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Communication is a act of sending information from mind of one person to the mind of another person. In terms of business, communication means effective business communication in day to day business activity. An organization is a complete mess without a effective internal communication. Business trends change with the change of time. Changes is not always a bed of roses for every employee. The charismatic manager's ability to be able to communicate effectively results in effective change, else a chaos. Therefore the effective internal communication, the change and different aspects to change are going to be discussed in this report.
Effective communication means that the information is received as accurately in terms of content and meaning as intended by the sender.
In day to day business world, people communicate for several reasons by variety of means for example verbal, non verbal, drawing, graphics, telephone meeting, vedio confrecncing, email, letters, face to face meeting and several other mediums are used. Effective communicators always keep in mind where and when to use the best form of communication by which the message is conveyed properly.
An effective internal communication requires:
- Accuracy in order to send clear message.
- The nature of person wohme the message is being sent (feeling and opinions).
- Quality in transmission (the ability to say what you want in the most approppiate way).
Change and its appropriateness:
Companies trends change with the change of time. Change can be good or bad. Change can bring positive effective or negative effects to the organization. Sometimes, change is not very pleasant to everyone who is working or part or that organization. For that, managers and people responsible for change requires to be very careful with respect to the effects of it. Few simple example of change can be :
- Installing a new software system in the company.
- Developing a new administrative process
- Implementing a organization change.
- Introduction of a new technology (use of Voip instead of local calls system)
- Moving to a new location.
- Creating a new product or service. (palmer brien, 2003)
Supporting the change prcosess:
As we know, there is a huge impact of change a organization, here is how managers can support the change process :
- Carefully assess, weigh and prioritize the potential and negative impactson the organization as well as required sources before initiating the change.
- Developing the management structure for the process of change
- Establish commitment and educate your employees to ensure the continue support of change.
- Clarify your role and role of others in the process of change.
- Communicate the change priorities to the organization fully.
- Evaluate to develop your own skills to lead a change.
Why change fails? :
Change in organizations do not fail because of the new technology, systems etc. The main reason for the failing of change is human reasons. The promoters of the change i.e managers do no carefully assess the changes in organization and employees after the change has been put in place.
The fail in change causes great deal of loss of time, productivity and morale support of employees. They also effect the business objectives.
Internal Communication And Change:
Is your company ready for change:
Managers do understand the importance of right time for right thing. Therefore its necessary to analyze the correct time for change. Is the company really ready for change. What is the company's progress economy wise. What are the demographics of the staff. What are the probabilities. How about changing the tactics. All of this requires a thorough research on the company and its employees.
Formal and Informal communication:
With respect to change, formal communication is often considered as most appropriate in the business world. A formal communication can be in the form of report, memo, e-mal, facsimile, members meeting etc. Formal communication certainly has advantages. A manager can take his time, draft and re draft the material as many times he can. Similarly when the message has been passed through a receiver can review it and can take time to think.
For example a manager wants a change in the break timeings of the employees. The manager chooses to write a memo and put it on the notice board for all the employees. When the employees read it , they have time to think. This gives them choice to make which time they want the breaks at.
Where there is a advantage, there is a disadvantage too. The Formal communication can sometimes take longer than usual.
For example a letter to be written to individual employees will take time to write, put it in the envelop and post it or deliver to a appropriate department. Also it will take time for the receiver to think and respond to the message.
Delton defines informal or unofficial as ' the spontaneous and flexible ties among the members, guided by the feelings and personal interest indispensible for the operation of the formal, but too fluid to be entirely contained by it.' Therefore we can say that through consensus and understanding each other is the key in informal system.
It is being said that most work cannot be done without informal communication system. You need to interact, communicate, discuss issues with day to day working life. Studies have proved that many managers prefer informal and verbal communication and they spent 45 percent of time communicating outside the formal authority structure.
