Kyle Wiens won’t hire people who can’t write well and he explains why in a recent blog post on the HBR Blog Network. Wiens believes (as do I) that “sloppy is as sloppy does.” As a marketing professor, I often times find myself in discussions with other academicians and students about whether to grade for grammar and spelling on assignments submitted in business classes. One argument suggests that the quality of writing doesn’t relay the degree of knowledge on the business subject at hand or the creativity or critical thinking illustrated in the work. Another argument suggests that one’s command of the subject at hand is nothing without the ability to communicate that command. I commend Mr. Wiens for taking a stand for the value of communication and backing up his beliefs with action.
Wiens writes, “Grammar signifies more than just a person’s ability to remember high school English. I’ve found that people who make fewer mistakes on a grammar test also make fewer mistakes when they are doing something completely unrelated to writing — like stocking shelves or labeling parts.”
Read more on Mr. Wiens “zero-tolerance policy” here.