The contemporary business world is very competitive and full of innovations. For an organization to withstand the competition has to be very alert and effective. A firm must make a potential business planning and should make sure that it is capable of conveying its strategies to its employees, shareholders and ultimately to the customers. It is here, where an effective communication system becomes the backbone of an organization. A proper communication system is of paramount importance for an organization as it manages the internal as well as the external management system of an organization. An effective communication also helps to manage changes in an organization.
Communication is a process of transfer of information from a sender to a receiver through a proper channel.
Types of communication:
Written or oral use of words to communicate
Communication by means of elements and behaviours that are not coded into words like gestures, symbols etc.
Managerial communications involves gathering important information from both inside and out side of the organization and distributing appropriate information to others who need it. In the present business world, it is evident that managerial communication is essential for every management function known to business.For instance, while planning managers gather information on the projects and write letters, memos, reports and then meet with other officials executives to discuss the projects. Thus, managerial communication is a fundamental part of every managerial activity.
Components of communication:
- Sender: initiator of the message
- Encoding: process of translating an intended message into words and gestures
- Message: encoding process-outcome
- Medium: method used to convey the message to the intended receiver
- Receiver: person with whom the message is exchanged
- Decoding: process of translating symbols into the interpreted message
- Noise: factors in the process interfering with message exchange and achieving common meaning.
- Feedback: receiver's response to the message interpreted
Managerial communication has three key areas:
- Organizational Communication:
- Internal communication:
- External Communication:
Organizational communication means communication within an organization or the influence of organizational structures in communicating.
It is the transfer of information via channels such as: memos, intranet, publication or broadcasts, electronic sources and so on within the organization internally.
External communication deals with the communication of information from an organization to the external environment like transferring the product information the customers through tv,s, newspapers, magazines, and so on.
LEVELS OF COMMUNICATION:
In the contemporary corporate world, different levels of management has different levels of communication to communicate its strategies, plans, changes to its employees and the market.
Following are the fundamental levels of communication in an organization:
- Organization wide communication- involves all employees.
- Departmental communication- specific to one department or unit.
- Team communication- within one team or group.
- Individual communication- specific to one employee at one time.
These different levels of communication require effective internal communication techniques to deal the management at each level. The organization to fight the corporate competition changes its plans and strategies every now and then and to cope up with these changes a firm must have an effective communication system.
EFFECTIVE INTERNAL COMMUNICATION
The most effective way of conveying some important information within an organization is termed as effective internal communication.
Effective internal communication is the key to an organization's success. As it determines that how the employees are going to work in respect of the information conveyed to them. Internal communication strategy should work in a balanced co-ordination with the external communications to convey the appropriate message to both the internal as well as external audiences.
"David Verbaska, corporate communication general manager at Pfizer explains: "Employees play many roles- they are stockholders, recruiters, customers and members of the community... Management must understand that the internal audiences could be more important to a company than external for all the right business reasons."(www.managementhelp.org). So an organization must take a special care of the internal communication system.
An organization in order to establish a strong and effective internal communication must follow the following keys of communication:
- Open and honest exchange of information
- Clear, easy to understand materials.
- Timely distributions.
- Trusted sources.
- Clear demonstrations of senior managers.
- Two-way feedback systems.
- Consistent messaging across sources.(Effective Internal Communication, Lyn Smith, 2008)
DIFFERENT COMMUNICATION TOOLS
Company Newsletter: (paper or electronic)
Company newsletter is an appropriate means of transferring information to employees on a systematic basis. These are of two types:
- Paper: use of pamphlets, magazines etc.
- Electronic: mails, online attachments etc.
Intranet enables an organization to create its intranet sites where it can put its valueable information and can update it time to time.
Small Group Meetings:
Face-to-face communication is the most effective way to reach employees. Smaller groups help to create closer bonds and put employees at ease to speak their minds.
It enables employees to share their views to the top level, middle level and the lower level directly that too in a confidential manner.
Through posters a large audience can be conveyed the information at a same time.
Orientation material for new employees:
The new company employees must be provided with proper orientation material so that a new employee can understand the company beforehand.(www.bdc.com)
In the present scenario, the organization relies mostly on the Electronic Communication.
It is because; electronic communication is faster and easy to use.
CHANGE AND MANAGING CHANGE
Change is an alteration of an organization's environment, structure, technology, or people.(Fundamentals of Management, Stephen.P.Robbins,2008)
Today's managers face a strong challenge in coping up with the changing business management system. Every now and then the business norms changes, the business needs varies and the customers are attracted to innovations. And, therefore, managers have to come up with effective strategies to promote their firms. But the incorporation of change needs a proper understanding between managers and employees. There is an urgent need to understand the process of change.
Process of Change:
- What change?
- How change?
- Why change?
- When change?
- Why change is important?
It is very important to understand that what changes are going to take place, what is going to change and in what respect.
It is again important to understand that how the change is going to be implemented.
It should be clearly conveyed that why the change is taking place.
A proper time should be fixed to make a change.
The importance of change should be clearly defined.
"Managing change" refers tothe making of changes in a planned and managed or systematic fashion.
