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The Importance of Communication Skills, By the Numbers

The Importance of Communication Skills, By the Numbers

We hear that “communication skills are the backbone of every workplace” and that we should “improve our communication skills” all the time. If it’s coming from all different sources and people from around the world then it has to be true, right?

The short answer is yes, that’s true. Communication skills are the backbone of every workplace and improving our skills with communication training is critically important to our success and the success of our teams, colleagues, and companies.

In this article, you’ll find proof of the importance of communication for employees, managers, and companies in the form of the latest statistics and research studies on the topic. Let’s begin.

 

Is the way you communicate helping or hindering your effectiveness as a leader?  Find out in this guide.

 

The Importance of Communication Skills in Your Professional Life

Regardless of whether you’re an individual contributor on the frontline or an executive in a corner office, your communication skills and the skills of your colleagues influence your experience at work - for better or for worse. In fact, these statistics highlight just how important strong communication skills are in your professional life.

  • The top three most in-demand skills in 2023 are leadership skills, communication skills, and customer service skills. - LinkedIn
  • Nearly 70% of remote professionals say they experience burnout from digital communication. Meanwhile, hybrid and on-site professionals are less likely to experience burnout as a result of digital communication (56% and 49% respectively). - Forbes
  • People say communication breakdowns in the workplace lead to increased stress (52%), delay or failure to complete projects (44%), low morale (31%), missed performance goals (25%), and lost sales (18%). - Lucidchart
  • Knowledge workers say poor communication makes them consider finding a new job (22%), lowers their confidence (30%), decreases job satisfaction (34%), and increases stress (50%).  However, effective communication improves work satisfaction, working relationships, and productivity. - Grammarly

The Consequences of Poor Communication According to Knowledge Workers

 

The Importance of Communication Skills for Managers

A manager’s effectiveness hinges on the strength of their communication skills. Those who overlook training and development in the area of leadership communication will struggle to meet their mandate, engage employees, encourage collaboration, resolve conflicts, and so much more. Here are just a few statistics that prove just how important communication skills are for managers at all levels.

  • Managers are the primary communication channel for 35% of employees, though this increases to 45% in organizations where more than half of the employees are deskless. - Gallagher
  • Only 13% of employees strongly agree leaders and managers from their organization communicate effectively with the rest of the organization. - Gallup
  • When managers use motivating language, including meaning-making, empathetic, and direction-giving language, it positively influences their employees’ perception of a positive emotional culture, which in turn enhances employees’ organizational identification. - International Journal of Business Communication
  • 69% of the managers admit they are often uncomfortable communicating with employees. More specifically, 37% find it hard to give negative performance feedback to employees, 20% struggle to show vulnerability, and another 20% dislike being the messenger of company policies. - Interact
  • Managers who are high-performing communicators are responsible for 50% higher shareholder returns, more successful strategy and change initiatives, and improved employee engagement. - CEB

Managers are employees primary communication channel

 

The Importance of Communication Skills for Employees

The vast majority of employees' roles and responsibilities demand some degree of communication between colleagues, teams, clients, and external stakeholders. As such, it is important for employees to have the communication skills they need so that when the time comes they can hold productive and professional conversations.

  • Employees report that poor communication in the workplace reduces productivity (49%), influences job satisfaction (50%), and affects stress levels (42%). - Forbes
  • Of the businesses that report skills gaps in their workforce, about one in four said employee oral and written communication (24.2%) skills need improvement. - Stats Canada
  • The average U.S. office employee spends 3 hours and 43 minutes a day communicating via video calls, phone calls, and messaging apps in the workplace. - Loom
  • Employees are 2.8x more likely to be engaged when they regularly talk to their direct leader about their goals, wins, and success. - Gallup

US Office Employees Spend 3 Hours 43 Minutes A Day Communicating at Work

 

The Importance of Communication Skills for Companies

Effective communication isn’t just important for employees and leaders, it’s also good for business and these statistics prove that.

  • Employees who feel their company effectively communicates information of value to them are more than twice as likely as those who don't to rate their company's reputation as good (76% vs. 36% respectively). - The Harris Poll
  • Communication is a significant predictor of both work engagement and organizational commitment (intention to stay at the company) among employees. - Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
  • 252 million hours are spent communicating in the workplace per day, which costs companies more than $21 billion per week. - Loom
  • More than 80% of employees would rather work for an organization that values open communication than one that only offers perks like free meals and great health plans. - HBR and Axios HQ
  • 54% of remote workers say poor communication impacts their trust in leadership, compared to 43% of on-site workers. - Forbes
  • Nearly a third of sales lost due to communication breakdowns at work were valued between $100,000 and $999,999. - Lucidchart

80 of employees value open communication over perks

 

Next Steps: Develop Communication Skills with Niagara Institute

Now that we have established the importance of communication skills in the workplace, let’s briefly discuss the options available to develop those skills.

For individual professionals and leaders, online communication courses such as Niagara Institute’s Speaking as a Leader, will make you more competent and confident communicators in just a few weeks. Plus, these types of courses take place 100% online throughout the year so that you can enroll when it works with your schedule.

For organizations, training providers like Niagara Institute can help you provide in-house communication training for groups of employees and/or leaders at the time of your choosing and the location of your choosing, either in-person or online.

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