How good are your writing and numeracy skills?
A recent report published by the Australian Industry Group (AI Group) revealed that more than 75% of employers say their business suffers because of workers’ poor writing and numeracy skills.
I came across this interesting yet alarming statistic on a news item on the optus zoo website. You can read the article here. According to the report, the group found that literacy and numeracy issues across all levels in the workforce lead to time-wasting due to work needing to be repeated and “poor completion” of workplace documents.
Older workers, school leavers, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and those recruited via hire companies were more likely to have insufficient literacy and numeracy skill levels.
But even employees with a reasonable level of literacy could still not complete workplace communication tasks at the required level. And technically competent individuals such as engineers had problems translating technical documentation into commercial language.
Whilst this news item doesn’t delve into solutions to such fundamental problems, which are no doubt covered in the full report, in many ways I’m not surprised at these alarming statistics. The number of basic grammatical errors and inconsistencies I come across on websites I look at each day is quite surprising and most of them can be easily fixed, if only people took the time to read what they have writen before making the content live.
Ok, I know I’m only talking errors in website content here which are relatively minor issues compared to the findings in the AI Group report, but my point is that if people don’t have the skills required to do the job, get some help from those people who know what they are doing. Sloppy writing, spelling and grammar mistakes and lack of attention to detail create the wrong impression. A great looking website, well laid out with beautiful graphics is all well and good but if the content is up the creek, that initial wow factor leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
Don’t fall foul of poorly written content for your website or any of your marketing communications material, there are plenty of good copywriters out there (myself included) that can help you. Just do your research and shop around until you find someone you are happy with. You’ll be thankful for the help in the end.