Effective internal and external communications are the lifeblood of a business. This is how management and employees interact with one another and with outside constituents. Communication is key for establishing organizational values and objectives and to reach larger goals.
When leaders at every level, from middle managers on up, are trained in effective business communication and the methodologies for tracking and measuring communications, they can equip their subordinates with the tools and opportunities to have productive discussions and reach intended outcomes. A Master of Business Administration (MBA) program can instill these necessary skills in students.
Critical Hiring and Leadership Development Qualifications
Year after year, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) surveys corporate recruiters around the world, and these respondents regularly indicate that communication skills are among the most critical hiring qualifications. In 2020, recruiters reported confidence in MBA programs’ ability to prepare graduates to be successful because such programs emphasize strategic thinking, communication skills and versatility.
Training Magazine’s 2020 Leadership Development Survey, which gathered input from over 530 Learning and Development (L&D) professionals, found communication skills to be the second most important priority for leadership development — just behind coaching others, which depends on communication skills. The survey reveals three particular communication skills that matter most:
- Influencing others: Effective persuasion — or appeals to logic, intuition and emotion — are critical to getting people on board with a strategy, fostering a collaborative environment and overcoming division.
- Motivating others: While influence makes you go in a particular direction, motivation gets you going in the first place. Motivation inspires people to act, and leaders motivate employees through a variety of means including telling stories, projecting confidence and relating concepts to unique individuals.
- Developing oneself: Strong communicators effectively teach their subordinates by setting an example using the day-to-day opportunities their own work provides. They also give objective, tailored feedback so that employees know they are growing in their mastery of their roles and the industry. They are active listeners who are genuinely interested in understanding their employees.
Many Organizations Come Up Short
Yet, for all of the surveys and data that corroborate the importance of communication, something is amiss in many organizations. Smarp reports the following statistics:
- About 60% of companies lack a long-term, internal communications strategy.
- About 60% of professionals do not measure internal communications.
- Most employees (74%) have the feeling they are missing out on company news.
- When it comes to company strategy, 72% of employees don’t have a full understanding.
- In organizations where employees are connected, employee productivity increases by 20 to 25%.
- Just 40% of internal communications professionals believe their workers truly understand the contributions they are making to their organization’s strategy.
- Organizations with effective change and communication programs are 5 times as likely to outperform their peers.
- While 3 in 4 employees see effective communication as the #1 leadership attribute, just 1 in 3 feel like their leaders communicate effectively.
The Impact and the Solution
Effective communication has an impact on every organizational objective, including employee satisfaction, motivation, productivity, market leadership, brand value and customer satisfaction. It impacts how well project completions align with their goals, how long projects take to complete and how often errors and significant mistakes compromise project outcomes.
Poor communicators monopolize conversations and judge instead of listen. They tend not to summarize the key points of what others are saying. Without effectively trained executive-level communicators providing leadership, it is difficult to maintain operational interdepartmental dialogue. This results in communication silos, where important information is not relayed to those who need it. As America moves toward more remote work and higher employee turnover, there is even more urgency to improve corporate communications.
An advanced business degree helps students master effective communication skills for a variety of career paths, including entrepreneurial settings. St. Thomas University’s online MBA programs span a variety of subjects and concentrations including marketing, accounting, human resource management, sports administration and cyber security management.