Communication forms an essential part of any organization. It is that backbone which holds the stakeholders of the business together. Any communication that takes place between two or more people is known as interpersonal communication (Hargie, 2016). Interpersonal communication within any organization is used for several reasons. Employees have different styles of interpersonal communication. It is imperative that managers of the organization make effective communication a priority. This includes not only personal and interpersonal communication but also formal communication, communication regarding corporate social responsibility and crisis communication. All these four issues are pressing and need immediate attention for long term sustainability of ABC Ltd. This report throws light upon the significance of interpersonal communication, communication styles as well as recommendations to improve the level of interpersonal communication at ABC Ltd.
Interpersonal communication at ABC Ltd. Envelopes the communication that is held between team members, between mangers and their team members, inter departmental communication, communication between the organization’s leadership and its employees as well as overall communication within the organization. ABC Ltd has always put efforts towards establishing a transparent culture of open communication. Interpersonal communication within the organization solves several purposes. Leaders use interpersonal communication to motivate employees and address their grievances in an effective manner (DeKay, 2012). All the employees in the organization are given specific targets and goals that need to be achieved. Effective communication among employees and their managers would assist in setting achievable goals and tracking an employee’s performance in a transparent manner.
Communication within the organization is an important element of the organization’s culture (Quintanilla & Wahl, 2015). The communication styles and channels adopted by the organization largely defines the culture of work. A formal flow of communication within the business would create a culture that is formal. Whereas an informal flow of communication would foster increased levels of creativity and innovation within the organization. Every organization has conflicts which are faced every now and then. Effectiveness of interpersonal communication in the organization can assist employees in resolving conflicts in a competent manner (Sadia et. al., 2016).
With the help of growing technology, communication has also become a prerequisite for effective employee engagement (Young & Hinesly, 2014). Engaging employees within the business is essential to motivate them and retain them in the business for long. When the interpersonal communication in the organization is efficient, then it is easier for employees to trust the organization, raise their concerns, address their grievances, voice their opinions and participate more by feeling involved in the business. All these factors in turn lead to improved levels of employee satisfaction.
Given the reasons above, it is important for managers to make effective communication a priority. When managers work towards focussing on improving the quality of interpersonal communication by encouraging employees towards open communication, it is then that all the benefits of interpersonal communication can be realized. These benefits are not limited to employee satisfaction and retention but also extend to a massive improvement in the overall organizational culture as well as growth and learning of employees associated with the business. The next part of the report focuses on the three predominant interpersonal communication styles.
Understanding interpersonal communication style is essential in order to establish effective communication throughout the organization. There are predominantly three styles of interpersonal communication. This includes assertive, passive and aggressive. Recently, a passive-aggressive style of communication is also being identified. There are different ways of dealing with each of these styles. If all the members of ABC Ltd are able to effectively identify their interpersonal communicating style then it would easier for them to communicate with others.
It is specifically important for managers to focus on interpersonal communication styles of individuals. For example, a passive communicator may not be able to effectively handle a team during a crisis. However, they may be able to efficiently handle customer relationship management. On the other hand, assertive members of the team can be great leaders. The members of the team who are passive aggressive can get the work done. Therefore for effective communication, it is important for managers to identify communication styles of team members and thereby offering them opportunities and responsibilities that they would be best suited for.
ABC Ltd. Values and understands the importance of effective communication within the business. It is essentially the business communication that takes place interpersonally among team members and leaders that in reality shapes the organization’s culture. In order to improve upon interpersonal communication, the following strategies can be adopted.
With the advent of technology, social media is beginning to play an increasingly critical role in ensuring effectiveness of communication within the organization. Technology has become largely significant to interpersonal communications taking place in organizations (Law et. al., 2014). There are several social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter that can be used for internal communication within the organization. Facebook communities and chatbots are being created to ensure consistent communication among the organizational stakeholders. Chatbots ensure that messages can be communicated instantaneously.
Social media is also widely used as a platform to enhance employee engagement levels. Employees who are actively engaged in organizational communication tend to be more satisfied with the working environment. Similarly, these platforms can also be used by individual employees to share their opinions in the form of tweets, posts or blogs. In fact several managers are also using Social media as a tool to publicly recognize competent employees (Men, 2014). Such practices also enable high levels of employee motivation. Such practices can also be adopted by ABC Ltd to for higher level of communication effectiveness.
