Leadership and communication rate as top two management skills: national survey

Alan Middleton
Alan Middleton
a close up photo of Alan Middleton
Alan Middleton

Canadian business professionals consider leadership and effective communications skills to be the two most important management competencies, according to the results of a national management education survey conducted by Leger in association with the Schulich Executive Education Centre (SEEC) at the Schulich School of Business and its university partners across Canada. And although leadership and effective communication skills are rated as the top management skills, they are the two subject areas identified by respondents as being most in need of executive education support. Other key findings from the survey:

  • Although nine in ten surveyed professionals say their organization engages in some form of management education, only half think their organization makes it a priority, and eight in ten respondents say their organization could use more management education.
  • Decision-making surrounding management education is largely decentralized among department heads, so most professionals surveyed do not know how much their organization spends on executive education or if this amount has changed year-to-year.
  • Employer-supported conference attendance is the most common form of management education, followed by instructor-led classrooms and web-based learning.
  • When choosing an executive education provider, industry-specific courses and cost are the most important factors, with 50 per cent of business professionals saying that the reputation of the provider is a key consideration.

To view the complete survey results, click here. “Conference Board data continues to show low levels of investment by organizations in Canada in executive and management education programs,” said Alan Middleton, executive director of SEEC. “Our survey confirms the gap between need and action: 80 per cent indicated a need for more management education in their organizations while only 55 per cent said that it was a priority.” “Global surveys continue to make a clear link between up-skilling of management, and indeed the whole labour force, and needed improvements in innovation and productivity,” said Middleton. “Canada’s organizations need to invest more in their people. This survey will aid SEEC in determining how we can work with organizations to achieve this.” Leger, the largest Canadian-owned polling, research and strategic marketing firm, surveyed 845 Canadian business professionals between May 6 and June 5. The survey was sponsored by SEEC and its university partners across Canada, including Memorial University of Newfoundland, Saint Mary’s University, the University of New Brunswick, Université Laval, the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University, the University of Winnipeg, Edwards School of Business at the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Alberta and the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria.