Improving and fortifying your employees’ business vocabulary is a critical yet ambitious goal. 

Every message sent can strengthen or weaken a business partnership or risk the loss of a customer relationship. So, getting all employees—both seasoned and new—up to speed quickly is essential. 

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There are several ways to approach your team’s professional development to improve business writing vocabulary. First, let’s examine the benefits, then analyze and compare the various ways you can accomplish this goal. 

Benefits of improving business vocabulary

Strengthening your business vocabulary can empower your team to connect more effectively with your customers and each other. The benefits of improving vocabulary usage allow you to:

  • Create a powerful first impression. Make your words a strong representation of your products and services. 
  • Convey your ideas more clearly. Use straightforward, concise, and specific words to reach your customers.
  • Engage your audience. Hook them right away with language that speaks to their pain points.
  • Showcase industry-specific expertise. Express insights your customers can use to establish yourself as an authority in the field. 
  • Position your business as an industry thought leader. Build trust by sharing content your customers can count on.

There’s a lot to gain, but how do you get there? Here are some key dos and don’ts of improving business writing vocabulary.

Dos and don’ts of business writing vocabulary

Improving business writing vocabulary is a unique endeavor that significantly depends on each business’ mission, corporate culture, and brand. However, some common dos and don’ts will instantly help your teams sound more professional, skilled, and knowledgeable. 

DO use strong verbs to motivate and empower readers 

  • Instead of change, try transform
  • Instead of use, try leverage

DON’T use passive voice word choices that can misguide readers

  • Instead of “The award was presented by the president,” try “The president presented the award”

DO tailor your tone to the audience to ensure the message is read as intended

  • Confident for team memos
  • Analytical for quarterly reports 
  • Inspiring for business proposals

DON’T settle for overused adjectives—strive for more descriptive words

  • Instead of nice, try gratifying
  • Instead of important, try salient
  • Instead of great, try distinguished

DO consider organizational structure—what information is most important for the reader to take away from the message?

  • State your purpose up front
  • Stick to one idea per paragraph

DON’T use trite expressions or clichés—state your thoughts clearly to avoid misinterpretation 

  • Examples: “back to square one,” “on the back burner,” “run-of-the-mill”

DO watch for homonyms and words that might get past a spell checker

  • Examples: there/they’re/their, bear/bare,  its/it’s, two/too/to

DON’T use redundant phrases that can cloud clarity and conciseness 

  • Instead of “in my personal opinion,” try “in my opinion”
  • Instead of “a rough estimation,” try “an estimation”
  • Instead of “an unexpected surprise,” try “a surprise”

DO use a thesaurus to help your team find just the right words to fit the context

  • Instead of problem, try challenge or obstacle
  • Instead of soon, try promptly or in advance

And finally . . .

DON’T underestimate the power of words

Your team will likely have varying degrees of writing expertise. If your goal is to improve business writing vocabulary, you should plan for professional learning that meets a range of needs.

Five methods for improving business writing vocabulary

To improve business writing for your whole team in the quickest time frame possible, there are several ways to provide professional development.

Improvement Method Pros Cons Examples
Digital Communications Assistant
  • Can be implemented right away
  • Dynamic
  • Always available
  • Offers instructional suggestions
  • Multichannel
  • Geared toward business demands
  • Custom style guide
  • Lacks human touch
  • Cannot provide hands-on learning
Grammarly Business ($$)
Online Training Modules
  • Self-paced
  • On-demand
  • Individual assessment
  • Range of Cost option
  • Time-consuming
  • Limited feedback
  • Requires individual motivation and follow-through
  • Must monitor to track completion
Coursera (free)

Instructional Solutions ($$$)

Group Workshops
  • Customizable
  • Instructor-led
  • Webinar or onsite
  • Group discussions
  • Costly
  • Requires team or company downtime
  • Lots of content in a short time
  • Little individual feedback
  • Must train new employees
Hurley Write ($$$)

Business Training Works ($$$)

  • Buy in bulk
  • Standardized language
  • Cost-effective
  • Time-consuming
  • Slows workflow
  • Static content
The AMA Handbook of Business Writing ($)

The Chicago Manual of Style ($)

The Global English Style Guide ($)

Continual Management Review and Feedback
  • Managerial control
  • Document review
  • Individual coaching
  • Time-consuming
  • Slows workflow
  • Demanding to administer
In-house or hired consultant ($$$)

Though all of these methods help build your team’s business writing vocabulary, they vary in cost, ease of implementation, and speed in which they accomplish goals. 

To achieve the best results virtually overnight, choose a digital AI communications assistant

An artificial intelligence (AI)-powered writing assistant can quickly and effectively help your team improve business writing vocabulary. 

Intuitive suggestions provide synonyms that may more closely approximate your intended meaning and increase specificity. By helping you refine word usage, this dynamic tool adds clarity, increases reader engagement, and strikes the right tone. Since this occurs in real-time, it cuts out extra steps like consulting a thesaurus.

A customizable style guide feature helps your team develop a shared vocabulary that strengthens your brand. It’s a unique solution for improving business writing vocabulary: a style guide allows you to create and share a library of words, phrases, and names that are important to your organization and characteristic of your industry. 

Grammarly Business offers a quick, cost-effective alternative to training your entire staff or providing continuous monitoring. This writing assistant proofreads for punctuation, grammar, and spelling and provides real-time suggestions based on your preset custom style guide. It is a fast and sustainable way to elevate business vocabulary for present and future team members.

To learn more about how Grammarly Business can improve business writing vocabulary for your team overnight, contact us today.

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