Discuss about the Business Communication for Burnett Holdings NQ Pty Ltd.
Deluliis (2016), defines communication as the process used to transfer or impart thoughts from one person or group to another. This can be done through language, writing, recordings and other signs. As part of my part time engagement at the Burnett Holdings NQ Pty Ltd. Family business, I realized that communication problems could really cost a company money and productivity. If an organization lacks proper ways of communicating, then employees are not able to exchange information with customers and so is the management (Armstrong, 2009). This is not good for business since information is paramount for daily operation of a grocery store. Any business calls for a need to create a proper communication network that can carry new product information and other business processes. In reference to my engagement at Burnett Holdings NQ Pty Ltd, the following successful and unsuccessful communication processes were realized.
Cattle Management Decision
Working at Burnett Holdings NQ Pty Ltd meant that one was bound to meet people from various diverse cultural backgrounds. Being a native speaker of English language, I experience many language challenges with some of the staff who came from the Asian and Spanish countries. According to Hall (2016), even though a diverse workplace has its benefits; like providing a variety of solutions to the issues surrounding the company and bringing insights to international market expansion, language barrier can be a major setback. This usually occurs in a diverse workplace. Employees find difficulties coming to understand one another or translating messages from the supervisors (Keyton, et al., 2013). Language barrier is usually caused by people from different ethnic backgrounds working in the same organization or department. In addition, people from different age groups can have different types of industry experience which will bring about language barrier. According to Eunson (2007), any form of language barrier is not good for the business process in the company. This is because it creates a lot of misunderstanding leading to slow down of customer service and effective processes in the organization.
As part of my work, language barrier was experienced during a decision that was suggested about cattle management during the wet season. This happened when I was tasked to attend to a work station of my colleague. Since I am a English native speaker, the message was not clear from my French speaking supervisor. Later on, I came to learn that the message I received was different from the message sent. The actually message sent meant that I was directed to clear the one of the cow Barns for a colleague of mine who had excused himself to take a family phone call. When my colleague came back, I informed him that the supervisors had given him a day off and I will cover for him while he attends to family issues. The main issue that caused the noise or interference laid on the fact that the French speaking supervisor knew little English which he did not speak perfectly.
Therefore, some words were not complete while other words were wrongly placed changing the meaning of the message. In this regard, the cultural issue that played here is the ethnic diversity, since there were communication breakup due to language barrier. It was only discovered later on that I was not the only one suffering the same problem with the supervisor. Other workers at my capacity also underwent the same communication problem with the supervisors since most of the workers there were from English speaking countries. The other communication elements that were in play in this situation included the ideas, which is the subject matter of communication process. The idea behind the message was also distorted due to language barrier, leading to the workmate taking a day off while he was not given permission to do so (Gilmore & Williams, 2013). Another communication element was encoding and decoding of the message.
The way that the message was arranged by the messenger before finally delivering to the receiver, (another element) also played in the process. After receiving the message from the supervisor, I first tried to understand his message in my own way, after this, the message was packaged in another form and sent to the receiver (Deluliis, 2016). As the receiver decoded the message, he tried to shape it in a way that would enable him extract meaning from the message to enable him have a complete understanding of the same message. The communication process thus broke down because the way the message was encoded by the sender was not the real message intended for the decoder. This led to the communication breakdown and the receiver took a day off in this regard.
If there were application of the ecological model of communication, then there would be a great difference (Foulger, 2004). As shown below:
The ecological model will provide space where the communication issue can be explored. According to the model, communication will occur under four fundamental constructs. The first one will be between the creator and the consumer of the message; these are created by the use of language and interpreted by use of language. It discusses who says what, using which channel, to whom and what the effect is. In this regard, the ‘who’ is the message creator, ‘says what’ is the message and in ‘which channel’ discusses language of communication, ‘to whom’ is the message consumer (Foulger, 2004). The effect of the message will thus be rectified by use of these relationships as it defines interpretation, perspectives and evolution of the language.
