Communication is essential to everything we do in business, including interactions with employees and team members. Whether greeting and training new employees, holding town halls or formal presentations for employees, or sharing ideas and project results, good executive communication skills can mean the difference between a mediocre career and one where you climb the corporate ladder as high as your skill and determination can take you.
In recent years, business schools have realized the importance of executive communication, which is the communication from administrative offices or project managers to those who work for them. Some universities, like Johnson & Wales University, even offer MBA programs in this discipline.
So, what exactly is executive communication, and what can you expect to learn in this type of degree program? We'll break it down for you.
History of Executive Communication
Executive communication is a form of internal communication within a company or organization. Simply put, it's communication between bosses and their employees. While the term originated in reference to communications from the CEO of a company, it can apply to any boss-employee dynamic. Executive communication has been around for centuries. However, it's only in the digital age of mass communication that this discipline has been recognized as a subject worthy of a degree program all its own.
From Typewriters to Email and Texting
Throughout most of the 20th century, business communication from the boss was limited to typed letters and memos, with a few slides and photographs produced for formal onboarding presentations. With the advent of business computers, emails became the standard for inter-office communications and informal interaction. Products like PowerPoint made it easy to create elaborate and professional presentations for staff meetings without having to have a huge support staff.
Today, texting has largely replaced emails as the go-to method for getting the word out to employees about a new product, benefit, policy, or promotion. Determining the best media for the project has grown increasingly complex, thereby increasing the need for effective executive communication skills.
Examples of Executive Communication
There's no "one-size-fits-all" when it comes to executive communication. In some cases, you'll want to be more casual, while in others, you'll want a written record of the exchange. Some examples of executive communication include:
- Employee briefings or presentations
- Coffee talks with employees
- Written memos
- Town hall meetings
- Postings on private company social media groups
- Text messages
- Old-school phone calls
Importance of Executive Communication
Strong executive communication is important to keep up employee morale, establish an environment of trust, and ensure all team members have the information they need to do their job effectively. Some of the ways good executive communication can benefit your company and your employees include:
Good executive communication helps garner trust between bosses and employees and between team leaders and their direct reports. Without trust, workers will spend unnecessary time and energy away from their job responsibilities second-guessing the bosses' motivations or making sure that they aren't in the line of fire for the project manager's next tirade.
Once an environment of trust is created, employees will be more likely to share ideas and solutions with management and each other. When you remove most of the anxiety about job insecurity from the equation, workers have much more energy and positivity to devote to critical thinking and problem-solving.
An employee who feels valued and secure is going to be much more loyal to their employer than one who is afraid they are going to be fired at any moment. According to Indeed.com, "Employees who are loyal to a company are likely more invested in the company's success and work towards meeting organizational goals. They may (also) be less likely to search for new work opportunities".
Companies in the United States spend an average of $4,000 annually on recruiting, hiring, onboarding, and training just one new employee, according to a Glass Door study. Reduce turnover and companies automatically realize a tremendous boost to the bottom line. Creating an atmosphere of trust and security via good executive communication can dramatically reduce the number of employees seeking a new job outside of your company each year.
Benefits of Earning an MBA in Executive Communication
There are numerous benefits to pursuing an MBA in Executive Communication, such as the one offered by Johnson & Wales University. The skills you learn with this type of degree program can be applied to any type of leadership role, both in business and in your civic responsibilities.
Effective communication skills transcend job titles. Whether you are a CEO or a new team leader, being able to forge a bond with the people you work with, garner their trust and loyalty, and create a positive work environment will help you succeed and climb as high on the corporate ladder as you want to go.
The uses for good communication skills aren't limited to your executive team and the workplace. Being able to effectively communicate with a project team is useful whether you’re joining the PTA, heading a church committee, or helping out your town's festival planning board. The skills you learn by pursuing an MBA in executive communication can even help you communicate better at home. After all, your family unit is a kind of project team.
Earn your MBA in Executive Communication from JWU
Johnson & Wales University (JWU) offers a two-year Master of Business Administration in Executive Communication that may be completed entirely online with multiple start dates, making it much easier to fit your classes around your other work and family obligations. Online learning is not only more affordable, but it allows you to attend class and complete coursework on your own schedule (within certain parameters). That can be at 9:00 a.m. or 2:00 a.m., whatever works best for you.
Through program coursework covering principles in leadership communication, strategic communication, and emotional intelligence, you’ll gain the executive communication skills you need to excel in and out of the workplace. You'll learn how to elevate your writing style, use storytelling techniques to achieve professional goals, and plan communication strategies to take your place as a business leader. In addition, you'll learn how to make informed decisions at all levels of the organizational chart and analyze problems, propose solutions, and evaluate the impact of executive decisions.
This program combines traditional MBA skills and learning and emphasizes effective inter-company communication skills.
About Johnson & Wales University
Founded in 1914, Johnson & Wales University (JWU) is a private university with campuses in Providence, RI, and Charlotte, NC. Accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, JWU was named to "Money" magazine's list of best colleges and universities of 2021/2022 for its value and the quality of the education offered. The university currently has more than 8,000 undergraduate, graduate, and online students. JWU offers financial aid to qualified students who enroll in an executive communication MBA degree program.