1.1 Background and problem
There have been more and more feedbacks that NUS graduates do not write well when they begin work. With written communication skills covering a wide range of topics, NUS is having difficulty in deciding which aspect of written communication to focus on in order to better equip students for the working environment. As such, Dale Carnegie Training is commissioned by NUS to analyze which aspect of written communication should take priority and provide relevant recommendations
The purpose of this report is to identify four important aspects of written communication, prioritize two of them and provide recommendation based on priority.
Key questions that will be addressed by the report include:
1. Which aspects of written communication are important in the workplace?
2. What are the main factors contributing to the effectiveness of the aspects?
3. Which aspects should take priority?
Target audience are the engineering faculty students as they have less writing related courses/ activities compared to Business or FASS faculty. Hence, they would most likely have more to gain from the recommendations
Primary data used is ‘2010 - CELC Data’. Response is based on 188 employers.
Majority of respondents belong to IT industry hence, their opinion may not be representative of the general workplace. Nonetheless, the report is still valuable in its analysis of the key findings and presentation of recommendations.
2.1 Aspects of written communication
Referring to Chart 1, 4 important aspects of written communication in the workplace have been identified. A significant number of respondents (66.8%) felt that email writing skill is ‘very important’, highest among respondents who cited ‘very important’ for a particular skill. Letter writing received a more varied response with only 38.2% citing it as ‘very important’ and 24.2% giving ‘somewhat’ as a response. Majority of respondents also felt that report and proposal writing skills are ‘very important’ (58.3% and 53.5% respectively).
Chart 1: How Important is each of the following skills in your job? 100%
Not at all
2.2 Factors contributing to effectiveness of written communication From chart 2 and 3, clear purpose and conciseness are common factors contributing to the effectiveness of all 4 writing skills. For both charts, most of the respondents (more than 90%) indicated that clear purpose and conciseness are at least ‘important’ or ‘very important’ in determining the effectiveness of written communication.
In addition, a vast majority of respondents (92.3%) from chart 2 also cited another factor, ‘tone’ as either ‘important’ or ‘very important’ in contributing to the effectiveness of email/letter writing. However for chart 3, ‘reader-centered communication’ is the third factor that contributes to the effectiveness of report/proposal writing, with majority of respondents (91.7%) indicating it as either ‘important’ or ‘very important’.
Chart 2: How important are the following in contributing to the effectiveness of a letter/ email?
Not at all
Tone (including being courteous)
Chart 3: How important are the following in contributing to the effectiveness of a report/proposal?
Not at all
In the next section, we will be evaluating these findings by drawing connections with other relevant supporting data.
Based on the key findings in section 2, we will now examine some plausible explanation for their...