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The #1 Most Desirable Skill in Today’s Workforce  

There is one skill in the workplace that feeds into other integral skills that are top of mind for leaders, executives, and recruiters. Without this one skill, it challenges your capability to deliver on the rest. For what is leadership, problem-solving, presenting, influence, and collaboration, without… communication?  

Without strong communication skills, one cannot lead, motivate, and convey ideas effectively to inspire action and growth within a company.  

If you’re still not bought on the idea that communication skills are where companies must prioritize their team’s learning and development efforts, continue reading to learn about the current impact they have in today’s workforce.  

The Way We Work Has Been Changed — Forever

We live in a new world: significant technological advancements, the accelerated rate of AI integration, and the reorganizing of how we work to more hybrid workplaces. The World Economic Forum (WEF) reports that by 2027 40% of working hours across industries can be impacted by large language models (LLMs) such as Chat-GPT. According to that same report, close to half of the workforce will need to be reskilled with new core skills. 

These core skills can be categorized into two camps: 

There is no question the AI age is eliminating the need for a leaders’ hard skills. But as one door closes, another is being flung wide open. There has never been a time where we’ve had such an opportunity for human connection, creativity, and collaboration.  

I’ve been hesitant on buying into the utopic AI narrative. I’m nervous about the unknowns, anxious about the negative consequences, and concerned about how leaders and organizations will navigate the ethical crossroads AI is presenting. However, what I know for sure, is that disruption creates opportunity.  

I think back to the 2008 financial crisis and how that was an impetus for start-ups like Airbnb and Uber and how Netflix, Lego, and Warby Parker didn’t allow the set-back of a financial recession from recovering and growing. 

The question I’m asking isn’t how we will survive through this digital disruption, but rather: how will we thrive? People-first leaders, the invitation has been put forward — will you be the master of human connection? 

Social and Communication Skills: The ‘Soft’ Skills That Bring an Edge

Two decades ago, when companies opened their doors to hiring, they wanted people with technical, “hard” skills in their repertoire, such as technical and systems management, administrative experience, and financial management.  

But in the last 20 years, priorities have changed. As of 2017, 30% of job descriptions now mention social skills as important, with financial and resource management skills falling below the line at –40%. This information was put forth from Harvard Business Review’s data analysis of Russel Reynolds Associates.  

What Speared the Shift to Workplace Communication Skills?

People Do Business With People

Now more than ever, CEOs are the faces of their companies and are required to develop their personal brands. With buyers’ habits consisting of 81% self-research and browsing the web, the online space of employees and leaders now plays an important role.  

Whether it be a website, LinkedIn profile, Glassdoor profile, etc., managers are now pressed to communicate their values and ideas with potential clients, employees, and people in their network. 

Without digitization, managers were able to remain uninvolved, relying a human resources department to handle communication. But that’s no longer the case. 

This doesn’t only relate to buyers, but employee prospects as well. When people are seeking new jobs, they research the company and employees with platforms like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor. With 67 million monthly users, 70% of job seekers take to Glassdoor before making a career change, analyzing the reviews and company feedback. 

This means managers need to bolster their communication skills to be ready to interact with buyers and job candidates. Of course, you don’t have to do this alone. Collaborate with your human resources department and experts for direction and support. 

A Dire Need for Empathy

When human resource professionals are the sole communication managers, it can leave employees feeling detached from management and disengaged from the company and the business’ mission. When managers don’t have open lines of communication with their team, taking time to build authentic relationships, employees will start to feel like another number, another cog in the wheel, instead of for what they are: a human who brings brilliant value to the company. This is a surefire way to fuel a high turnover rate.  

Recognition and appreciation are top values for employees in today’s current workplace environment, which stems from strong, empathetic communication.  

It’s time for managers to develop authentic connections with their teams, for when they do, companies can experience: 

  • 87% more positive change. 
  • 87% more mutual respect among leaders and employees.  
  • 85% more productivity.  

Why Leaders Should Prioritize Communication as Their Number 1 Skill

1. Increased Efficiency and Productivity

“According to a study by Gartner, communication is responsible for 70% of corporate errors.” 

Nothing is worse than when lines of communication are crossed, and projects need to be redone. Or worse yet, multiple employees worked on the same initiative. Miscommunication is costly, not only for time, but profit too: 

  • Research states that poor communication can cause 7 hours of wasted work per week.  
  • According to SHRM, miscommunication can cost U.S. and U.K. businesses up to $37 billion every year.  

Now imagine all the time and money you could save by prioritizing and bolstering your communication skills.  

2. Social Confidence and Career Growth

Having effective workplace communication skills not only means you’re more likely to accelerate in your career, but you’re more likely to contribute to the overall growth of your company too.  

According to IO Associates, “An American study which sampled 12,686 young men and women found that socially confident people can make $28000 more per year than their less confident counterparts.” 

3. Trustworthy Leadership and Atmosphere

People are now more likely to stay at a job that contains trustworthy relationships: “74% of employees would prefer to work for a trustworthy employer,” according to UKG Workforce Institute. 

Trustworthiness fuels job satisfaction, workplace well-being, and heightened performance, meaning you’re able to cultivate a thriving work environment where people can flourish in their Brilliant Differences™. 

How Will You Prioritize Your Communication Skills?

Communication forms the foundation and success of your leadership and career journey. It also paves the way for influential managers and collaborative teams within companies, helping businesses reach their goals at a more effective rate. 

If only there was a leadership development program that specialized in amplifying communication skills for leaders.  

Well, there is, and you’re in the right place. At Finka Communications Inc., we build brilliant communicators so that leaders can flourish in their roles and so businesses can soar in their market.  

By enrolling in the Your Brilliant Difference™ Program, you and your team can uncover your unique communication styles and chemistry, so you can understand how you generate the most meaningful impact within your role and business.  

If you’re interested in the program but have some questions, book a call! I’d love to get to know you more and design a unique learning path for you and your team. 

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