Improving Communication Skills in an Organization
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As I continue to grow in the world of business writing and etiquette, I have become more and more intrigued on all that it entails. I would like to praise you for allowing me this opportunity to express my thoughts and recommendations for communication problems that exist in an organization. As an employee in the medical field, I have come to the conclusion that upper management, lower level employees and CEO’s are doomed if they lack communication skills necessary to effectively communicate with their employees. Without these critical elements for employees, communication, stronger working relationships and morale will not improve. For the past 20 years I have worked in the medical field with many levels. I have come up with the synopsis through my journey that many are not properly equipped with the gift of effective communication skills. Although, I have shared my opinions and interests with other co-workers, upper management seems reluctant to address the foregoing problem. I have reviewed various resources in my research including but not limited to: required textbooks, magazine articles, other business texts and real life experiences. After thoroughly researching the need for effective communication in an organization, I am excited to present the recommendations.
Oftentimes, managers have formal weekly meeting with an agenda. Employees feel compelled to sit mute while managers go over each topic on the agenda. Employees get antsy, don’t ask questions and twiddle their thumbs. It is imperative that employees actively engage in open-floor discussions. The turnover ratio in some organizations is astronomical. Many employees who work closely with one another often times don’t know what the other does, their position in the company; even their names. Open-floor discussions are one type of meeting but are different from formal meetings. There are groups of employees kicking ideas specific to the organization. Ultimately, it leads to goals geared towards progress over production.
An effective open-floor discussion is one in which many different ideas and viewpoints are considered and heard. This allows the group of employees to accomplish its purpose or establish a basis for ongoing discussion. It helps employees to collaborate for further contact. Employees can discuss, analyze an issue, create a strategic plan for initiative, or intervention. Life experience and some research have led me to come up with three possible solutions that will improve communication in an organization. The first solution is to implement open-floor discussions to air concerns, become critical thinkers and implement new ways of working. The second solution is to form evening groups and after hour socials in order to build stronger working relationships. The second solution will cost the company very little but still remain within allocated budget. The third solution is to increase employee morale by speaking words of praise, paid time off and other special tactics necessary for employment retention.
Communication is not only verbiage, but also nonverbal. It defines our way of life. This is an involuntary action no matter how you look at it. We are verbal some type of way, form or fashion daily. In an organization, employees send vast emails, memo, proposals, speak, have meetings; and the list goes on. Leaders expect employees to voice their concerns but in order to do so, communication should be effectively delivered. Some employees lack those skills because they have not been properly trained. BOMI International: Effective Communication in the workplace, defines communication as the sharing of information between two or more individuals or groups to reach a common understanding. If organizations implement open-floor discussions, employees will benefit by building stronger working relationships, increasing morale and break the communication barrier created between co-workers. Implementing open-floor discussions in an organization will result in improved communication between employees, stronger working relationships and increased employee morale.
II Statement of problem
Poor communication skills prevent employees from producing quality material. Due to lack of effective written and verbal communication, managers are receiving less than quality output. Organizations rely upon employees to be good communicators in order to effectively do their jobs. For example, in a hospital, doctors rely on nurses to communicate effectively with one another in order to save a patient’s life. Medical errors are costly and can be prevented. Another example is when a waitress takes an order but gets it wrong. The chef prepares the wrong dish and is sent out to the customer. The customer returns the expensive dish, thus, costing the restaurant money. If this happens too often, the business can go under.
Organizations play an important role in improving employees’ communication abilities. Without proper resources, tools and training, employees are hindering their performance and the organization is losing revenue. Since technology is today’s fad, employees utilize emails, text messaging and computers to communication with one another. When situations arise that require oral (company presentation) and written communication (memos), employees lack the knowledge to effectively represent the organization. Consumers, whether they are internal or external expect organizations to produce quality information representing their organization. In order for consumers and managers to get what they need, the organization need to implement open-floor discussions so employees are able to improve communication skills, build stronger working relationship and increase morale. In the next sections, this proposal will explain the problems our organization face with lack of effective communication.
