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Introduction

  • In fact, communicating with employees is one of the most important things you do as a leader or a manager

  • Poor communication is one of the most common criticisms employees have about the businesses they work for. Employees complain that they are given poor instructions; they feel uninformed about what is happening within the company and often feel that their views are unheard, unacknowledged, or even ignored.This can lead to misunderstandings, poor performance, low morale and wasted time. Poor communication could mean you breach employees' rights and break the law.

  • Research shows that people derive greater satisfaction from their jobs and perform to a higher standard when they are engaged in their workplace.

  • Effective communications is an essential feature of engagement. If the manger communicates effectively he will have a more committed and more productive workforce.

  • Internal communications is essential to the organization's overall effectiveness.Internal communications is a responsibility of management; not its communications section.

  • Internal communications is meant to help inform decision making and influence employee behaviour in ways that benefit the organization and employees themselves

  • Internal communications consists of accurate, consistent, and timely information to be communicated to the employees

  • Internal communications is always two-way communications. Employee feedback helps managers decide if the communication has been received and understood. As well, employees have important operational information that can help to make the organization more successful in achieving its goals.

Why Communicate?

  • Communication helps to build relationships, promotes mutual understanding, and enables employees to contribute to organizational success.

  • Effective managers and supervisors also know that communicating with employees is their responsibility

  • Research shows that employees prefer to receive information from their supervisors. They like to get the “big picture” information from the organization’s leaders, but they want to hear the effect on their workgroup directly from the people to whom they report.

  • For many types of information, employees also prefer to receive news face to face. This allows for interaction, the supervisor “sends out” the message, the staff receives it, and their reaction or response shows if they understand and accept the information.

  • Managers should give employees the factual information they need, People cannot comply with policies and procedures they are unaware of.

  • Managers should provide the information that helps employees do their job.

    • 1. Provide training and technical information that explains how tasks must be carried out, such as operating manuals.

    • 2. Give staff details of product specifications, availability and price lists.

    • 3. Managers should set and communicate clear objectives and provide job descriptions to let people know what is expected of them.

  • Managers should explain and monitor the key performance indicators for each individual. Tackle under achievement by providing feedback, support and further training, if necessary.

  • Managers should give people information about special situations that will affect them, managers should tell employees when change is coming, what form it will take and how it will impact on them and their jobs.

  • Managers should give people motivational information.

  • 1. Managers should publicly recognize individual, team and company achievements. For example, thank employees during team meetings.

    2. Use

    regular

    performance

    appraisals

    to

    recognize

    achievements and discuss areas for improvement.

    Characteristics of effective communication

    • 1. Clarity of purpose

      • Successful organizations focus on a few key messages. Leaders in successful organizations are consistent in their messages and ensure that everyone involved understands the goals and how to achieve them.

        • 2. Using effective communication methods

          • The level of trust and openness in various key activities is also critical for success. Employees at all levels can ask for information and receive honest, useful answers.

            • 3. Effective sharing of information

              • Information sharing is effective when systems and networks enable managers and employees to have the right information at the right time to do their jobs, to share opinions and discuss ideas

                • 4. Walking the talk

                  • Leaders must also be good communicators themselves, so they can send their ideas and convince the receivers.

                  • Their behaviour must be consistent with what they are saying, both formally and informally.

    How and When to communicate?

    • The challenge for managers and supervisors is to find the time and the most effective methods for communicating information in a timely and open way to their staff.

    • Managers must decide which internal communications tools will be most effective.

    • The manager should consider the following :

      • 1. The nature of the message: How important is it? How complex is it? What impact will this information have on operations? What impact will this information have on employees? Will it have any impact on employees?

      • 2. The messenger: Who is the most appropriate source of this information

      • 3. The timing of the message: When should the message be delivered? The rule on timing is that employees should always know about something that affects them before anybody else knows. Employees feel more valued if they become aware of information before it is public knowledge.

    Outcomes of effective Internal Communication with employees

    • In particular, effective communication in the workplace can:

      • 1. Lead to better management style

        • In work places that are decentralized organizational members are both required and allowed to participate in strategic decision making to allow the achievement of organizational goals. Employees share organizational responsibility and give their opinion for. In doing so, not only they commit to the organization, but they also keep their morale high, feeling that they positively contribute to organizational performance.

