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Aspects of communication that relate to sustainability

Why Managers should make Effective Communication a Priority? 

Communication is a requirement at the organisational level between the officials, employees and employees & managers. Maintenance of employee alienation with the organisational goals and objectives is difficult without an effective facilitation of communication at the organisational level. Managers can play a very critical role in this regards by effectively maintaining the timely strategies to make the difference and also attempting to remove the barriers to the feasible extent (Kim 2014). However, this becomes difficult for a fact that managers are needed to take care of varieties of employees in regards to their cultural and work related behaviour. This study aims to address the same issue in context to the case study organisation ABC Company. 

Communication of sustainability activities and achievements (the corporate social responsibility report)

Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of environmental factors like the factors which are good or bad for the environment. Media has played an important role in making people aware of it. People nowadays spend their much of time on the internet which is another source of knowing the environmental facts. Due to such awareness, the customer perspective of a good brand has now changed. Now, a good brand is the one which is highly engaged and involved in social acts. Social acts are more specifically known as customer social responsibility (Chaudhri 2016). Company with higher scores in corporate social responsibility have more values to people. 


Theoretical perspective: There is a theory known as the triple bottom line approach which governs the importance to fulfil the three Ps of people, profit and planet. People are the employees and the other stakeholders (Slack, Corlett and Morris 2015). An organisation with better employee engagement program and customer service standard are regarded with high values. Profit in this regards is the financial aspect which is important from the organisational perspective. A check on financial performance in every quarter of a fiscal year is a look out of firms. Firms with profitable venture are more valuable from the perspective of shareholders. The planet is the last element of the theory which demands a careful approach from firms towards the environmental betterment. Common people are specifically concerned with the environmental aspects. It means that firms are now held responsible for the environmental disruption. This is why firms are now becoming increasingly aggressive for CSR works.

The sustainability of an organisation's communications activities

Negative consequences of communication gap

The case study organisation is ABC Company which has shown its keen interest in finding solutions for why managers need to give priorities to effective communication. The sustainability of an organisation like the case study organisation is attainable through its effective participation in social causes. The list of such activities is very long; however, a few of such are charitable works, helping a community, giving donations and reducing its carbon footprint contribution (Campopiano and De Massis 2015). Carbon footprint is a big concern for public, government and the company. It is very difficult indeed to reduce the carbon footprint as it requires a thorough analysis of the system, effective measures of the condition and a significant counter with suitable strategies. The organisational sustainability report can be shared from CSR report of the company and the written communication. The CSR report gives a detail of the company’s performance in regards to social and environmental responsibilities. On the other hand, a press release is a good way to communicate with the target people in both the negative and positive aspect of the business. Positive aspects include but are not limited to like company’s success, a noteworthy social act and a remarkable CSR performance. Negative aspects include like criticism from public government or employees (Saeidi et al. 2015).   

Written communication: A written communication is all such communication that is evident in papers or mails. Organisations may have certain ways to involve in written communication. A press release is one of such ways using which organisations can involve in an indirect conversation with the target audience (Wickert Scherer and Spence 2016). 

Negative consequences of communication gap 

Communication gap is common at the workplace where managers are not able to promote and facilitate an effective organisational communication. Communication gap can create a lot of operation related issues such as delay in project, improper handling of a case, communicating change and others. Following is the list of negative consequences of communication gap:

Coordination barriers: Communication gap can be an issue while establishing a two-way communication between employees. This is very common with the company which operates in more than one branch. In most occasions, the different branches have just one option to facilitate the communication and that is the organisational based communication. Such communication is manageable through variety of communication modes such as emailing, calls, Skype calls and others. These are the basic modes of communication; however, it is the tendency in employees that most of them are very casual and do not pay attention to their responsibilities. It is the manager’s responsibilities that CSR related activities are effectively explained to employees. This is necessary because unless and until employees are not aligned with the operational objectives, they will not understand the importance of CSR (Jizi et al. 2014).

Hidden innovation

Reduced morale: Lack of communication can cause a lot of issues. This can even be the reason for reduced morale in employees in case they need an assistance; however, not able to get it due to the communication gap. It can also be frustrating to the management as they may be expecting a call from employees; however, poor response from employees might hinder the progress. Projects can also be delayed due to the communication gap between employees at the different branches of the company. In such workplace where things are easily missed and there is no punctuality of work also, few of employees might not feel like sustaining the job (Lock and Seele 2016). It is very difficult to teach every single employee on how to work as a unit for CSR. However, it is very much fairer and easier to teach them the etiquettes of the workplace.

Reduced productivity: A communication gap can also cause a reduction in productivity. This happens because most of the time is consumed in searching the useful resources, the important people and much. Employees are given the tools like the portals; however, the interface is not very user-friendly and consumes a lot of time to respond to the queries which are entered. Employees must have the technologies which could reduce the time of searching for resources. If such things are possible then the CSR related activities will be much fairer at the organisational level.     


Hidden innovation: Innovation remains hidden unless and until employees are given the opportunities and trust to explore their ideas or brainstorm the ideas. If this happens, creativity will float around the organisational hierarchy and innovation will happen. It is the responsibilities of managers that they use the suitable strategies to promote an effective communication at the workplace. This is doable with the help of effective tools and techniques. CSR performance can be reported or made publically available with a PDF document and a press release (Chomvilailuk and Butcher 2016). However, employee engagement program is utterly required to raise the awareness for CSR works and to train employees on how to accomplish the tasks. Some of the CRS works are not just related to community development and the charitable causes, it is rather related to the more widen aspect of the operation. For example, a car making company targets the reduction of greenhouse gas emission through bringing the upgraded models or also introducing the technological innovation such as the use of hybrid cars (Razak et al. 2014). Such innovation is produced when employees are aligned with the organisational goals and objectives.

