Lost in the myriad of testing options these days are the tests that we had to endure starting in second grade. It's the simple spelling test. Or the grammar test. The tests that measure the core of our communication skills.
Sure, your team can talk a good game. They can present ideas in person with the best of them. Make catchy infographics with cute phrases or industry jargon. They can likely tweet/post/like with the best of them. Google this and google that. And they even know how to use the latest software tools. But can they all write a cohesive report or letter to internal staff, with proper grammar and spelling?
It's embarassing to see internal company communications exhibit poor written language skills. Embarassing for the sender and also for the readers. It's horrifying to watch that same lack of skills be evident in communications with customers or prospects. Can't anyone proofread anymore? And even if they do proofread, would the mistakes even be caught?
Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit.com says in this post that he won't hire people who have poor grammar skills. His reasoning is that much of work today, particularly in his business (online repair manuals), involves written communications, including blog posts, Facebook and customer emails. And like it or not, "people judge you if you can't tell the difference between their, there, and they're". In today's digital age, we're all writers so that skill set is critical.
What can be done? As expected, we have grammar tests and spelling tests, as well as a comprehensive business language test that measures grammar, spelling and punctuation. These are not like the grade school tests you used to take but instead are designed to be used with job applicants and will give you a thorough understanding of their grammar and spelling skills. Let us know if you want to sample those or any other employment skills tests we offer.Would you like a sample of our pre-employment tests? Just visit Try a Test to get started!
Last week the Wall Street Journal listed four skills as critical for anyone wanting to get a new job or advance their career in 2013. Drum roll, please...here they are....
1. Communication Skills
2. Personal Branding
4. Productivity Improvement
Of these four attributes, three of them (1, 2 & 4) are certainly necessary for anyone who wants to advance in any year, not just 2013.
Excellent communication skills is an "evergreen" attribute that has been relevant through the ages and will continue to be so. It's the basis for success in any environment, no matter if it's professional or personal relationships. In the age of electronic communciations, written language skills, including the basics of grammar, spelling, and punctuation, are arguably more important now than a generation ago.
Flexibility is rather "evergreen" as well. We are all placed in different situations at various times and the ability (or lack thereof) to rise above the circumstances and work with others in perhaps difficult situations is a definite must. But again, not just in 2013, but in every year.
As for Productivity Improvment, the "20%" number executives seem to be searching for seems somewhat high. But we won't argue with the general premise, which is that employees need to find ways to work smarter and effectively while using the same resources.
Personal Branding is a bit more debatable. Some hiring philosophies tell you to always be searching for your next superstar, which is an admirable goal. But if successful, it can lead to too many chiefs and not enough Indians. A lack of teamwork or unity could be a by-product of this approach. A different philosophy says recruit and hire more steady and dependable performers. Though not your next rock stars, these performers may provide the solid foundation your company needs to succeed.
Whether you agree (or not) that these are highly desired skills, you surely have a list of attributes that you want your employees to have, whether in 2013 or beyond. We have a hundreds of employment tests that will reveal much more about your candidates than you would have ever known by simply interviewing (but not testing) them.Would you like a sample of our pre-employment tests? Just visit Try a Test to get started!
(Note: Please read entire post, including last sentence).
Is bad grammar (and spelling) negatively impacting your workplace?
Do you notice errors when you look at your company’s written materials, whether it’s internal reports, memos, or—heaven forbid—marketing materials?
This Wall Street Journal article takes a look at grammer and spelling mistakes and how they can affect internal communications and more importantly, communications with customers. Its such a frustrating issue that One executive even went so far as to impose a 25 cent fine each time an intern used the word “like” inappropriately or out of context.
Whether its pure written mistakes or just a too casual tone when communicating with customers, it’s a big problem. Part of it surely stems from the text/tweet-ing abbreviations that Gen Y-ers (and there parents) have now accepted as part of everyday communications. But it’s not funny to LOL, especially when talking with customers that might be from an older age group.
Even bosses are not immune and it can be a touchy subject when an employee has to gently correct their manager’s grammar and spelling errors.
Some companies are implementing grammar/spelling training programs for employees and internal review processes where other employees review important written materials before it's released for general consumption. Another option, of course, would be to use pre-employment grammar tests and spelling tests, which we offers. There’s even a proofreading test if the position requires a high level of writing or editing skills. Let us know if we can help you spot the poor spellers or grammarians among your applicant pool.
There are (at least) five spelling or grammar errors in this blog post. Did you find them all?Would you like a sample of our pre-employment tests? Just visit Try a Test to get started!