How important is employee communication today
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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016
Employee communication is a continuous process involving skillful sending and receiving of messages. The term communication is defined as the process of passing information and understanding from one person to another. As a supervisory responsibility, the process is frequently called employee communication, although the communicating process is equally important between supervisors and manager. The term communications is more narrowly used to describe the mechanical and electronic means of transmitting and receiving information, such as newspapers, bulletin – board announcements, computer printouts, radios, telephones and video screens. Employees communication has many of the qualities – and limitations – of these means, but it is infinitely more subtle and complex. So employee communication needs to be managed carefully.
In the corporate environment, individuals are rarely conscious of engaging in communication practices because communication is to a great extent invisible and intangible. It is only in the areas of planned communication, such as advertising, organizational directives or the corporate website, that communication becomes tangible. Nonetheless, planned communication is only one, limited manifestation of the communication that makes the organization’s existence possible. The remainder is far more difficult to discern, understand and deal with. Communication as it exists in the organizational context is therefore a complex phenomenon.
The goals that can be achieved through managed employee communication are numerous. For systematization, and for external communication policy, one can differentiate between economic and communication goals. Economic goals, such as improving profits by reducing coasts and / or increased revenues, can be achieved by employee communication only indirectly, for example, by improved work performance. In contrast, communication can be concerned to directly affect the knowledge, attitude and behavioral level of the addressees. Because the latter effects can be measured directly, communication goals are remarkably more useful here for controlling the company than are economic goals.
1.1 Background and Context
It is a very well known fact that effective employee communication has a positive impact on an organization’s growth. The process of Employee communication starts with a plan, is centrally coordinated, and responds to the question, What do employees need to know to support the organization’s goals and direction? Frontline managers must be trained and given the appropriate tools and resources to support the organizations messages since they are critical to successful employee communication. Employee communication needs to be part of a carefully considered process, focused on achieving clearly identified measurable results to be effective.
1.2 Relevant Theory
The goal of employee communication is to identify, establish and mutually benefit the relationships between the organization and the employees on whom its success or failure depends. There are four stages of employment where effective employee communication is vital:
The start – to attract and to induct new employees.
The work – where training, news and job related information should be distributed.
The rewards and recognition – promotions, special events, awards etc.
The termination – breakdown of equipment, layoffs, dismissals.
Employees awareness of goals, developments, operations, and problems will increase their effectiveness as ambassadors, both on and off the job. If asked them for suggestions to improve how things can be done well, will encourage them to participate in the organization.
1.2 Objectives of Employee Communication
The modern age has introduced a new generation of communication application in employee self – service. Employees are accessing information on provider networks, modeling plan costs, enrolling in health plans, and changing retirement plan allocations, at the click of a mouse. Web based application have all but replaced interactive (IVR) system in human – resources (HR) administration. The fundamental nature of benefits communications remains the same, regardless of the technological advancements.
Adhere to statutory reporting and disclosure requirements.
Support employee benefits cost – containment strategies.
Support HR recruitment and retention objectives.
DEFINITION OF EMPLOYEE COMMUNICATION
“Any act by which one person gives to or receives from another person information about that person’s needs, desires, perceptions, knowledge, or affective states. Communication may be intentional or unintentional, may involve conventional or unconventional signals, may take linguistic or nonlinguistic forms, and may occur through spoken or other modes.” Communication of often described as the glue that binds together the various components of an organization, enabling interaction with its agents, its customers and broader public. The degree to which an organization can achieve its objectives is largely determined by its communication. Through communication, the organization’s members are able to work with each other, their customers and their clients.
