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Business Communication is a communication used to promote a product, service, or organization; spread information within the business; or deal with legal and related issues. It is also a means of relaying between a supply chains, for example the customer and the producer.
Effective communication is very important for every organization. It encompasses a variety of areas, including Marketing, Branding, Customer relations, Consumer behavior, Advertising, Public relations, Corporate communication, Community engagement, Research & Measurement, Reputation management, Interpersonal communication, Employee engagement, Online communication, and Event management. It is intimately connected to the fields of professional communication and technical communication.
In business, the word communications also includes a variety of channels of communication, including the Internet, Print (Publications), Radio, Television, Ambient media, Outdoor, and Word of mouth.
Business Communication can also relate to internal communication. A communications director will manage the internal communication and craft messages sent to employees. It is very important that internal communications are managed properly because a poorly crafted or managed message could cultivate mistrust or resentment from employees.
I have chosen The Warehouse for my project report. According to me Warehouse is a kind of organization where all the tools of communication can be illustrated and also one of my friends who is also working in Warehouse provide me with the actual information about the communication strategy in their organization. In my report I am going discuss Business Demographics, Organizational Goals, Organizational culture and ethics, Management of knowledge resources, Group dynamics, Meeting management, and communication with stakeholders and Networks.
The Warehouse use both formal and informal mode of with its employees and customers. Warehouse Communication encompasses a huge body of knowledge both internal and external for their business.
Internal communication includes communication of company vision, strategies, policies, corporate culture, shared values and guiding principles, employee motivation, cross-pollination of ideas, etc.
External communication includes branding, marketing, promoting, selling, consumer relations, public relations, media relations, business negotiations, etc.
Whatever form it takes, the purpose remains the same - to make a business worth.
The internal communication methods for the organization are both formal and informal which includes e-mails, memos, notices and informal talks, etc. On the other hand organization mostly uses formal methods of communication with its partners and customers to build faithfulness and strong connection. These methods of communication are very useful for Warehouse.
Warehouse also aims at successful communication at varied levels of organization. Effective communication at the different levels give employees with the clear understanding of what is demanded from them, with facts of what to do what to expect. For warehouse, such communication method creates affective performance of the staff, and, as a result, increases customer faithfulness and profit. In warehouse communication occur at four levels:
1. Organization wide communication - involving all employees
2. Departmental communication - definite to one department or unit
3. Team communication - within one interconnected team or group
4. Individual communication - definite to one employee at any one time
Communications may be working effectively at higher levels, but fails at the more local level. The interpersonal skills of supervisors, team leaders and managers are particularly significant at levels 3 and 4, as these are the people work as frontline workers develop working relationships most personally and closely.
Warehouse gives great importance not only to its customers but also to its employees. Employee recognition is the main priority for the organization to build trust and strong relationship between management and employee to maintain and improve the performance of their employees. The eventual goal of every form of communication is- face-to-face meeting, telephone conversation, teleconferencing, videoconferencing, interview, email, letter or memo - is to get a likely response in form of feedback from the receiver to the sender. This is what effective communication is about. It is about ensuring that the information is well-packaged and correctly transmitted, so that the receiver understands the message and replies positively. In other terms, effective communication is the one that achieves the results for which it is expected.
The communication strategy of The Warehouse is very simple but extremely effective. The effective communication system is shown in the figure below and which is linked to its culture and strategy. Organization gives great importance to manage people from different culture and backgrounds. That is main secret of its successful communication strategy.
Fig. 1: Effective communication System
A traditional way of the Warehouse is to map out the roles and responsibilities according to the levels of status and power in the organization, and show lines of reporting. A feature of the traditional hierarchy structure is that it divides the organization into specialists units.
This traditional strategy includes traditional way of communication:
Downwards communication: superior to subordinate. Ex: Instructions or orders, policies, appraisals etc.
Upwards communication: subordinates to superior. Ex: problems & issues, ideas for change.