Overhead Management Decision
The other communication barrier experienced at the work place was caused by lack of feedback. According to Hackman & Katz (2010), lack of feedback has seen communication becoming ineffective in organisations. Especially during the exchange of information in the company. The managerial staff and employees need to provide feedback all the time to improve information quality as disseminated. This will also look at the manner which the information is delivered to the receiver. While working at Burnett Holdings NQ Pty Ltd, the company management required to inform employees that earth moving machinery will not be used in the wet months of the year from December to April. This meant that during this time, a new way of managing cattle waste will be introduced and would involve employees doing the work manually.
Having submitted the memo in the company’s notice board, the management did not make a follow up of the information prior to setting giving notice on machine operators to return the machinery to the garage. When employees came to work the following morning, none was able to work with the new system of moving cattle waste. This meant that the company operations would be closed for the day until the earth moving machinery is brought back. At this, there was a challenge in providing feedback by the employees on the new ways of operation.
According to most of the employees, the message that was received in this regard, was that the management would provide an orientation of the new ways of moving waste as it would be used by all the employees for during the wet season. Thus the miscommunication. The reason there was no feedback was that employees did not see the need for feedback. As much as the company management asked if employees would be ok or not to provide feedback, none of them did, and the management assumed that everyone was okay with the new system. The issue that caused noise and interference is the communication tool. By having the memo in the notice board, it meant that most employees were likely to have not read it. In addition, the way that the message was written was not clear.
At this, employees did not know whether it was necessary for them to provide feedback to this effect. The cultural issue that played in this regard is the communication process. The message sent thus was not consistent with the leadership and management communication of the organization as employees did not provide feedback of satisfaction for the message. Other communication elements that played in this sense are the encoders. Most of the employees did not understand the message in the memo, meaning that almost everyone translated the message in their own way, which was not the right one (Eunson, 2007). Also the feedback element; this happened as the company management failed to make sure that everyone received the message as intended through providing appropriate feedback or response (Foulger, 2004). The other element was the communication channel; this was the poor channel for such a message as many of the employees are likely to misunderstand or not even read the message at all given the urgency and placing of the message on the notice board.
The communication process broke down because of two this, first, the channel of communication was poor, also the company management did not get feedback from the receivers of the message at the intended time.
Application of the intermediary communication model (Foulger, 2004) could have made a great difference in process. As shown in the figure below:
According to the above model, the tools used for communication or sending of message are the ones that will determine the kind of messages that the receiver or audience will see and why they should see them. They can thus have the ability to change the message or prevent the message from reaching the audience. At this thus, the right channel would be a loud speaker calling for a meeting to effect the new changes.
In conclusion, communication at the work place is affected by various elements, it is however important for the sender to choose right channels by considering these elements.
Armstrong, M., 2009. Armstrong's handbook of management Practice. 10 ed. London: Kogan.
Deluliis, D., 2016. Workplace Communication. Communication Research Trends, 35(1), p. 3.
Eunson, B., 2007. Communication in the workplace. Milton, Qld.: John Wiley & Sons Australia.
Foulger, D., 2004. Models of Communication. [Online]
Available at: https://davis.foulger.info/research/unifiedModelOfCommunication.htm
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Gilmore, S. & Williams, S., 2013. Human Resource Management. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hackman, J. & Katz, N., 2010. Group behavior and performance. In S. T. Fiske, D.T. Gilbert, & G. Lindzey (Eds.). Handbook of social psychology (5th ed.), Volume 2, pp. 1208-1251.
Hall, A., 2016. Exploring The Workplace Communication Preferences Of Millenials. Journal of Organizational Culture, Communication and Conflict, Volume 20, p. 35.
Keyton, J. et al., 2013. Investigating Verbal Workplace Communication Behaviors. Journal of Business Communication, 50(2), pp. 152-169.