Learning with impact | Fixing the communication breakdown

Rapid growth was straining communications between managers at Jim Marley’s company, UBC Sauder Executive Education helped them pull together.

 
thechallenge

Last December, Jim Marley and several of his fellow managers at Bouygues Energies & Services Canada took the UBC Sauder School of Business Executive Education course, Communication Skills for Managers with the objective of closing the communication gap that was forming within company ranks.

“It was decided that everybody at the managerial level should take this course in an effort to improve communication between teams throughout the company,” explains Marley, Key Account Director at Bouygues.

Communication was a skill that needed to be reassess at the company, as its employee numbers have grown rapidly in the past few years. “We needed to check back in as a company to make sure that everyone, at every level was communicating successfully,” says Marley.

Jim Marley
thepersonality

With a bachelor of arts degree and a master’s of science, Marley is no stranger to a classroom. He saw Executive Education as a clear solution to help usher in the swift changes needed to take place at Bouygues.

When Marley started with the company 11 years ago, there were 12 people in the company. That number is around 200 now, “and most of that growth happened in the last three years,” he says.

It was a substantial adjustment—especially when it came to the way employees communicated. “It used to be that communication was us calling out at one another across a room,” says the 45-year-old. “Now we are spread across many different areas and so we knew we had to have a baseline for how we would communicate between individuals and departments.”

theexperience

“The techniques I learned in the course were quite useful,” notes Marley. He explains that while some of the lessons taught reinforced his daily practices, there were several skills he learned in those few days that were entirely new to him.

But it was the other participants that really offered some interesting insights for Marley and his colleagues. “There was a real benefit to hearing from representatives from many different roles and businesses.”  

thechange

It has taken eight months for everyone at the managerial level to take part in the Communication Skills for Managers course, but it’s been worth it, says Marley. “We needed this.”

“Now we are on the same page and everyone has the same skills and level of education to help us communicate more efficiently in the future,” he adds.

The next Communication Skills for Managers course begins November 8-9, 2016

Executive Education at the Sauder School of Business

Our professional development programs aim to transform your career and accelerate your organization’s business objectives. With more than one hundred open enrolment programs taught by top Sauder faculty and leading industry experts, we zero in on your goals and ensure you get results.

We have a broad range of programs, from short skill-building courses for managers who want to make their mark to intensive week-long programs in residence for senior leaders. Each is comprehensive and convenient, minimizing your time away from the office and family. All our programs can be customized to meet your organization’s business objectives and professional development needs.