Good Grammar: It Helps You Get Ahead At Work

Okay, we’re a day late and a dollar short. Yesterday was National Grammar Day and for all of you grammarians out there, listen up.

Brad Hoover, CEO of Grammarly, a software suite improving communication, reminds us in a Harvard Business Review blog post that grammar permeates the work day. Whether it’s your e-mails, texts or even tweets, we can’t escape good grammar and why should we?

So if you cringe at a colleague who says the word “supposebly” (okay, that may not exactly fall into the grammar category but it’s a major pet peeve of ours nonetheless), according to the piece you should be detail-oriented and brush up on your skills.

For instance, Grammarly reviewed 100 LinkedIn profiles of native English-speakers in the consumer packaged goods industry. Each employee didn’t have more than three employers during his or her first 10 years of working. During that timeframe, have were promoted to director and the other half weren’t promoted. As for the results? They may shock you…

1. Professionals with fewer grammar errors in their profiles achieved higher positions. You read that right. People who didn’t get promoted made two and a half times more grammar errors than their promotable counterparts who were error-free.

2. Fewer grammar errors correlate with more promotions. Hoover wrote, “Professionals with one to four promotions over their 10-year careers made 45% more grammar errors than those with six to nine promotions in the same time frame.”

3. Fewer grammar errors associate with frequent job changes. We found this one interesting, too. People who stayed at the same company during that 10-year time span made 20 percent more grammar mistakes than colleagues who held six jobs during that time. Perhaps people with better grammar are more ambitious to look for new jobs or maybe they review their resumes frequently in between gigs.

While Hoover admits the sample size was small and can’t conclude by looking at this data if “good grammar merely correlates with career success,” we can all agree that good grammar will reflect professionalism and intellectual aptitude.

Hoover added, “If you are a native English-speaker and never learned the difference between “it’s” and “its,” especially given access to Google, an employer might wonder: What else have you failed to learn that might be useful?”