Communication means a means of exchange of information. It is a process through which information, ideas or opinion is transferred to more number or persons. The information transferred must understandable to the receiver. Every organization is held there on communication. For example a marketing manager (sender) may send a message to a sales manager (receiver) asking for sales forecasts for the next 6 months so they can plan production levels. The sales manager would then reply (feedback) to the marketing manager with the appropriate figures.
This is an example of internal communication, i.e. when communications occur between employees of a business. Communication therefore links together all the different activities involved in a business and ensures all employees are working towards the same goal and know exactly what they should be doing and by when. Effective communication is therefore fundamental to the attainment of common goal.
Communication occurs in many forms. You can pick up the phone and have a conversation with you can pick up the phone and have a conversation with your supervisor or leave her a voice-mail message if she's unavailable. You can choose, instead, to write her a memo and send it by e-mail. In turn, she can respond to your message in the form of her voice. Your superior may decide to forward your message to other employees or managers and they may communicate it to customer and other outsiders. The process is fluid; the form in which a message is communicated changes constantly. Communication can be internal or external, formal or informal, spoken or written. In fact, it can even be a simple smile.
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There is no problem of effective internal communications in any small or medium-scale of business. Employees who are better informed are more satisfied, feel more involved in the fate of your company and ultimately contribute more to achievement of your common goal. Companies that make good internal communications a priority are more likely to reach their objectives with motivated employees. In turn, you can resolve problems and improve employee productivity
Communication is means exchange of information one person to another person. It's a process of through which information, ideas or fact is transferred to more than one persons. The information must understandable to the receiver. Communication is an essential part of business management. Every organisation is held there on communication. It has performed its function through the process of communication. Communication involves at least two people i.e. sender receivers are needed to constitute communication. The sender is called communicator and receiver is called communicatee. To constitute communication, the message is a must factor. The content of the message may be an order, instruction, speech etc. If there is no message, there is no communication. It is included everything that may be used to convey meaning form one person to another. It may be in a written, oral, gestural mode. It is a two way process.
The most important aim of communication is motivate response or influence human behaviour. The message, timings of communication must be relevant to the situation and be motivational. It is flows upward and downward and sidewise through the various channels. It is may be formal or informal. Formal communication follows the formal channels provided in the organisation structure. E.g. General Manager conveys to the department head. Informal communication flows from informal channels. These are not provide in the organisation structure
Communication may be internal communication or external communication. Communication between different members and departments of an organisation is known as internal communication. External communication between an organisation and its environment. This means persons and institution outside the business unit such as financial institutions, bank, other firm, government department and public in general. External communication is as important as internal communication success in external communication is often an index of effective communication.
Internal communication is communication between employees or departments across all levels or divisions of an organization. Internal communication is a form of corporate communication and can be formal or informal, upward, downward, or horizontal. It can take various forms such as team briefing, interviewing, employee or works councils, newsletters, the grapevine, the report. Good internal communication is a means to an end, not an end in itself. It's vital to show the link between business problems and internal communication as a possible solution, than to persuade managers that internal communication is an end in itself.
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The profession of internal communications builds on fundamental principles of other disciplines like human resources (HR), marketing, project management and media planning. As a result it often gets adopted in organizations under different labels: employee communications, employee engagement, internal marketing, company communications, staff communication, etc. Responsibility can also reside within different functions: marketing, corporate communications, transformation, HR, CEO office, etc
Internal communication channels
The internal communication department should be followed for developing and maintaining a number of channels that permit to effective communication to take place across the business. A communication channels refers to the medium used to convey information from sender to receiver
In this case from organization to employee. The range and quality of channels differs between organization , depending on the infrastructure and size of the organization . In reality internal communication is not linear system and informal channels exist outside the internal network of formal communication .
Formal channel ;
Formal channels typically fall into one of four broad categories i.e.
- Electronic: - Communications that are delivered and accessed electronically, either by computer, telephone, television or other devices. Examples include email, intranet, video and webcasts, electronic newsletters , podcasts, blogs, Wikis, voicemail, conference calls, SMS text messaging, screensaver messaging, desktop alert messages, desktop news feeds and internal social media tools
- Print: - Paper-based communications. Examples include magazines, newsletters, brochures, postcards and other desk drops, posters, memos, communication packs for line managers, etc.
- Face-to-face: - One-to-one and one-to-many forums where people are physically present. Examples include team meetings or briefings, conferences, site visits, 'back to the floor', consultation forums, 'brown bag' lunches, round-table discussions, 'town meetings', etc.
- Workspace: - the working environment. Examples include notice boards, plasma and LCD screens, accessories etc.
Informal communication channels reflect the non linear dynamics of social network and can be as, influential than more formal channels. These channels reflect the non-linear dynamics of a social network and can be as, if not more, influential than more formal channels. Often informal internal communications is more likely to stimulate and create discussion and dialogue. The channels often manifest themselves via the rum our-mill, water-cooler conversations, social networking, graffiti, spoof newsletters, etc.
One of the key challenges any internal communicator will face is how to select the right channels - and the right mix of channels - for both the audience and the message. The main considerations are:
- Availability: what channels either already exist within the organisation or can be introduced effectively?