Managing change in an organization is one of the most important tasks to be dealt by the managers. People resist change for many reasons. Changes substitute ambiguity and uncertainty for the known.(Robbins,2008) The another reason for the resistance to change is fear of losing what one already possesses.
Communication helping managing Change:
Change management is of vital importance to take advantage of the organizational change. Internal communication, thus, becomes important to convey the change to the employees. Importance of internal communication at each level of change:
- The employees should be clearly and accurately conveyed what the change is all about by proper use communication tools.
- Communication helps in transferring the employees the information about the process of change through meetings, newsletters and so on.
- Communication can inform the employees the reason of change by the use of communication tools.
- Through the electronic communication or paper communication, employees can be informed about the time and duration of change.
- The communication techniques are also very useful in conveying the importance of change.
It is clearly understood that internal communication is paramount in today's business world.
IMPACT OF CHANGE ON COMMUNICATION PROCESS
Whenever there comes in change in any organization, it is likely to impact many systems. One of the important areas which is affected by the change is communication system. It is important for the organization to adapt its communication system to the changing conditions.
Change challenges the internal communication system to manage the functioning of an organization. Communication process has to be made flexible and user friendly for the employees. Change calls for developing a communication system which is as per the change. Whenever a change takes place, the reasons, requirements and validity of change has to be conveyed to the employees through the appropriate means of communication. Communication is effective only when the change is utilized to maximize the strength of communication. Thus, there is a great impact of change on communication process in an organization.
COMMUNICATION TOOLS HELPS IN DEALING WITH INTERNATIONAL TEAM
In the modern organizations most of the work is done in teams. These teams are comprised of people from different departments, different languages and from different countries. Teamwork is very common in the accomplishment of the projects and to meet the targets on time.
These teams have to work together to meet their targets and therefore, should work in a proper co-ordination. The co-ordinate working requires a high level of communication. Communication is also a complicated process and becomes more complicated when dealing with international teams. Following challenges can be faced dealing with the international teams:
While dealing with international teams multicultural problems are faced. Cultural patterns are different in different countries and has to be resolved by the effective internal communication tools. Team members must be made aware of the working patterns of each other through templates, memos etc.
The linguistic problems must be resolved using a proper translator tool, through signs and symbols.
Different countries have different working patterns. Therefore a balanced working pattern for the team should be incorporated which should satisfy all the members
Status quo problem:
With an international team, the problem of status is more likely to occur, the elements of ego and attitude arises, therefore, its important to set right man at right place with right information placed in.
This is also a major problem which comes across while dealing with an international team. Some countries believe in total ethical business whereas others may not. This must be done away with a committed internal communication.
Thus, managing an international team is a tough task and can be dealt only when there is successful communication. And, successful communication is only when receiver gets, what the sender wanted to express. So, a strong communication is utmost important to deal with international team.
GUIDELINES FOR MANAGERS FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION
A successful organization is only successful if its managers are able to manage the operations in an effective and productive manner. This effectiveness in working can only be achieved if they are able to communicate effectively with their subordinates. Whenever a change takes place in an organization be it in structure or in activity, it has to be conveyed effectively. Therefore, the contemporary managers should follow some simple norms to make their words effective:
The managers should:
- Develop trust and cultivate it.
- Communicate openly. Share information and feelings.
- Be specific.
- Should supply background information.
- Be honest with all employees.
- Avoid sarcastic remarks.
- Always solicit employees ideas, suggestions and reactions.
Other than this today's managers should remember the 7Cs model of communication:
- Completeness- includes what, when, who, where and why of any message.
- Conciseness- no repetition, only relevant information.
- Consideration- focusing on positivity i.e. what can be done and on personal honor, truthfulness and sincerity.
- Concreteness- use of specific facts and figures and avoiding uncertainty.
- Clarity- it requires short, familiar conversational words, use of examples and illustrations.
- Courtesy- thoughtfulness immediate reply etc.
- Correctness- logical speaking and spreading the right information at right time.
These are the factors which affect a lot in the communication. A manager to withstand the challenges of the contemporary business world must implement these recommendations in his working to attain success for the company. Moreover, a manager at times of changes in the firm can work effectively only if he has effective communication. Thus, effective internal communication is a key to an organization's success if used positively and properly by the managers. (Organizational communication: the essence of effective management, Philip V. Lewis)
To conclude it can be said that the new spirit of business must be marked by efficient managerial communication. In today's competitive business world, to build, to develop and to run business means to communicate, to transmit information, opinions and decisions in a well set manner. The communication tools help a lot in transforming the important information from managers to the employees. Now communication has become food for organizational success. Today managerial communication and its implications determine the success of a company. Thus, it is very important for an organization to develop a high skilled communication force by using the latest and advanced managerial techniques. An organization must have an effective communication system for the attainment of extreme success.
- Effective internal communication, Lyn Smith, 2008.
- Fundamentals of management, Stephen P. Robbins, 2008.
- Managing corporate change, K. Doppler, Ch. Lauterburg, 2008.
- Organizational Community: the essence of effective management, Philip V. Lewis.