        • In Centralized leadership, active listening is not allowed. By discouraging open communication leaders disapprove creative collaboration. Organizational members cannot interact openly with their leader. Accordingly, they cannot improve their understanding of the reasons behind business practices and decisions.

          • 2. Encourage teamwork

            • In today's competitive market, teams are preferred to enhance organizational performance. By empowering employees to take responsibility, teamwork increases employee involvement

            • Team members share common mission, common vision, clear roles and equal responsibility

    3.

    Improve employee morale

    • Managers look for ways to improve employee morale through the creation of a supportive working environment that encourages stress relief and effective decision-making.

    • By improving the work environment, employee performance is improved because employees feel free to deliver their opinion and more productive.

    • Employees they feel more important because they are informed about corporate developments, organizational policies, corporate goals, but most importantly how all these changes possibly affect them and their future in the organization.

      • 4. Help cost reduction

        • As employees know how to perform their tasks, productivity is enhanced and organizational efficiency is improved.

        • In organization where channels of communication are open, knowledge is share and ideas are exchanged on improving procedures and methods of operation. Therefore, operations management is effective, maximizing both quality and productivity.

    5. Relationships

    • A workplace operates on the effective relationships built between employees, managers, departments and all levels of the company. The clear and honest communication helps to encourage and strengthen the relationships, which can assist employees in reaching maximum productivity. The managers in the company maintain a productive relationship with staff members by holding regular departmental meetings, assisting and guiding employees in their work and progress and recommending them for career development programs.

    Methods of Communication

    • The number of communication channels available to a manager has increased over the last 20 odd years. Video conferencing, mobile technology, electronic bulletin boards and fax machines are some of the new possibilities.

    • As organizations grow in size, managers cannot rely on face to face communication alone to get their message across.

    • A challenge the managers face today is to determine what type of communication channel should they opt for in order to carryout effective communication.

    • In order to make a manager's task easier, the types of communication channels are grouped into three main groups: formal, informal and unofficial.

    A. Formal Communication Channels  A formal communication channel transmits information such as the goals, policies,

    A.

    Formal Communication Channels

    A formal communication channel transmits information such as the goals, policies, and procedures of an organization. Messages in this type of communication channel follow regular chain of command. This means information flows from a manager to supervisors and they in turn pass on the information to the next level of staff.

    An example of a formal communication channel is a company's newsletter which gives employees as well as the clients a clear idea of a company's goals and vision. It also includes the transfer of information with regard to memoranda, reports, directions, and scheduled meetings in the chain of command.

    A business plan, customer satisfaction survey, annual reports, employer's manual, review meetings are all formal communication channels.

    B.

    Informal Communication Channels

    In a formal working environment, there always exists an informal communication network. The hierarchy of communication cannot function efficiently alone and there is a communication channel outside of this hierarchy. A good manager needs to find the fine balance between the formal and informal communication channel.

    • An example of an informal communication channel is lunchtime at the organization's cafeteria/canteen. Here, in a relaxed atmosphere, discussions among employees are encouraged. Also managers walking around, adopting a hands-on approach to handling employee inquiries is an example of an informal communication channel.

    • Quality circles, team work, different training programs also fall under the category of informal communication channels.

    C. Unofficial Communication Channels

    • Good managers will recognize the fact that sometimes, communication that takes place within an organization is interpersonal. An example of an unofficial communication channel is social gatherings among employees.

    • The unofficial communication channel in an organization is the organization's path through which the rumors circulate. While such path may have positive effects on employees' relationships, some false information or rumors may be transferred causing disruption. A good manager should be aware of the information circulating in this unofficial communication channel and should take positive actions to prevent the flow of false information.

    Conclusion

    • In conclusion, effective communication establishes good interpersonal and working relationships and facilitates cooperation. Ineffective communication can have a negative impact on business relationships, employee performance and organizational efficiency"

    • In any organization, three types of communication channels exist: formal, informal and unofficial.

    • While the ideal communication web is a formal structure in which informal communication can take place, unofficial communication channels also exist in an organization.

    • Through these various channels, it is important for a manager to get his/her ideas across and then listen, absorb, glean and further communicate to employees.