoughts and ideas.
  5. Write and read often.
  6. Edit fiercely and read the message out loud.
  7. Ask for help.
  8. Constructive criticism as growth.
21 Jul 2021

What is written communication and its advantages and disadvantages? ›

Effective writing involves careful choice of words, their organization in correct order in sentences formation as well as cohesive composition of sentences. Also, writing is more valid and reliable than speech. But while speech is spontaneous, writing causes delay and takes time as feedback is not immediate.

What are the most important writing skills? ›

There are several types of skills that combine to make someone a strong writer, including:
  • Research. Before you write a single word, you need to do your research about the topic you're writing on. ...
  • Planning and/or Outlining. ...
  • Grammar and Clarity. ...
  • Revising and Editing. ...
  • Communication Skills.
9 Apr 2021

What is the meaning of writing skills? ›

Writing skills are the skills you use to write effectively and succinctly. A good writer is someone who can communicate their point to their audience without using too much fluff and in a way that the other person can understand. Writing skills don't just include the physical act of writing.

When should you use written communication? ›

Written communication is generally used when the audiences are in a distant location or when a permanent record is required to be kept for use as a reference to solve any future problem.

How would you describe strong written communication skills? ›

Those with strong written communication skills can write clear emails and reports, make complex ideas accessible, and edit others' writing to ensure accuracy. Additionally, they know how to adapt their writing to different audiences, from managers to interns to clients.

What are the characteristics of written communication? ›

Characteristics of Written Communication
  • Most formal type of Communication. ...
  • Used for documentation. ...
  • Used for circulation of information. ...
  • Conventional by nature. ...
  • Presence of both sender and receiver is not necessary at the same time. ...
  • Time factor. ...
  • It has fewer cycles. ...
  • A creative activity.

How can writing skills improve business communication? ›

These 10 Tips Will Improve Your Business Writing Skills
  1. Be Clear & Concise. ...
  2. Know Your Audience. ...
  3. Plan Your Approach. ...
  4. Take Advantage of Online Tools. ...
  5. Edit and Edit Again. ...
  6. Use Online Courses to Improve Your Skills. ...
  7. Have Someone Else Read Your Writing. ...
  8. Don't be Afraid to Get Creative.
8 Aug 2017

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