Learning & Development

Survey Says: Communication Skills Are the Top Training Topic

Communication tops the list of skills training provided to individual contributors, according to a survey of executives and managers from more than 700 organizations by AMA Enterprise, a division of the American Management Association. AMA Enterprise provides organizations with assessment, measurement, and tailored training solutions.
The survey probed development programs for “individual contributors,” who are defined as workers who may have no direct reports or formal leadership position but whose expertise is important for an enterprise’s success.
Among organizations that offer development to individual contributors, two-thirds provide communication training, more than any other content type. Next are skills or competencies specific to an individual’s role, such as information technology.


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Here are the responses to the survey question:
If your organization makes an effort to develop individual contributors, which of the following kinds of content are included in such programs?

  • Communication           66%
  • Skills/competencies specific to individual’s role        60%
  • Leadership development         52%
  • Project management    49%
  • Interpersonal skills      48%
  • Collaboration 43%
  • Decision making         40%
  • Critical thinking          38%
  • Cultural sensitivity/diversity   32%
  • Creativity/innovative thinking            32%
  • Ethics 30%
  • Business/financial acumen      30%
  • Emotional intelligence            25%
  • Global perspective      14%

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“Being able to write and speak, as well as understand others, is so central to the functioning of the organization that it can’t be taken for granted, even for individual contributors who don’t operate as part of a team,” said Sam Davis, vice president of AMA Enterprise.
Developing interpersonal and communication skills ensures mutual clarity and understanding when dealing with others, advised Davis. “Such training and development will help to maximize all business interactions and aid the achievement of critical goals.”
For more information on this survey, view the AMA Enterprise press release.