Getting the Most from an Onsite Writing Course
Writing Training ROI: Realizing a Return on Investment
Business Training Works offers 20 onsite business writing workshops.
Over the years, we’ve recognized a pattern of behavior associated with people who get the most from their training investment.
This guide outlines steps organizations bringing a writing course onsite should consider taking before, during, and after training.
Step One: Tell Us What Participants Write and Why
Employees write for a range of reasons. Sometimes it’s to communicate instructions or status, sometimes it’s to document information, and other times it’s to persuade. If we understand what your group writes and their primary purpose for doing so, we’re able to narrow our scope and choose relevant activities and exercises when we tailor your program.
Step Two: Highlight Deficiencies
While some organizations offer a business writing course as part of general employee development, most of the time people schedule onsite training because deficiencies of some sort exist. If you can tell us what those are prior to a workshop’s start, we will focus on remedying the issues from minute one of the session.
Step Three: Identify What’s Working
In adherence with adult learning principles, it’s important to build on strengths. In addition to acknowledging what people already know, if we understand where your participants excel, we don’t waste time covering concepts your group has already mastered.
Step Four: Define an “A”
Real-world examples are one of the best ways to teach people to follow a certain style when they write. To get the most from our writing programs, we ask you to gather existing samples of strong writing from your workplace and tell us why you like them.
Step Five: Tell Us About Style, Templates, and Tone
Top organizations have writers who compose text that has a distinct look and sound. If you have a corporate style guide, we would like to see it. If you want people to adhere to a particular style manual, we need to know that too. Is there a universal tone your documents should communicate? Do you have a template library? The better we understand your workplace, the more effective and relevant we can make our programs.
Step Six: Choose the Right Participants
Sometimes people will schedule mandatory onsite training and include people in the session whose workplace responsibilities do not include writing. While we do our best to make the content meaningful to those participants, many will question the reason they must attend a writing workshop. Taking the time to think through the attendance list can avoid that circumstance and other challenges related to the group’s composition.
Step Seven: Communicate Your Goals for the Program
It’s one thing for people who don’t write as part of their job responsibilities to question why they must take part a writing workshop. It’s another for those who should attend the course not to know the expected outcome. Over the years, we’ve learned the importance of communicating a program’s goals at the time of registration.
Step Eight: Remove Distractions
As with any training program, people get what they put into our writing courses. Groups that realize the best results commit. They schedule workshops on days where people can give the content their undivided attention.
Step One: Frame the Session
While we will introduce ourselves and a workshop’s goals, a brief kickoff provided by an internal leader can help frame the session and tie it to business objectives.
Step Two: Participate at the Top
When key stakeholders attend a session, they communicate the importance of the workshop and its content.
Step One: Create a Follow-Up Plan
Too often people learn new skills during a workshop and revert to old habits shortly thereafter. A strong follow-up plan can mean the difference between success and failure.
Step Two: Offer Feedback
Writing skills don’t develop overnight. To affect change, workshop participants need ongoing practice and feedback.
Step Three: Improve a Little at a Time
Change is tough, and people find it most difficult when they are asked to do too much at one time. Choosing specific focus area can drive improvement systematically.
No matter which course you choose, a little bit of work before, during, and after a workshop can increase the return on your investment.