According to Jack Easdale (2010), “in past recessions, companies in all industries generally have not communicated well with their critical audiences”. Good communication is the key to successful relationships. Educating employees how to effectively communicate when creating reports, implementing strategies and analyzing an issue is a job for the manager. Education help employees to better communicate verbally and written with one another. This in turn drives productivity and increases revenue because employees are able to understand what is expected from the organization and each other. It is called teamwork.Building a team requires patience, trust and a working relationship. Without these three critical elements, employees are not capable of building stronger relationships in the workplace. Teamwork is particularly essential because it allows managers to understand how products and services delivered directly affect the organization in the marketplace.
Employees may not realize that poor communication is a barrier and ineffective communication affects the team’s ability to trust. Working as a team increase profit and revenue in order for the organization to sustain in today’s economy. It is understood, even in a disagreement, employees are working together to resolve an issue, dispute, problem, create a plan or make a decision to better the organization and work environment. The morale of employees is affected in the work environment. Some employees who have a language barrier tend to withdraw and not ask questions so they can understand the mission of the organization. Open-floor discussions are crucial at this point because it allows these employees to express their thoughts and own ideas freely without judgment. Employees are able to pursue and finish their thought processes without interruption. Honest feedback, whether negative or positive is allocated without prejudice. According to Daughtery (2011), “employees with high morale show up to work on time, spend more time actually working, and show improved communication, creativity, and longer retention rates”.
The supervisors’ communication skills should be as effective, clear and concise as upper management. This allows employees to understand exactly what their duties are what is expected of them and time frame in which to have it done. If management possesses ineffective communication skills, employees get confused; morale is affected, thus increasing turnover rates within the organization. Negative environments produce less than quality work, thus decreasing productivity, profit and company expansion. Management can play an integral part in development and growth. In order to be a great manager, you must have effective communication skills. Management success entails being assertive yet honest and displaying sincerity. According to Jaceson Maughan, Tips for Effective Communication and Management Skills, “an effective manager set up a system where employees can express themselves, whether in public or private, and establishes ground rules for communication”. Employees appreciate a manager whom they can have face-to-face interaction, instead of email, eye contact, and show unequivocal gestures.
In an organization, managers should be held accountable for announcing position openings for qualified employees. For example, if a qualified employee shows interest in an opening in which he or she is qualified, he or she should be allowed to interview for that position. In the organization I worked for, an employee was not even considered because of ill feelings toward the employee by management. The employee was upset and regressed in her current positive, thus producing less than quality work. A disgruntled employee affects the whole organization. Providing updates to employees when there are other in-house positions available shows that the managers are listening and involved seeking more leaders. Employee retention remains important for all organizations in today’s economy. When new employees are hired, managers are responsible for establishing goals that launch new employees in the right direction. Goal setting sets a foundation that directs employees to accomplishing tasks expected by the manager. Aligning business objectives helps employees to understand their roles in the organization thus providing motivation. III Research and Discussion
Managers need not only be good communicators but active listeners. Managers should invite employee input and be empathetic to the information. Active listening motivate employees to do their best and be more positive. It is important to deliver praise and positive feedback. Employees who work hard want added bonuses, whether it is cash or some other type of incentive. An increase in pay is a reminder to employees that they are valued. When managers recognize exceptional achievement within the organization, a reward serves as a motivator to their employees. Employees are apt to work harder and commit more to the workplace.
Although individual rewards are outstanding, managers must not forget a group of individuals make a team. Not only should managers recognize individuals, but teams as well. Team recognition should be equally distributed as to not favor one employee over the other. Managers need to keep in mind that it is essential to maintain a sense of organizational good. Improved communication
Communication gaps exist between employees in the workplace. When gaps exist, employees are often confused and misaligned priorities. Managers can offer open-floor discussions to employees to eliminate gaps in communication. Managers can offer training on new communication methods, such as, new software, updated computers (technology), and/or email usage. If ineffective communication is caused by technological devices, instructive seminars are useful. With growing diversity, cultural sensitivity issues are rising. Offering group or private meetings with employees improve communication. According to Fachon Perry (2011), “the aim of the project is to help create more harmonious workplaces. It’s not only the right thing to do for the people who make our products, but we believe it leads to happier workers who are more productive and deliver higher quality products.”
If management cannot coach our executive or front-line employees how to effectively communicate, the organization suffers. The impact is felt by both internal and external investors. It is essential for all employees to be able to effectively communicate with one another.
