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Communication

Disucss about the Organizational Communication : Approaches and Processes.

Successful work environments are characterised by good relationships between workers to workers, workers to management and management and workers. Human beings are social animals and therefore exist in groups that are defined by the relationships that hold the groups together. At work employees are not only held together by the formal roles that they play within the organisation but rather the relationships that define the existence of the groups. Social exchange theory suggests that relationships are based on give and take where individuals have expectations from others. Åmo (2006, P. 235) argues that these relationships form a series of interactions that generate into obligations that individuals hold towards each other time. On the other hand the psychological contract is based on the relationship between the employer and the employees about mutual expectations of inputs and outcomes. In forming relationships at the work place employees forego some of their rights to their fellow employees or management to maintain the relationship (Eisenberger, Armeli, Rexwinkel, Lynch  & Rhoades 2001, P. 44).  In workplace environments, group dynamics greatly define the relationships that may exist within the organisation. Employees exist as individuals and groups at the same time. This means that the way individuals behave when they are alone and in groups shape the relationships that exist. Management has to ensure that there are proper relationships at the workplace to achieve organisational objectives and also minimise conflict (Blyton & Turnbull 1998, P. 12). Therefore the manager needs to put strategies in place that can improve the relationships that employees have. This paper examines how management can improve work relationships improve morale, productivity and sense of teamwork in an organisation. This is based on how employee relations can be improved through communication, consultation, resolution of conflict, cultural diversity, ethics, winning trust and confidence of workers, interpersonal communication styles, networking and management of employees.

Communication is a key tool in forming relationships within the organisation and achieving coordination between employees. Goris, Vaught & Prett (2000, P. 353) suggest that the role of communication in organisations is to give clear direction of the organisational needs and the role that employees play. Clear communication allows allocation responsibilities to employees and executing of tasks. Teamwork within an organisation is based on proper communication between different individuals, groups and departments in an organisation. Management communicates tasks to supervisors who in turn communicate or assign employees the tasks. On the other hand employees have to communicate among themselves in the course of carrying out tasks.  System theories suggest that the organisation is like a system that is based on coordinated effort to achieve tasks. Coordination is achieved through sending of information from one source to another and receiving feedback over the same. Employees also use communication to form relationships between each other within the organisation to form groups. Miller (2009, P. 11) argues that ddifferent communication tools exist but organisation have to ensure that communication methods are simplified to ensure messages are easily understood by every employee. The best communication to employees is through meeting to allow employees raise issues that concern the organisation. Meeting are the most preferred communication tool rather than memos and other communication tools. This allows management to interact with employees and form work-based relationships. On the other hand employees can iron out issues that affect them through meeting at their level. Conflicts have been resolved in meetings while organisations that fail to hold meetings have bad relationships with employees and highly reported conflicts.

Consultation

Constant pressure to increase organisational performance has led to the need for employee involvement through consultation. The method has been highly prised for increasing the effectiveness of human resources by harnessing the potential of employee to business advantage. High involvement of employees through consultation has become influential in the immediate work that they do (Ciavarell 2003, P. 6). Consultation is a decision-making tool that ensures the organisation has proper support in the decisions that are made by management. To improve employee relations consultation is used in determining the input of employees in decision-making processes in an organisation. This leads to positive changes that may impact the relationship that employees have with the organisation.

Consultation is used as a management tool that enables management to improve relationships with employees through involving them decision-making process. Management gets close to employees by reducing bottlenecks and the inferiority complex that employees have in the organisation. Welfare (2005, P. 95) suggets that highly consultative organisation have an easy time rolling out new strategies and communication new decisions to employees. Since consultation is based on using employee input in decision-making, then employees have to adapt to the new changes that have been made since they are part of the decisions that have been made. On the other hand consultation improves employee confidence which is important in improving relationships with management.

