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Workplace Literacy and Effective Communication

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Workplace Literacy and Effective Communication

Recently, there has been a poorly written communication in the workplace, which has led to some hurt feelings, lower morale and possible loss of business. As a corporation, we have worked very hard to maintain the synergy though out our work environment. These latest events are starting to compromise multiple aspects of our company. First, we are losing

control and perspective of our colleagues. Camaraderie and atmosphere are suffering, placing us in jeopardy of destroying our active policies and their integrity. We must also be careful not to take these events lightly, jeopardizing our nucleus and strong core structure of talented workers. Workplace literacy and effective communication have long been increasingly important skills demanding continuous attention, monitoring, and education. Therefore, the objectives are to present a solution for company-sponsored workshops to improve workers' writing skills.

Workplace literacy involves instruction in basic skills of reading, writing, or mathematics, and the application of these skills to areas such as communication, teamwork, and problem solving (Smith, 2000, p. 378). The workplace is a very competitive environment and the key to competitiveness will be gaining, transforming, and generating knowledge, which can be useful for the employee and employer alike.

There are many reasons and justifications for effective communication, but these can best be described by singling out a few common points that will enlighten us to the need for this higher communicative education. According to Office Team 2000, a leading staffing service, while intellectual challenges and opportunities will motivate workers, such skills as writing and speaking well, the display of proper etiquette, and listening attentively will probably determine their career success. HR Focus Magazine (1999) performed a survey which revealed that workers will have to learn to communicate more effectively and articulately. Through technological advancements, their people skills will be showcased and tested, and those workers lacking in these areas will have their shortcomings exposed. Likewise, it is mentioned that pervasiveness of both audio and video teleconferencing will also reveal the caliber of one's verbal strengths.

This leads us next to professional craftsmanship and the justification for which every good employee is obligated for it. W. Brinkman (2003) states that standard grammar, usage and spelling, and clarity of organization are basic parts of that craftsmanship for all those who write or present as a part of their job. Furthermore, it is the obligation of the worker to maintain this level of competence in every situation where communication is required.

With the requirement for every employee to write more effectively, improved skills are becoming increasingly important in the workplace. One main reason is the advancement of the telecommunications and email system with non-quantifiable millions of employees utilizing this system on an everyday basis. This has become a self-imposed crutch for many to become careless in their written thoroughness. Email was conceived to be a tool to communicate and must contain tangible information. Communication in this method must be clear and concise, and the author should take care not to muddle the message. Dawn Josephson, president of Cameo Publications, states "If you send out a sales letter that is filled with errors, you're losing credibility. You send the image that your company is careless" (cited in Tyler, 2003, 87). Therefore, an indicator potentially leading to a loss of business and previously cited low morale.

Establishing and maintaining credibility is not the only reason for effective communication and in our attempt to clarify this need; the question arises as to what the consequences for ineffective communication are. The Salt Lake Tribune (2000) makes mention that management experts say producing sloppy, poorly written work can be a career killer, and honestly, make you look lusterless and diminished. In most cases, Nick Morgan (editor of Harvard Management Communication Letter) points out, readers of your work probably will skip right over grammatical errors but, most certainly, will notice a poorly argued, poorly structured report (cited in The Salt Lake Tribune, 2000, p.E.3).

Among the ever-growing consolidation demands being imposed on employers, there is a great demand to not complicate or eliminate the social interaction aspects in workplace literacy. However, restructured management has forced requirements on workers to be more involved in self-directed work teams. Mariam Jean Dresser makes mention that these work teams must set goals together engaging in persuasive communication, problem analysis, and writing (cited in Smith, p. 378). Corporations have also placed workers into isolated electronic workstations and the solicitation and deployment of businesses globally have forced workers to read and write more often than in traditional workplaces (Smith, 2000, p. 378). Because of this global initiative, demands, and more diverse audiences, there will be more literacy demands, and those demands ultimately will be increasingly complex.

Some opportunities or methods to encourage continuous effective communication in the workplace include encouragement and



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