Open door policy suggests that the leaders of the business leave their doors open in order to signify that they are available for communication at all times. This encourages employees to communicate with the leaders in a free manner without the fear of disturbing them. There are several issues that employees do not feel very comfortable about discussing. Such policies are an effort from the organization to encourage employees to communicate with the leaders and senior members without any inhibitions (Johnson, 2015). Such policies increase the frequency and the level of interpersonal communication help between the seniors and juniors. Such a practice will not only have a positive impact on organizational communication but will also lead to increased trust and improved levels of employee satisfaction.
The most basic and yet important step that an organization can take towards ensuring improved levels of interpersonal communication is by conducting training sessions. Training sessions regarding the importance of the communication, different styles of communication and various channels of communication should be discussed in these training sessions in order to ensure higher level of interpersonal communication taking place within the organization. Such training sessions will help employees in improving their communication skills, break their inhibitions and stereotypes and communicate with each other in a proficient manner. These training sessions must also throw light on cross-cultural or inter cultural communication in the organization.
Leadership has a significant role to play in ensuring improved levels of interpersonal communication. The culture of communication that is being practiced in the organization flows from top to bottom. It is only the seniors of the organization that can encourage employees to communicate effectively on an interpersonal level. Leaders must motivate employees and more importantly be available to communicate with them (Mayfield & Mayfield, 2017). New members in the team must specifically be motivated to communicate with others in order to understand the working culture better.
A trusting leadership will also encourage employees to communicate about issues that are disturbing but very important like workplace harassment or bullying (Men & Stave, 2014). Opinions of all employees must be welcome. A leader must lead by example and work towards creating a culture that fosters openness and transparency of communication throughout the organization.
Interpersonal communication is the communication that takes place within the organization involving two or more people. Managers must make effective communication a priority. Interpersonal communication helps in sharing information, guiding employees, motivating employees as well as in addressing their grievances and issues faced. There are several styles of interpersonal communication and it is important that these styles are identified. Interpersonal communication at ABC Ltd can be improved through consistent training and development of employees. Most importantly employees must be encouraged to communicate with the team members as well as seniors.
The leaders of the business must ensure that they create a culture which fosters openness in communication. Seniors can also adopt an open door policy in order to encourage employees to communicate with them. Such practices are possible with the support of leaders and therefore it is the leaders and managers of the organization that must make effective communication taking place on an interpersonal level a high priority. This will ensure improved levels of employee engagement, satisfaction, performance and most importantly retention.
DeKay, S.H., 2012. Interpersonal communication in the workplace: A largely unexplored region. Business Communication Quarterly, 75(4), pp.449-452.
Hargie, O., 2016. Skilled interpersonal communication: Research, theory and practice. Routledge. United Kingdom.
Johnson, S.L., 2015. Workplace bullying prevention: a critical discourse analysis. Journal of advanced nursing, 71(10), pp.2384-2392.
Law, R., Buhalis, D. and Cobanoglu, C., 2014. Progress on information and communication technologies in hospitality and tourism. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 26(5), pp.727-750.
Mayfield, J. and Mayfield, M., 2017. Leadership communication: Reflecting, engaging, and innovating. International journal of business communication, 54(1), pp.3-11.
Men, L.R., 2014. Strategic internal communication: Transformational leadership, communication channels, and employee satisfaction. Management Communication Quarterly, 28(2), pp.264-284.
Men, L.R., and Stave, M., 2014. Why leadership matters to internal communication: Linking transformational leadership, symmetrical communication, and employee outcomes. Journal of Public Relations Research, 26(3), pp.256-279.
Quintanilla, K.M. and Wahl, S.T., 2015. Business and professional communication: keys for workplace excellence. Sage Publications. United States.
Sadia, A., Salleh, B.M., Kadir, Z.A. and Sanif, S., 2016. The relationship between organizational communication and employees productivity with new dimensions of effective communication flow. Journal of Business and Social Review in Emerging Economies, 2(2), pp.93-100.
Young, A.M. and Hinesly, M.D., 2014. Social media use to enhance internal communication: Course design for business students. Business and Professional Communication Quarterly, 77(4), pp.426-439.
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