For example a manager walking through a department sensing an uneasy or tense atmosphere would be short sighted to prepare a formal evidence that this department is and eficent department. Should the changes in work pattern should be introduced and how will they be effected.
Another reason for having a informal communication for a change is social. By having a informal communication, a manager can easily judge that weather the change will be effective or not.
The importance of informal system has been shown in many studies. Notably by strauss (1963) in studies of purchasing departments. He found that the most effective and high status purchasing officers favoured mutual adjustment over direct supervision or standardization. To resolve the conflict to the other department they were reluctant to appeal to the purchasing manager. To rely on rules or to require written agreement, rather, they relied on friendship, the exchange of favors and their own informal political power. (Colin carnall , 2007).
Types of Internal Communication:
Telephones are usually quicker to respond to than writing someone. You can make personal contact and get instant feedbac A lot of communication within the organization is through telephone.
Using telephone requires skills same as writing letters or using different techniques. Managers who can use this skill effectively are great communicator and can play vital role in communicating change.
E-mails are to be kept and sent carefully because if you hit the sned button, its gone and it can create a negative effect on the employee. Email certainly in a effective way of internal communication to send attachments, reports etc.
In character, email is somewhere between and informal telephone call and formal letter. The problem is that although people tend to use it informally messages can be retained as permanent records, unlike telephone conversations. Slang, carless writing, thoughtless comments, haphazard phrasing all stand out in email.
Memos can be sent personally or could be put on a notice board for everyone to see. Memos can be used to a announcement, change , direction, warning etc.
e.g. Memo sent to all the managers regarding company's new health and safety policy.
Oral and visual presentation:
Oral presentation differs from the written communication and it requires your physical presence in front of the employees. Successful presentation requires attention to range of skills related to the delivery of your personal prepared material. You need to know how to make effective use of visual aids and present yourself according to the norms and posture. Other techniques such as handling questions in professional manner and being flexible enough to adjust your presentation skills (Michael.j.rousee 2002)
Meeting can take place between employees and managers, managers and senior managers, senior managers and board of directors etc. Meetings can be effective tool for assessing and discussing the day to day business. Meetings have advantages and disadvantages. One of the main advantages is a group's ability to generate more ideas and solution to the problems. Meeting can fulfil a rang of purposes some of them can be :
- To inform
- To advise
- To make decision
- To solve problems
- To plan
- To consult
- To motivate
Understanding Organizationl Culture:
Managers and employees do not perform their duties in calue-free vsacume, their work and the way its done are governer, directed and tempered by the organizations culture ( Burns 2004). There are three principle factors affecting the culture of an organization.
- The founders basic assumption
- The national culture.
- The task in hand
The founders basic assumption:
Founders create companies. They are the one who set up a smalle business to a growing companies. These founders are here to make money pure and simple. However dpending the nature of work there are different assumption made by these founders and that set the culture for present and future employees.
For example financial institutions like banks. The basic assumptions of need of a security are made. The employees will not be given too much freedom and their work wll be carried out along the guideline On the other hand lets suppose there is a software company dealing with technologies and softwares development, then assumptions of employees freedom and encouraging innovation are likely to be put in place by the founders.
The national Culture:
National culture means workers attitude towards work. Every employee is different to the other . But when you talk about culture at national level there are some truths that always apply
National cultures that help change:
- English people leaving office at 5 pm on frieday eveing would like to go to a pub. This can help change because it directs you towards more integrated workfocrce.
- Society encouraging further education.
National cultures that prevents change:
- Japanese people not leaving the office until the boss leaves.
- Unions and their involments
- National pay agreements.
Managers trying to bring change, wanting every emplyoee's decision will bring the meeting on. Putting the change proposal in front of employees explain the benefits of the change and getting the feedbacks.
A manager can face a direct confrontation from employees if the employees think the change is not in favor which can lead to a hostile situation.
