Training your managers to communicate will drive results


comm image comic-983x1024Leaders and managers do not receive the training and support they need to communicate effectively with their team, according to a recent study by ROI Communication of Fortune 500 companies. The study reveals that only 40% of companies provide communications training for their leaders and managers. So it isn’t surprising to hear then that almost two-thirds of leaders and managers don’t bother explaining how company issues are relevant to their teams. They also don’t bother asking for their employees’ opinions and ideas. When people don’t see the relevance of their work with the overall business and aren’t asked for their input, employee engagement takes a dramatic dive off a very steep cliff. And with it goes productivity.

It isn’t new to say that a primary responsibility of leaders and managers is to create alignment around business strategies. But if we know that already, why are we not training our leaders to communicate? Is there another way to achieve alignment?

Here are three steps leaders need to follow in order to enable managers to be better communicators, align their employees with the greater business strategy, and drive better financial results.

  • Provide effective training in communication. The ROI study discovered that only 26% of managers understand their role as communicators. That number reflects the failure of leaders to train managers. A good training program will help managers understand the importance around the relevance and timing of a message, know their target audience, and set the right tone.
  • Make sure that managers understand the impact of their communication. Managers’ communications will trigger a reaction; and they are in control of what that reaction should be. The training program should arm managers with the ability to evaluate all communications from this perspective: What do they want their audience to understand; how do they want their audience to feel; and what do they want them to do as a result?
  • Define their role as communicators clearly, provide clear expectations and hold them accountable. Little matters if we’re not held accountable.

Train managers to communicate, and you have a company that walks the talk. Don’t train managers, and you should expect your best employees to find the nearest exit. To learn more about specific ways to improve your managers’ communication skills, contact us at 215.806.8319.