Growth of workforce in organisations increases the levels of conflict that are experienced within the organisation. As organisations increase in size, group dynamics also increase and thus conflict levels escalate within the organisation. Therefore employee relation strategies should aim at ensuring that conflict is reduced within the workplace to create an environment that is conducive for the organisation (Vandenberghe, Bentei & Stinglhambe 2002, P. 590). Management has to develop skills that maintain harmonious relationships within the organisation to improve interpersonal communication and manage conflict. Marxists argue that conflict arises from scarcity of resources where allocation is biased among employees. Therefore conflict within an organisation is a result of poor management of resources. This entails issues like allocation of duties, distribution of resources and tools of trade that employees rely on to improve work. Learning to manage conflict helps managers resolve employee relations easily. This entails developing conflict resolution mechanisms where management handles them using a standard mechanism within the organisation. This includes establishing proper reporting mechanisms that enable employees to report conflict related issues (Blyton 1998, p. 12). Timely reporting and handling of conflict reduce conflict escalation to secondary problems in the organisation. Therefore management has to ensure that there are proper conflict resolution mechanisms that are put in place to resolve employee-related issues. In some organisations committee are developed to be in charge of such problems that constitute both employee and part of management. This is aimed at improving the relationships within the organisation.

Resolution of conflicting issues

Growth of organisations and expansion of business processes leads to a shift in workforce demographics within the organisations. Organisations are forced to embrace differences and change that is a result of employing people from different cultural diversities. Cultural diversity is the quality of different cultures within an organisation that encompass race, gender, ethnic group, age, personality, cognitive style, tenure, organisational function and education.  Pearce(2008, P. 22) states that ddiversity involves how people perceive others and form relationships that impact the organisation.  Cultural diversity can have both negative and positive effects within the organisation. Work place diversity can be used as a human resource management tool to improve relations within the organisation. Human resource need to embrace diversity through improved communication and providing an environment for adaptability within the organisation. Handling of employees determines how diverse cultures converge together for organisational development. Therefore management has to manage diversity issues by developing plans that allow reporting of multiple employee issues. To manage diversity in the work place, management needs to assess the level of diversity at the workforce and develop a plan to be implemented for managing the diversity in the organisation (Samovar, Porter, McDaniel 2009, P. 21).

Ethics are a set of moral principles relating to a particular group or organisation. , any organisations have established a code of conduct that determines how the employees and management conduct themselves. These ethical values define the organisation and shape the relationships that employees form between themselves, with management and with clients. They form a significant human resource relationship of mutual dependency that greatly impacts the organisation.  George & Jones (2002, P. 17) state that eethical issues entail fair treatment of the workforce and it forms part of the obligation that the organisation has towards employees. On the other hand employees have a moral obligation entails loyalty to the organisation. Organisational culture can be sued to instil ethical behaviour in employees. Kolb’s learning cycle discusses the learning styles that employees go through within an organisation. New employees learn work relationships patterns and ethical issues from their fellow employees through learning what they do. A good organisational culture defines the relationships that exist in the organisation and how people enter into relationships. Organisational culture shapes the behaviours of employees and ensures that people can form relationships that are ethically defined. On the other hand ethical behaviour ensures that employees form relationships that are beneficial to the organisation and minimise conflict at the workplace.

Relationships between management and employees are based on winning the trust and confidence of employees. Managers who have built great teams have developed trust and confidence with their employees through workplace relationships. Positive work relationships are based on trust by creating an environment which is safe and having the interest of others in mind. Therefore managers need to be proactive in creating suitable workplace environments that increase trust and confidence of employees. The fore most thing in winning trust and confidence of employees is through creating personal connection with each employee. Clampitt (2004, P. 15) suggest that cconnection with employees ensures that the manager understands employees and employees understand management through the relationships that they have formed. Through connecting with the employees, managers learn the behaviours and abilities that employees have to make better their abilities and determine the weaknesses that need to be improved to make relationships better. Leadership styles that are also used by management have shaped the way employees trust and build confidence in management (Blyton 1998, P. 22). There is no preferred leadership style that can be used in an organisation but rather different styles can be used to ensure that the leader balances abilities for managing people. Through connecting with employees, the manager emphasises what they have in common with employees by sharing relevant information that can improve relationships.

