Internal Communication Essay Sample
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Internal Communication Essay Sample
Organisations cannot operate without communication. Communication can take various forms but all forms involve the transfer of information from one party to others. It is also one of the things that most companies struggle with. A big part of the challenge is that there are so many different people you have to communicate with and it often has to be done in different ways.
Communications are at the very heart of all business activity. So it is essential that people in a company assess such practices to ensure they are working well. Effective communications help to create a direction and basis for everyone’s activities.
According to the communication theorist Wilbur Schramm (1955), communication ‘is the process of establishing a commonness or oneness of thought between a sender and a receiver’. In other words, it helps employees to work towards the same goals, giving them a similar direction and purpose. In doing so, effective communications help to create a direction and basis for everyone’s activities.
EFFECTIVE BUSINESS COMMUNICATION
Effective business communication can be defined as a well-organized and schemed process of sharing business ideas, proposals, information, facts and/or reports within an organization or outside it to achieve a predetermined goal. In other words, it is the flow of messages within a business house among its employees and with its customers, clients, etc., ensuring its smooth running.
Why Do We Need It
Many of us have faced the situation where our families and friends applaud and encourage our ideas, but fail to sell them to corporate houses or professional organizations. They just don’t seem to be as enthusiastic and sure of it as us. It is just not enough to breed a brilliant business proposal in our minds, but to be able to express it in words or writing that would make people ponder over it and convince them to accept and buy it.
The purpose of an effective information transmission is summarized below.1.To express one’s thoughts better so that it is well-conceived by others 2.To create a positive rapport among colleagues and seniors that imparts a good impression 3.To communicate better with subordinates which helps to motivate and guide them and extract maximum output 4.To maintain good relations with suppliers, vendors, financiers and other organizations, etc. that prove advantageous in future 5.To reach out to the customers effectively which in turn churns profit
DEFINTION OF INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL COMMUNICATION
Communication is vital to the success of a business. There are two types of communication that a business participates in external communication and internal communication.
Communication within the organizational structure of a corporate company is called internal communication. It is a factor that cannot be compromised upon if you want to ensure a successful business. In its simplest terms, internal communication is communication within an organization. It encompasses both “official” communication — memos, guidelines, policies and procedures, etc. — and the unofficial communication that goes on among and between the staff members of all organizations — the exchange of ideas and opinions, the development of personal relationships, and the proverbial conversation around the water cooler. It goes in all directions among line staff (those who do the specific work of the organization and work directly with the target population), administrators, supervisors, clerical and support staff, volunteers, and, perhaps, even the Board of Directors.
Internal communication is a lot more than people talking to one another, however. It’s the life blood of any organization, the way in which everyone gets the information she needs. It means that anyone can easily get his question answered, as well as that no one gets left out when there’s a birthday celebration for a staff member.
Good internal communication can:
•Provide people the information they need to do their jobs effectively
•Make sure they know about anything that concerns them
•Provide people with clear standards and expectations for their work
•Give people feedback on their own performance
•Provide them emotional support for difficult work
•Suggest new ideas about both their work and their lives
•Allow them to take the pulse of the organization and understand its overall situation
•Help them maintain a shared vision and a sense of ownership in the organization
In many ways, internal communication is the glue that holds an organization together. Without it, you’re just a collection of disconnected individuals each working individually at her own job. With it, you’re a unit with power far beyond the sum of your parts.
Exchange of information with the people outside the organization can be termed as external form of communication. It involves transmission of messages to clients, investors, or any other organization, which is directly or indirectly related to the performance of your business.
ROLE OF INTERNAL COMMUNICATION.
Why should you promote internal communication?
So good internal communication is a good thing. But there’s so much to do. Why spend a lot of time on this stuff? Can’t the organization do just fine by leaving people alone to do their jobs and let internal communication take care of itself?
The short answer to that last question is “No.” Unless you’re a one-person organization, communication is one of the most important aspects of managing what you do. What can internal communication do for you? Here’s a short list:
•It can improve the effectiveness of the organization. The more information people have, the more quickly they get it, and the better connections they have with others in the organization, the better the work of the organization gets done, and the better jobs individuals do. The better jobs they do, the better they feel about their jobs and about the organization. The ultimate beneficiaries of all this are the target population, the community, and the organization, which finds itself with committed and efficient staff members, satisfied participants, and community respect.
•It keeps everyone informed of what’s going on in the organization. No one gets any unpleasant surprises, and everyone has the chance to deal with changes, good news, and bad news together.
•It allows the organization to respond quickly and efficiently to change, emergencies, etc.
•It makes problem-solving easier by providing a channel for everyone’s ideas and opinions. Solutions can come from unexpected directions, but only if there’s the possibility that they’ll be heard.
•It creates a climate of openness within the organization. If everyone feels he has access to whatever information he needs or wants, and can talk to anyone in the organization about anything, it encourages good relations among people, promotes trust, and forestalls jealousy and turf issues-a. . promotes an atmosphere of collegiality, and makes the organization a pleasant place to work. Good internal communication means that problems among people get resolved and the workplace is generally a pleasant place to be. This, in turn, leads to job satisfaction and organizational stability (people will be less likely to leave their jobs if they’re happy in their work and working conditions).
•It gives people more of a sense of ownership of the organization, and more of a feeling that everyone is working together toward the same goal. The combination of openness and the easy flow of communication to everyone combine to make people feel like part of a coherent whole, and to feel that their ideas and opinions are listened to and valued.