Building stronger working relationships
Building stronger working relationships in an organization require employees to be able to vent their frustrations. Implementing open-floor discussions allow employees the ability to voice their concerns, issues and strategize plans. Every voice is heard and feedback is given, whether positive or negative. Feelings are put aside because it is understood that the organization is the main focal point. According to Ben Shyder (2010), “most working environments require interacting with others. Four key behavior traits that contribute to building strong relationships are: 1) be trust worthy 2) care about them 3) commit to excellence and 4) bond through adventure.” Incorporating the four traits in an organization help employees bond and create a positive atmosphere. Your job is your second home. Managers should be mindful that employees often look at the workplace as a safe-haven and co-workers as family. The need for stronger working relationships allows employees to communicate effectively. As employees learn to trust one another their work environment becomes harmonious.
As our economy changes, organizations close down and people lost jobs; communication remains affected. The need for improved communication skills is on the rise. Professionals and educators realize that excellent leadership is needed to help employees understand why communication skills are essential. Once employees realize how crucial it is to be able to effectively communicate, they will be motivated to learn. As a result, employees will be able to apply themselves accordingly and become better communicators. The recommendations that were made earlier in this proposal attempts explain how communication skills can be improved within the organization. The first recommendation in the organization is improving communication by implementing open-floor discussions. Employees like to get together and air their concerns.
Unhappy employees make an unhappy workplace. Managers understand that all meetings are not formal. Allowing employees access to meeting rooms to hold group discussions is critical to employees’ state of mind. Being able to vent frustrations, concerns or share ideas with a group of co-workers is rewarding. Some employees may feel intimidated or threatened by discussing issues within the organization in the presence of management. Allowing employees to have an outlet shows leaders are supportive. When a group of employees gather they become critical thinkers. Strategies are formed to create a better product, innovative ways to be more productive and solutions to problems. Employees are able to think outside the box when they are together. Reluctance to try new strategies go out the window and employees support one another to contribute creatively.
Leaders who support new ways of working are valuable to the organization. For example, if employees are inquisitive about working from home, leaders can explore the possibility. If leaders are thinking creatively, they can see how working from home can benefit both the employee and the organization. The second recommendation is for managers to allow employees to have after hour socials/evening groups at the expense of the organization. Implementing a monthly social away from the workplace help employees to unwind and unload. Socials provide a way for employees to get to know one another. The organization benefits because the more employees bond, the more productive they will become.
Social events convey a sense of family and cement the bond employees have with leaders and the organization. Successful social events make a big difference in the organization’s ability to retain quality employees. According to Adrian Gostick & Chester Elton (2007), 41(156), “invite all your employees to recognition events. When employees see their peers being recognized, it makes them want the same recognition, spurring higher performance”. The third recommendation in the organization is offering praise, paid time off and sustaining employees in the organization. Employees who receive praise or recognition from a manager contribute more. According to Beverly Kay & Sharon Jordan-Evans (1999), “regardless of individual differences, virtually all employees want to hear how valuable they are to the team, how important their work is and what great work they have done”.
Rewarding outstanding employees with paid time off is a precious commodity. People like to make up their time with their family that is lost while working long hours. It is paramount those managers start a program as an incentive for good attendance, excellent work performance or invested time in the organization. Showing employees that you recognize their work leads to job retention. Employment retention continues to be a major issue in the organization. Managers tend to ask, “Why are people quitting their jobs?” According to Mueller et al (1994), “in most turnover theories and research, job satisfaction has been identified as a key variable in predicting turnover intention.
Further, it has been shown that work environment factors, such as coworker behavior and workplace social relations, affect job satisfaction directly”. When employees are dissatisfied with their manager or the workplace, they tend to move to another organization. Managers need to hire employees who live closer to the organization, thus shortening their commute time. While traffic is heaviest during peak times of the day, employees find driving to work is discouraging and not worth the time or money. Managers should encourage employees to live outside their comfort zone. Allowing employees to develop new skills and ways of thinking increases retention. V Conclusion
Employees interact daily, whether by writing, speaking or using body language. Implementing open-floor discussions will increase morale, build stronger working relationships Jones 15 and improve communication skills. CEO’s, leaders and managers should offer support and implement instructions to improve communication skills. In order for organizations to strive, increase productivity and generate more revenue, it is essential for employees to communicate skillfully. Organizations can reduce their turnover rate, retain highly qualified employees and bridge the gap between employees by considering mentioned recommendations.
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