Employee communication denotes the planned use of communication actions to systematically influence the knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of current employees. This definition comprises several substantial components like employee communication goes along with a planned application of communication measures. Therefore, not all internal information processes are enclosed in the underlying definition, but rather those measures that are used intentionally. This dies in no way imply that employee communication must always be one – sided top – down communication. Included are also measures of planned bottom – up (or feedback) communication and lateral communication between employees on the same hierarchical level. Employee communication is directed potentially towards all current employees, which means that no target group should be excluded in principle, while it may still be reasonable to differentiate between internal target groups (high – level personnel, office personnel, customer service representatives and so on). Serving to attain business goals Employee communication is systematically aligned to influence employees.
SOURCES OF DATA COLLECTION
A number of employee opinion surveys methods have been developed for, and they have been assigned a variety of names. In addition to employee opinion surveys, they are called company scorecards, annual employee questionnaires, work satisfaction surveys, morale indexes, work attitude questions and employee attitude surveys. Here a similar kind of a questionnaire is been used to conduct this survey. To use the information to improve communication, conditions of employment, morale and performance it provides us with a method to discover what the employee’s perceptions are.
3.1 Primary Sources of Data Collection
Primary data is the information which is composed by the researcher directly from their personal interpretation and experiences. Primary sources are unique way from which the researcher honestly brings together the data’s that have not been formerly collected. This are the first – hand data’s composed all the way through different tools and techniques such as observation, personal interview, emails, mails etc.
There are two generally recognized types of error in all surveys: sampling error and non – sampling errors. The first type of error arises from the random variation in the selection of respondents. Its effects can be taken into account and the extent of it can be calculated. By increasing the size of the sample sampling error can be reduced, most commonly, which usually means additional cost. Non – sampling errors arise from mistakes made in areas such as errors committed by interviewers, and through the coding and data entry processes of the survey but also through mistakes made when the questionnaire is written. These mistakes can be fatal to the success of the survey – if a key question of response code is omitted, or respondents are led to give particular answers – but they are not always obvious. The impact is not always quantifiable, nor capable of being measured or corrected for even when obvious. Provided that the questionnaire writer understands how to write a questionnaire, reducing questionnaire error need not add significantly to the cost of a survey, one that will obtain the most accurate data to address the objectives of the study.
3.2 Random Sampling
Selection of some employees who will represent the entire employee population from which they are drawn is a Random sampling. This means selecting employees to symbolize all the human resources or subgroups. Only if the sampling is random the method of random sampling will be successful. Otherwise, the results of the survey will be distorted to the favoritism of the group. In such cases, the survey result will not be dependable for all employees.
3.3 Secondary Sources of Data Collection
Secondary data are essential for the organization of most research. These are the data’s which are collected by someone other than the researcher conducting the study. These data can be reading or information recorded or published or access to the Internet or internal or external to the organization. Some of the common examples of secondary data sources are census data, books and periodicals from the government’s economic indicators, databases, statistical abstracts, annual reports, case studies, media and other footage. For the investigation and resolution of problems secondary data sources provide much information. These data would be mainly qualitative.
The secondary sources of data used for this survey are the market research data, statistical abstracts, data basis and annual reports of the company.
3.4 Methodology Used
Questionnaires are an effective way of quantifying data from a sample group, and testing emotions or preferences. This is a very cheap and easy method, gives an element of scale to opinion and emotion and where budget is a problem. The figures are subjective, but give a directional method of measuring intensity.
The primary source for data collection used here is a questionnaire. The following sets of questions were asked to the employees of the organization:
The researcher kept sound knowledgeable concerning researcher work group’s strategy and development.
The researcher kept well up to date regarding business policy and advancement.
Opportunities are available for me to express researcher ideas to senior management.
There is healthy communication in researcher work group.
There is excellent communication involving people in several departments of the firm.
Researcher kept fine up to date by senior management on what’s happening in the business.
Taking into consideration of everything, how satisfied are you with the amount of quality of business communications?
The parameters used to measure were:
To some extent dissatisfied
To some extent satisfied
To make decisions that are consistent with organizations, should engender identification to facilitate their functioning, employees who identify strongly with their organizations are more likely to show a supportive attitude towards them. Since prestige has been shown to positively affect organizational identification, one strategy could be to improve their perceived external prestige.
