Recent case studies have shown that younger employees are averse to using the phone as a medium of communication at work, preferring instead to utilize emails. However, it’s important for professionals to have the ability to not only write eloquent emails, but also to exchange information articulately over the phone. Regardless of the technological dimension of our day and age, nothing can replace the value of these communication skills in an office setting.
Furthermore, studies have been done that prove the significance of phone skills in the workplace. For instance, using Careerbuilder’s findings on the fastest-growing jobs in today’s workforce as a starting point, Forbes compiled data from O*NET, the U.S. hub of occupational information, to determine the ten most in-demand skills of 2013. While technological skills were high on the list, so were more basic skills, such as good judgment and decision-making, active listening, and sales and marketing-related knowledge. While these attributes may appear less flashy on the surface, they constitute the building blocks of a strong communication-oriented foundation.
In fact, the ability to communicate well was not only one of the top ten most desired skills of 2013, it was also a skill requested by nine of the ten most in-demand jobs of 2013. In definitive terms, top employers are expecting employees to come on board with the ability to communicate effectively through verbal conversations, as well as to demonstrate active listening by focusing and clearly paying attention when others speak, thinking about critical points made, and asking intelligent questions when collaborating.
Additionally, the knowledge of how to promote and sell products or services through marketing strategies, tactics, and techniques was also on the list. A great communicator can be the point person for bridging projects, selling services, and forwarding their company’s goals, as well as helping to meet the needs of others.
“Verbal communication is a highly valued skill that is not going away and it is a skill that is required for career advancement,” explains Kim Caruso, Director of The Execu|Search Group’s Office Support division. “Millennials need to have the ability to adjust their communication style to be able to relate to people at all levels and generations. This means that in order to effectively communicate and collaborate with others, one might be required to pick up the phone to verbally articulate their ideas.”
So what’s the takeaway from all this data? The message from managers makes it abundantly clear – while it may be tempting to let your fingers do the talking via email, nothing can replace talking one-on-one. Actively utilizing your phone skills when appropriate will advance your communication prowess, and enhance your overall work performance. When it comes to valuable professional attributes, the ability to harness new technology as well as traditional methods is a prized commodity in the workplace.