I was intrigued to read a news article on the BBC News site about business websites, particularly e-commerce sites.
“Spelling mistakes ‘cost millions’ in lost online sales” raises awareness of how important first impressions are to business. The article concentrates on those businesses with a website presence. As these businesses can only communicate through the written word, it is important that the basics are correct – particularly spelling.
It makes very sad reading to hear that some graduating students from universities etc., do not have basic writing skills.
There are many things at play here, as far as I can see:
- poor standards in education
- a complacent approach
- hasty responses to competition or demand
- a lower expectation of employees
I could get political here but I won’t. I just want to say that as leaders, and as people who wish to develop ourselves and others, we should set ourselves high standards, and seek healthy ways to meet those standards. If you can’t spell, seek remedial help. Shed your pride.
Leaders, notice your employees or teams. Great leaders see the potential in others and help them achieve this. That includes basic numeracy and literacy.
Employers should also set higher standards. It is often unfortunate that if there is a desperate need to fill a position, then many can’t afford to wait until the ‘right’ person comes along. I’ve certainly been in that place and I felt compromised in having to employ someone who I wasn’t 100% happy with because of pressure from line managers and demands on my already stretched team.
And finally, it is not always right to settle for second best, in work, in yourself/myself, in life. Knowing when to push for better takes a wise person.
Back to the article – I’m not the only person who has feelings about this subject. 622 comments were made against this news item before they closed the page. It’s a touchy subject for many.
Have you come across websites where things like spelling have put you off reading further?
If you are an employer with a website, have you experienced similar issues to that of the news article? How did it affect your reputation?
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- As easy as A, B … sorry, what was the other one? (thunderheadinnovate.wordpress.com)
- Almost half of employers forced to teach teenagers basic literacy and numeracy skills (telegraph.co.uk)