- Audience: who are they, where are they based, how do they prefer to access information and how effective will the proposed channel be in reaching them and engaging them?
- Objectives: what does the organisation want people to learn, think, feel or do as a result of the message?
- Content: what is the context and substance of the message? (For example, sensitive messages may need to be communicated face-to-face , rather than by, say, SMS text message.)
Creating effective internal communications
Communication and Changes :
Change is possible; the need for change is increasing; change capability is necessary for the organizations that will succeed in the future. Since we have indicated that communication involves sending a variety ofimportant messages , it is important that when you communicate about change you know what kind of messages you wish to send, and the what you want people to take away from your communication. Whenever you communicate to employees about change, you should be striving to convey the following position i.e. that you are personally committed to the change, and seeing it through, even if it has negative consequences,that you recognize that the change negatively impacts upon some people, that you are open to discussion of the feelings of employees regarding the change, that you are confident that the "team" can make it through the changes. that you want and need input to make the changes work.
Sometimes you won't be committed to the change, or you won't be very confident that you and your staff can pull it off, particularly when the change is imposed from above. While some may disagree, it is important that you still convey an image of strength and commitment despite your own misgivings. The change leader has a role to play, and if you have misgivings or strong negative emotional reactions of your own it may be more effective if you underplay them. If you show anger about a change, you may legitimize the same kind of negative behaviour in your staff. While you shouldn't hide your own negative reactions completely, it is probably wise to keep them in the background by stating them in a matter of fact way and moving on.
As a change leader you need to make decisions about who you must communicate with, what needs to be communicated, when you will communicate and how you will do it. We will take a look at each of these in turn.
Managers sometimes have a tendency to communicate about change on a "need to know basis". However, effective change leaders recognize that almost any change will have effects on most people in an organization, no matter how removed they are from the change.
The basic rule of thumb is that communication should take place directly between the manager and employees when employees NEED TO KNOW OR WANT TO KNOW.
Except for situations that involve confidentiality, even those who are indirectly affected will likely want to know what is going on, and how it may affect them. This applies to your own staff, and those organizations that are related to you (ie. other branches within a division or department, client organizations, etc).
You are better off over-including people in your communication, than leaving people out.
If you need to determine what to communicate, keep in mind what you are trying to accomplish through your communication about change. When you communicate you are trying to:
- give information that will reduce uncertainty and ambiguity regarding the change.
- Pre-empt the hidden information system of the grapevine, so you can ensure that incorrect anxiety provoking information is not spreading.
- Provide forums for employees to communicate their reactions and concerns to you.
If you would like another rule of thumb, when deciding what should be communicated, communicate as much information about the change as is available to you. Obviously, you need to exercise judgement where there is confidential and/or sensitive information involved, or where your information may be unreliable.
Be aware that if you only have a small amount of information about a negative change, communicating it may increase anxiety levels and rampant speculation. You should also be aware that if you have preliminary information about a change, that others do also, and that it is likely that your employees will hear rumours regardless of what you disclose.
Finally, keep in mind that you are communicating messages about the facts of the change, and also about your own reactions to it. As a change leader, you must be aware that your staff will watch you carefully to guess how you are feeling about the change, and they will draw their own conclusions based on your behaviour. Sometimes these conclusions will be wrong and destructive.
If you choose to state your own reactions to the change, state them quickly (particularly if they are negative).
The longer you wait to communicate details of change, the more likely you are to extend the period of adjustment. This is because it is very difficult to "keep a lid" on anything in government, and even if you are silent, your staff will likely hear vague things through the grapevine. Grapevine information tends to be sketchy enough that it creates a high degree of anxiety, and also a high degree of mistrust of management.
So, the earlier you communicate the less likely erroneous or upsetting information will come through the grapevine. Communicate as early as possible about change, but do not assume that once you have done this the job is over.
Communication should occur in anticipation of change, during the implementation, and after the change has been stabilized.
Another decision you need to address is what needs to be communicated in group settings, and what needs to be addressed in one-on-one meetings with employees. What are the advantages of each approach?
Communicating in groups ensures that each person present is hearing the same information at the same time. Group communication also allows people to interact with each other about the changes and can help people develop a sense of team, particularly in a climate of adversity.
Communicating in groups also has some disadvantages. In many organizations there will be people who will not feel comfortable talking in a group context. The more "personal" the effects of the change, the more likely people will withdraw from the group process.
A second danger of group communication is that one or two particularly vocal and negative people can set the tone for the group, and foster unproductive negativediscussion. While expression of concerns about change are healthy, the "doom- sayer" can cause this process to become destructive. For this reason, group communication needs to be managed with skill and expertise. Sometimes an external facilitator is necessary.
Finally, there are some issues that cannot be discussed within a group. Forexample, in downsizing situations, it is inappropriate to announce to a group that John and Mary are losing their jobs. When changes are likely to create a high degree of upset to individuals, they must be dealt with in private.
Communicating on a one -to-one basis has the advantage of privacy. When bad news is communicated, the person receiving the news is less pressured to withhold their reactions. One-to-one communication also allows more in-depth exploration of the person's feelings, ideas and reactions to the change.
A disadvantage to using one-to-one communication is that it may fragment your team. There is also a possibility that you will send slightly different messages to different staff members.