More and more employers are finding that their employees are lacking basic grammar skills. While the informality of text messages, emails and social media may be to blame, that doesn’t excuse an employee’s lack of knowing how to structure a basic sentence—something that is typically required to graduate from high school.
As an employer, you know that proper grammar is an important reflection of your business to your customers as well as a great way to ensure that productivity remains on track. If you’ve noticed that your employees lack basic grammar, here are a few ideas to help you help them improve.
1. Assign mandatory grammar courses.
You want to improve your employees’ grammar, and this may require an investment on your part. You can reach out to your local community college and find out if they offer writing or English classes/workshops. If so, you can make it mandatory for your employees to complete a course on a regular basis. You can also scour the Internet for programs or online courses that your employees can take on their own time. English Grammar 101 is an online grammar course that you can have your employees take to help them learn. If you have a company portal, you can always create your own instructional course and place it on the portal for your employees to access.
2. Make grammar a part of promotional criteria.
Every employee usually has an annual (or biannual) review with their boss, and you can use this time to test your employees grammar by giving them a basic test. If they pass, it can be an additional monetary incentive added to their promotion (or another type of reward that you determine). This is a great way to reward those employees who use good grammar, but it’s also a great way to provide an incentive to those employees who may be lacking. This way, your employees will find their own way to improve their grammar, and you’ll simply provide a reward if they do so.
3. Start an improper grammar jar.
You’ve probably heard of a swear jar, where employees put in a quarter (or dime, or penny, etc.) every time they are caught swearing. Well, you can do the same thing, only with improper grammar. Every time you hear an employee speak with improper grammar or see them write with improper grammar, you can have them add money to the jar. Then, every month (or year), you can decide what the money is used for. This is a great way to force your employees into paying attention to the way the both speak and write.
4. Create a proofreading process.
You can also create a proofreading process for your office. If your company has a proofreader on staff, you can make it a requirement that they sign off on documents before they are published or sent out. If you don’t have a proofreader, you can require your employees to have their content proofed internally by another coworker, and again, it would have to be signed off on. This will not only force your employees to look over their work before handing it over to someone else, but it gives an employee’s work an extra set of eyes to catch mistakes, which is always beneficial.
Having employees with good grammar is important for your business. By using these tips, you can help improve the grammar used by your employees and improve communication all around.
Lauren Williams is a teacher and prolific writer. She stresses the importance of correct grammar and encourages the use of proper grammar for professionals.