Organizational communication to employees is one of the rather neglected, management instruments for engendering identification. Because it discloses the goals, values, and achievements of an organization, the content of employee communication may facilitate the identification process. Introduction to an organization’s identity is considered primary to group identification. A positive communication provides information about whether a member is accepted as a valued coworker in an organization and also is also rewarding in itself.
RECOMMENDATIONS AND SUGGESTIONS
The significance of employee communications is not fresh. All good managers are aware that they have to take the people with them. For a good while the way they actually achieve this desirable objective has also been around. Having a greater part to play in communication process made easier, there have been great strides made through technology. It is very difficult to get employee communication right.
There are recent researches which show a variety of methods that have been used to communicate the organization’s promises and commitments to employees. These included:
5.1 Downward communication
It’s easy to laugh at downward communication. The fact is that it is a one – way street means that there is little or no opportunity for adaptation or contextualizing. Downward communication has lots of benefits; few of them are given below:
One of the quick ways of getting important information out.
There’s less debate or interpretation – if it’s simple, it’s an effective way of achieving a consistent message.
If delivered effectively it can add personality to the senior management team.
5.2 Upward Communication
Upward communication is the counterpart of downward communication. This area is in most organizations either at best second-rated or at worst non – existent. Yet communication does not exist without a two – way flow of information. Upward communication can:
Contribution of employee information and ideas.
Keeps management aware of employee concerns, issues and questions.
Contribution into the development of a shared indulgent of organizational goals.
5.3 Employee Voice
Employee voice – which is gaining in importance and credibility, is another way to embrace the idea. It is a part of a whole new advance to partnership. This is seen as a move towards relationship with trade unions. Essential to the process of effective employee communication, it is an important concept. An increasing body of research is building up around the whole question of employee voice, which means:
Two – way interactions
By project teams and attitude surveys – upward problem – solving.
Partnership schemes and joint consultation – collective representation.
5.4 Internal Corporate /magazine
One of the good source of employee communication is a corporate magazine (a quite grand – sounding explanation of extensive range of staff journals). The self – created and high – profile publishers know that the real growth in the British reading market over the past ten years across all social groupings has actually been in magazines, despite the growing aspect of social life and the tabloids. The staff magazine is more about the scenes information / education and entertainment, people and issues in the news, seen as a mix of increased understanding, behind -and less about new information.
The company magazine can include:
Information about individual employees regarding their successes in the organization or in their non – company achievements.
Popular descriptions of business strategies or projects – popular is not a pejorative word here but one that recognizes that the jargon and acronyms so often used in business need translation for most people outside the immediate sphere of the project in question.
People policies and practices
Business information – profit, sales turnover and so on:
Information on pay and reward – in totality and by particular groups.
Key milestones in change programmes
Information of staff attitudes
Information on training ratios, speed and activity
Benchmarks against industry or top – performing company norms.
So various channels can be used to deliver employee communication, and developing a channel mix is a key part of the communication process.
Effective employee communication is an important feature of organization life. Employees report that they feel more satisfied when they have the information needed to be effective. Organizations that have clear, well planned and managed communication strategies tend to outperform their competitors. It is important to start from a clear understanding of the principles of effective communication. At root, communication has only taken place when the subject has received and understood the message intended by the sender. Being aware of different ways of using language between sender and receiver, and how these may create barriers in large organizations, is vital for effective employee communication.
Companies in different developmental stages and different industries can institute program that nurture and promote the pursuit of excellence in internal communication. Employee communication in many diverse companies have a common focus – providing care to employees as a way to support the growth of business in the ever – changing economy. What seems to be at the heart of these companies is the notion that employee care really means good company care. To be highly motivated to do a better job, to advance in their positions, and to further the goals of the organization itself, progressive managers know that more appropriate and well-timed information should be provided to employees.
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