•It promotes fairness and equity within the organization. If everyone has equal access to information and to everyone else, it’s harder for anyone to feel that she’s particularly privileged, or that she’s being left out of the loop. It ultimately should lead to everyone feeling she’s part of a team of equals, all of whom are treated similarly.
•It shows respect for everyone in the organization, by assuming that everyone’s ideas and information are valuable. •It gets problems and potential problems out in the open, rather than letting them fester and turn into something far harder to deal with. You can’t deal with a problem if you don’t know it’s there; exposing it is the first — and often the hardest — step toward resolving it- b..
•It forestalls the spread of rumours by making sure that accurate information is constantly being communicated to everyone.
•It improves the work of the organization by increasing the likelihood that ineffective practices, problems, etc. Can be identified by those closest to them, and replaced or resolved by things that work better.
Common Causes of Problems in Internal Communications
1. If I know it, then everyone must know it.
Perhaps the most common communications problem is managements’ (leaders’ and managers’) assumption that because they are aware of some piece of information, than everyone else is, too. Usually staff aren’t aware unless management makes a deliberate attempt to carefully convey information. 2. We hate bureaucracy — we’re “lean and mean.”
When organizations are just getting started, their leaders can often prize themselves on not being burdened with what seems as bureaucratic overhead, that is, as extensive written policies and procedures. Writing something down can be seen as a sign of bureaucracy and to be avoided. As the organization grows, it needs more communications and feedback to remain healthy, but this communication isn’t valued. As a result, increasing confusion ensues — unless management matures and realizes the need for increased, reliable communications. 3. I told everyone, or some people, or …?
Another frequent problem is managements’ not really valuing communications or assuming that it just happens. So they’re not aware of what they told to whom — even when they intended for everyone to know the information. 4. Did you hear what I meant for you to hear?
With today’s increasingly diverse workforce, it’s easy to believe you’ve conveyed information to someone, but you aren’t aware that they interpreted you differently than you intended. Unfortunately, you won’t be aware of this problem until a major problem or issue arises out of the confusion. 5. Our problems are too big to have to listen to each other! Particularly when personnel are tired or under stress, it’s easy to do what’s urgent rather than what’s important. So people misunderstand others’ points or understand their intentions. This problem usually gets discovered too late, too. 6. So what’s to talk about?
Lastly, communications problems can arise when inexperienced management interprets its job to be solving problems and if they’re aren’t any problems/crises, then there’s nothing that needs to be communicated. 7. There’s data and there’s information.
As organizations grow, their management tends to focus on matters of efficiency. They often generate systems that produce substantial amount of data — raw information that doesn’t seem to really be important. 7. If I need your opinion, I’ll tell it to you.
Lastly, communications problems can arise when management simply sees no value whatsoever in communicating with subordinates, believing subordinates should shut up and do their jobs.5 http://managementhelp.org/organizationalcommunications/internal.htm
How do you promote internal communication?
There are three interrelated issues that an organization needs to address in promoting internal communication. The first involves the organizational climate and culture. The organization has to be a place where open communication is accepted and encouraged. The second concerns establishing clear definitions of what needs to be communicated, and by whom. If you assume that everyone always needs to know about absolutely everything, the staff would spend all its time merely receiving and passing on information. There need to be guidelines about what and how information gets passed. The last issue is that of the systems that the organization creates to get its work done and to enable internal communication. Are they structured to encourage communication in all directions, or to discourage or channel it in particular ways?
Organizational climate and culture
To foster internal communication, the first and most important step is to establish a climate of openness that encourages the free flow of communication and information in all directions. This means that the organizational culture has to embrace internal communication, and that individuals — particularly key individuals, who might be the director and other administrators, or who might simply be the people that others respect and listen to — have to feel comfortable with, and model communicating regularly and clearly with, anyone and everyone else in the organization.-c.
Ultimately, the organizational climate becomes the organizational culture.
Creating a climate that fosters internal communication includes:
•Practice what you preach, i.e. listen to others, and act quickly and appropriately on their questions, complaints, suggestions, issues, etc. This is probably the most important aspect of developing an atmosphere of openness. People have to be consistently treated as if they and their ideas and opinions matter. If that doesn’t happen, you might as well forget the rest of this section.
•Be sensitive to your — and others’ — style of communication. Ideally, the people on both ends of a communication are partners. Being open and offensive or condescending is probably worse than not being open at all. Many people are apparently born expert communicators; others need to be trained to communicate appropriately (see the description of “Staff training” below); and still others simply need to be informed that — often because of differences in age or gender — their style of communication is bothering others. Again, leaders need to set a clear example here, but part of good internal communication is the willingness of people to speak out when they feel uncomfortable or offended. Often, that can be enough to solve the problem.
•Make sure information flows in all directions. The organization should ensure that people learn immediately about things that interest or affect them, and should set up systems to make sure that happens, as well as mechanisms to make sure that less timely information gets passed around (see “Systems” below). Information flow might include — in larger organizations — an internal newsletter or bulletin that contains interesting or important information (this could be circulated as either print or e-mail).
Just about every organization sets up systems of different kinds to make it easier or more effective to complete some parts of its task. Internal communication can be stifled by your organization’s systems, or it can be promoted and strengthened through both existing systems and new ones you create for the purpose. It helps both to understand what you can do, and what you’d be better off not doing. Some ways that systems that can be used to promote and strengthen internal communication