Sending a Circular:
Managers or senior manager can send circulars or memos to let every employee knoe about the change. The senior managers can also send a circular to only the manageras of scertain department and then the managers can explain the process of change to the employees
If the circular is sent to all the employees, it can be misunderstood as anyone can take different perception of what is written. A simple and correct message should always be passed when communicating change.
A presentation can be given by gathering the employees and then they could be explained why the change is happening and what are the reasons behind the change. A manager can also compare the current situation and the situation after the change into his presentation.
A manager can face a variety of cross questioning when delivering the presentation. Some employees may disagree on the statistics given by the manager in the presentation and they might have different way of looking things from different prespective.
Holding Board members /Senior Managers Meetings:
This can only include senior managers or only board of directors. This type of meeting can only bring a change by force when the senior managers decide that the change is definite . Now its managers job to deliver this information to the employees and make them believe that the change is good.
This change can turn into employee confrontation with the managers which often includes unions etc. The middle managers a often under stress on this occasion to make the employees believe that this change can bring wellbeing for the company and the employees.
Resistance To change:
Resistance to change comes in many forms. The most common form is usually the active resistance, where people will object and refuse to the change. Some examples to the resistance can be :
- At staff meeting, all the employees agree to the change, but after few weeks the managers find out the change has not been implemented.
- New computers are being introduced to the company. While all the staff insisted that they have their own machines , nobody is using them for the purpose of which they were intended.
- A change in job resposnsibility takes place for the employee. The employee agrees but by saying " You are the boss, and if that's what you want..." later the employee only changes what he is doing enough to appear cooperative but isn't infact doig the things he was doing before.
Avoiding Resistance to change and recommendation to managers:
If a manager wants to avoid the resistance or confrontation, he should be well prepared and well aware of the do's and don'ts of it. Manager skill of being persuasive makes a manager successful. That is why they are called managers. The managers ability to be dominating, effective , charismatic or the managers grasp of knowledge about the employees and the company itself can bring success in change. There are three few important steps for managers bearing in minds when delivering change process
- What is the objective. What does the manager want to achieve and what he would like to see happen
- Who are you talking to. What change can he bring to the organization. Do they already know . What more do they need to know and what would you like them to know.
- What is the most important thing which needed to be said. How would you convince them.(alan barker, 2006)
Arranging your ideas:
It's the logic which brings ideas to your mind which lead to a persuasive idea. A manager must have a key idea which supports your argument for change. Possibly a manager can think of the answers to the question and imagine what the employees the likely to ask.
Expressing your ideas:
Its not enough to think of ideas. Ideas need to be brought in front to be alive. The art of using words to create pictures in mind that can bring a sense of understanding among employees. Examples can be used expressing your ideas.
E.g. Using competitor's example of implementing things and how its effecting them and the company.
Using metaphor is the technique of expressing one thing in terms of another (alan barker, 2006). By metaphors a manager can use example and relate them to the company or others. By relating things to the change it can give a good understanding to the employees of the purpose of change.
When dealing directly, usage of body language at correct time creates a vital effect on the listener or employee. Usage of facial expressions and hands express the importance of the change which you are trying to bring.
By having collaborative, co-operative and energized workforce willing to give their best to the organization, it is much likely to be successful.We are living in a dynamic world. It changes through the change of time. Consumer behavior changes which leads to change in business policies. While the change is definite, the need of perfect internal communication could not be stressed more by saying good communicators make good managers. It is a human nature to resist, resist things differently but to overcome them and lead from the front is the key success and a trump card for managers.
- Communication at work, Judith taylor, 2001, pg 25,87.
- Improve your communication skills, alan barker second edition,2006, pg 63,69,71
- Managing Change in workplace, Sheila j Costello, Pg 69, 70
- Making change work, palmer brien, 2003, pg 14.
- Making Change in organizations, Collin carnell, fifth edition, 2007, pg 17
- Improve your communication skills, alan barker second edition,2006, pg 63,69,71
- http://work911.com/managingchange/resistancetochange1.htm (accessed 11/12/09)