A key element of any successful organization is an effective internal communication program. Internal communication in the organization ensures that all members of the organization are kept up-to-date with the company’s key information; it also helps to increase morale as well as motivate the employees (Lewandowski, 2011). Companies might be very good at communicating with suppliers and customers; however, they often fail to give the same degree of attention to their internal communications. This is often a detrimental move as the company does not work towards a common goal but rather everyone in the company works towards his or her own goal which might bring confusion to the organization or company. There is a need for communication flow between people who are coordinating projects and the managers in order to ensure the success of a business (Morales, 2011). There is also a need for communication between those who manage a business and the people they manage. There are several methods of internal communication. This paper will discuss some of these methods and outline their pros and cons.
VERTICAL COMMUNICATION IN AN ORGANIZATION
A lot of communication that takes place in any organization follows a common pattern, a common sense of approach, which involves a chain of command from the executive officers to the front lines. Most organizations use a form of communication which follows an up and down vertical pattern.
Vertical communication consists of the communication that occurs up and down in the organization’s chain of command. Downward communication often starts with the top management and trickles down through to the management levels to line workers as well as non supervisory personnel (Stephenson, 2011). Downward communication sets to serve several purposes including advising, informing, directing, instructing as well as evaluating employees in order to provide the organization’s members with information regarding its goals as well as policies (Berger, 2010). Rules and mandates come down from the top leadership of the organization and trickle down to the front line supervisors eventually reaching the workers. The purpose of an organization operating with a vertical communications system is to ensure that there is a control of information as well as decision making (Kappas, 2011). Upward communication, on the other hand, involves the flow of information from the workers up the chain to the top personnel of the organization. The function of upward communication is to ensure that there is supply of information to the uppermost levels of the company in order for them to understand what is going on in the lower levels of the organizations. This type of communication often includes explanations, requests for aid, progress reports or even at times suggestions (Guffey, 2010).
Vertical communication has several advantages. First of all, the communication channels throughout the whole organization get strengthened. The top management often entrusts works to the subordinates, and he or she acts as a guide and mentor to the lower workers of an organization. When a subordinate is in doubt, he or she approaches a superior for explanations as well as clarifications (Fransson, 2010). This in the long run breeds trust, helps the employees of an organization to be motivated and gears them towards gaining the management’s support and approval. Secondly, vertical communication systems can be said to be extremely feedback oriented. The hierarchical levels in the organization interact with each other and they discuss matters pertaining to the organization (Dohen, 2010). The vertical communication system also helps in the establishment of chains of command in the organization; it helps the employees to understand who their superiors are and to respect them. On the other hand, the superiors understand who is accountable to them (Berger, 2010). Therefore, if work does not proceed according to the set standards and targets, the top management knows whom to question or reprimand.
Although vertical communication is used in most organizations, it still has its disadvantages. The main disadvantage of this method is the fact that information is often filtered as it moves up and down in the chain of command (Pierce, 2011). This often waters down the message or even at times there is a change in the nature of the information. For example, a manager might receive a request which is directed to the upper management of the organization. However, he might decide that the request is not valid and, therefore, slow its motion or even at times stop it altogether. Besides, information which is meant for distribution to the lower levels of the organization might be stalled or slowed down with the bureaucracy of the organization’s structure.
FACE TO FACE MEETINGS AND THEIR IMPORTANCE
The 21st century has been marked as the century of technological revolution. In the context of communication, the century has had revolutions with the coming up of text messaging, email and paging. However, nothing can replace the value of face to face communication in an organization (Bartels, 2011). However, it must be noted that in a growing business, travelling to meet team members and customers is not economic or feasible. Therefore, there is a tendency to communicate over phone or email, but even then, there is often a tendency for messages to be misinterpreted and a sense of personal connection is not truly established or maintained (Berger, 2010). Research has shown that 90% of the way humans communicate is through non-verbal cues such as gestures or even facial expressions.
With this said, one cannot afford to underestimate the power that lies in face to face communication in order to maximize the effectiveness of communication. Some advantages of face to face communication include the fact that it helps things get done. When there is an urgent issue which requires a quick decision, one can be able to reach a consensus quicker and more efficiently. In addition, face to face communication enables one to react and adjust to non-verbal cues; for example, a fact that someone is checking their watch suggests that it’s time to wrap things.
However, one cannot react and adjust to these non verbal cues over the phone or email (Berger, 2010). Lastly, face to face communication allows one to have a personal touch. In the 21st century, there are many worthy competitors and thus a personal touch might be the difference between the many competitors in the market. Face to face communication allows one to establish a bond and set the foundation of trust, which ultimately leads to a lasting business relationship (Whittaker, 2009). Face to face meeting helps an organization to breed motivation; this is because face to face meeting makes the employees feel appreciated and they can relate with the final product of the company…
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