Lateral communication and the grapevine: Between departments at same level or immediately above or below. Alongside these formal networks, informal networks or grapevines develop.
Organization culture is a reaction to the way of communication and environment in which communication occurs. The Warehouse has the positive communication environment that develops in cultures those values:
Sharing of power
Positive confirming behaviors
Reliability of information
The Warehouse is about commonalty and close relationships. It is about having a solid connection between production, sales, and administrative support to ship a quality product to the company customers. It is about teamwork and its communications process gives us the opportunity to reduce the commotion and reduces the conflicts that often seep through the organization when current necessary and important information is not provided to employees. It is critical to keep the commotion-level low for not to develop any kind of conflicts for employees doing their day-to-day assignments so they can maintain their focus and keeps the organization humming. So, effective communication strategy resolves the conflicts at the early stage.
Warehouse traditional hierarchical structure causes some problems with communication. Such as: Distortion of information,Information delay, Downwards communication far exceeds upwards communication, Gatekeeping: Because of the chain-like structure of the communication network, one person in the chain can stop messages from getting through, Information overload, Different languages being spoken, Lack of listening from management, Limited communication between departments and Grapevine
But the Warehouse has several strategies to overcome the conflicts arising through the traditional hierarchical structure. Such as: Improving lateral communication Ex: By social groups and occasions, communities of interest. Real time information: using online technologies and databases to overcome the problems with time delays. Reduce information overload. Use the grapevine constructively: to disseminate information and correct misunderstanding. By removing levels of status and power, barriers to open communication are reduced. Creating occasions for face to face communication, for eg: management by walking around, open-door policy. Creating alternative channels for eg: suggestion boxes, open forums etc.
The warehouse arranges meetings for stakeholders and for the staff within the organization such as annual meeting, meeting to appoint directors, meeting to discuss the issue of corporate responsibility with stake holders and also arrange meetings within the organization for appraisal of the staff, for information of developments, involved in decisions and given education and information that will help them to become more active in the organization, and for resolving any internal issues or conflicts. Usually emails and letters are used for the notice of the meeting within the organization but for the annual meetings webcasts and notice in the local newspaper are also used as a medium to communicate the notice of meeting. Annual meetings are addressed by the chairman of the warehouse and voting is the procedure to elect the directors in the meetings. However minutes of the meetings are recorded for every meeting and sent to every attendee of the meeting via email and letters. The webcasts of the minutes of the meeting is only done if meeting involves the stakeholder's interest.
External communication with stakeholders and customers in warehouse also runs smoothly and effectively, warehouse has number of stakeholders which have impact on their business. Warehouse applies open and transparent communication principle to communicate with their stakeholders. Following are the stakeholders:
Non government organizations
Communication with such a broad range of stakeholders is complex. Warehouse adapts strategic approach to deal with stake holders:
Stakeholder consultation is provided for input into the planning and policymaking of warehouse as necessary.
Communication method is selected by knowing the needs and wishes of stakeholder.
The consultative process is used to aware the affected stakeholder about the warehouse policies and procedures. The opportunity to ask question and to give feedback is also offered.
The warehouse use number of mechanism to communicate with stakeholders such as: formal and informal dialogues i.e. meeting with or without report, structured meetings, general media, professional media, public relations consultants, email, workshop or information days, radio or television, surveys, facsimile and websites.
The warehouse builds networks and alliances for the effective flow of information to and from the stakeholders and also forms the basis for trust.
To develop effective communication we are required to develop strategy that supports information sharing in a consistent, understandable and timely way. For a good communication every effort should be made to identify and avoid pitfalls such as:
Poor use of, or inappropriate language
Reluctance to communicate or share information
Information overload, or too much useless information
Poor or incomplete information, substandard form of communication
We should endeavour the following strategy for the effective communication. The communication should be clear, concise, has a clearly defined action plan, aim appropriate audience, allow feedback, and follow up to determine effectiveness.