In the above section, it was explained that an improper talent management at the organisational level and an uninvolved management causes a bigger destruction. Hence, to promote the CSR works at the organisational level, it is important to follow a few of the ways. First and foremost, it is important to define the corporate social responsibility for the company. There must be the clear goals and the objectives as well. This is also important because different industries will have different responsibilities to serve. The next important step will be to conduct the extensive research works on the concepts around the corporate social responsibility. This will require a few resources to seek the help from. This can be sorted out by taking the reference from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Another reference site can be the Global Reporting Initiative. These two resources can be used to be updated with the latest CSR reports (Aguinis and Glavas 2017).

There is also the need for setting the key metrics for CSR activities. This will help to measure the success and will also allow monitoring the progress. The key metrics may be but not limited to such as work hours per month for a particular activity, comparison with other companies and investments required for the activity. It is also important that employees are engaged with their work and are also the socially responsible people. Unless and until employees are not attached to it, the CSR performance can never improve. It is also necessary to keep an account of the associated expenses, so that, annual reports in the fiscal year is maintained. Moreover, company is only accountable to its shareholders. Communication is a key in promoting the culture for CSR. This is required to communicate with employees. This is also required to communicate with the other stakeholders. Such communication will most importantly attract many donations, crowdfunding and others. Private firms will also come closer to the company. This will not just give the publicity but will also provide the required monetary values for the CSR works (Mason and Simmons 2014).    


Establishing a pro-active relationship with companies that are already into accomplishing the CSR activities will also be the key to the success. This will help to learn the more effective ways of handling the CSR activities. The ABC Company and the likes will grow in knowledge management and employees will be in regular touch with the educative contents on CSR (Boulouta and Pitelis 2014). Finally, training and development are essential to the success. This will help employees to learn the ways to effectively manage the CSR activities. Training will keep on educating the modified or added elements of CSR. The development program will provide the opportunity for employees to learn as they will be professionally groomed with CSR expertise and will also bring a few modifications to the existing knowledge management. Moreover, the learning process will be many smoothers and the knowledge management will be enhanced (Boulouta and Pitelis 2014).  

Conclusion

Therefore, ABC Company needs to work hard in order to prevent the communication gap. Contribution from managers will be of high importance in regards to employee engagement, facilitation of training & development program, access to other private firms that already do the CSR works, communicating to the media & the public and more. Crowdfunding and donations is a requirement which grows bigger in its significance with the CSR activities move further. Managers will be responsible for establishing the effective communication with crowdfunding teams and the donators. Training & development program is recommended as there is a need for employee engagement program. Training will allow employees to understand the different updates on CSR. This is required also to maintain the learning environment. Moreover, the development program is also necessary for grooming the employees and encourages them to be the skilled professions. 

References

Aguinis, H. and Glavas, A., 2017. On corporate social responsibility, sensemaking, and the search for meaningfulness through work. Journal of Management, p.0149206317691575.

Boulouta, I. and Pitelis, C.N., 2014. Who needs CSR? The impact of corporate social responsibility on national competitiveness. Journal of business ethics, 119(3), pp.349-364.

Campopiano, G. and De Massis, A., 2015. Corporate social responsibility reporting: A content analysis in family and non-family firms. Journal of Business Ethics, 129(3), pp.511-534.

Chaudhri, V., 2016. Corporate social responsibility and the communication imperative: Perspectives from CSR managers. International Journal of Business Communication, 53(4), pp.419-442.

Chomvilailuk, R. and Butcher, K., 2016. Evaluating the effect of corporate social responsibility communication on mobile telephone customers. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 33, pp.164-170.

Jizi, M.I., Salama, A., Dixon, R. and Stratling, R., 2014. Corporate governance and corporate social responsibility disclosure: Evidence from the US banking sector. Journal of Business Ethics, 125(4), pp.601-615.

Kim, Y., 2014. Strategic communication of corporate social responsibility (CSR): Effects of stated motives and corporate reputation on stakeholder responses. Public Relations Review, 40(5), pp.838-840.

Lock, I. and Seele, P., 2016. The credibility of CSR (corporate social responsibility) reports in Europe. Evidence from a quantitative content analysis in 11 countries. Journal of Cleaner Production, 122, pp.186-200.

Mason, C. and Simmons, J., 2014. Embedding corporate social responsibility in corporate governance: A stakeholder systems approach. Journal of Business Ethics, 119(1), pp.77-86.

Razak, M.I., Yusof, A.M., Mashahadi, F., Alias, Z. and Othman, M.Z., 2014. Intention To Purchase Hybrid Cars in Malaysia An Overview. International Journal of Economics, Commerce and Management, 2(10), pp.1-13.

Saeidi, S.P., Sofian, S., Saeidi, P., Saeidi, S.P. and Saaeidi, S.A., 2015. How does corporate social responsibility contribute to firm financial performance? The mediating role of competitive advantage, reputation, and customer satisfaction. Journal of Business Research, 68(2), pp.341-350.

Slack, R.E., Corlett, S. and Morris, R., 2015. Exploring employee engagement with (corporate) social responsibility: A social exchange perspective on organisational participation. Journal of Business Ethics, 127(3), pp.537-548.

Wickert, C., Scherer, A.G. and Spence, L.J., 2016. Walking and talking corporate social responsibility: Implications of firm size and organizational cost. Journal of Management Studies, 53(7), pp.1169-1196.

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