Embracing of cultural diversity in organisations

Interpersonal communication is the exchange of information between people in an organisation. It is commonly associated with communication between people who are interdependent and have some knowledge of each other. Successful interpersonal communication in organisations is based on understanding communication messages that are relayed from the source to the receiver (Emmers-Sommer, 2004, P. 412). According to symbolic interaction people have shared meanings through interactions that are socio-culturally shaped depending on the environment and context.  The theory further states that the world is made up of social objects with social meanings defined by the social interactions that people have.  In the work environment employees relate at the individual level and the organisational level (Ackerson & Viswanath, 2009, P. 517). The way they communicate between each other is based on interpersonal relationships that they have formed and the meaning that the relationships have on them. People will communicate in the organisation using abstract concepts that carry meanings that relate to the group characteristics that they have. Therefore interpersonal relationships in an organisation alter the style of communication that people have within an organisation. The best way to train employees in improving interpersonal communication is through coaching. This ensures that they learn relevant skills that enable them build strong skills through interpersonal communication. There are a variety of tools that can be used in improving interpersonal communication within the work environment.

Networking is forming social relationships within an organisation using relevant communication channels. Therefore networks consist of a set of relationships that organisations have with different stakeholders. An employee network consists of a set of communication and relationship patterns that employees form to improve communication and connection to each other. Networked groups are based on common aspects that employees share like race, gender, background and experience. The requirements for the groups are socially defined and membership is open to all (Cole, Schaninger & Harris 2007, P. 148). Employees form networks within the organisation to achieve a common course that is similar to the needs that characterise the group. According to Cornelissen (2008, P. 15),  networked groups in an organisation seek to improve employee engagement, deliver substantive content, create a framework for cross-business unit connectivity and idea-sharing, and advance the firm's overall culture of inclusion. The networks are employee led but human resource supported within an organisation to improve business processes and organisational growth. Business networks exist within and outside the organisation to support business processes and organisational development. Diversified organisations have networked employee groups that are based on relationships that employee.

Employee relations are based on management and leaderships patterns that exist in an organisation. O'Hara (2014, PP. 8) suggests that the role of a leader is to provide direction by influencing the members to the direction desired by the organisation. On the other hand management’s role is to plan and coordinate the execution of tasks through allocating resources and tasks to employees in the organisation. Proper leadership, therefore, ensures that the organisation puts structures in place for creating an environment that satisfies the employees. Through connecting with employees management is able to determine issues that affect employees and how relationships that employees form can be improved (Ciavarella 2003, P. 12). To improve employee relations management needs to focus on communication, career development, creating the clear vision, motivation of employees and proper allocation of duties within the organisation.

Motivation leads to job satisfaction and reducing of conflicts within the organisation. To manage employees well Herzberg proposed the two-factor theory based on hygiene factors and motivational factors that shape the way employees behave and approach work. Highly motivated employees enjoy their work environment since their needs are met by the organisation. On the other hand allocation of duties and responsibilities ensures that work is balanced within the organisation. One element that leads to job satisfaction is proper allocation of duties (Rose 2003, P. 11). Properly allocated tasks make employees feel recognised since management develops criteria for allocating tasks that is accepted by all employees. This minimise conflict and ensures that employees stick to their work place. Through allocation of tasks, organisations easily meet their objectives.

Conclusion

Maintaining healthy relationships in an organisation is one of the prerequisites for business success. Employee relationships are related to productivity and employee satisfaction. Pearce(2008, P. 12) argues that organisations that have proper employee relationships do not struggle with resolving employee issues but rather have work influenced relationships that minimise the involvement of employees at the workplace. Good relations make employees feel positive about their identity, their jobs and the role that they play to the overall development of the organisation. Management expects employees to form relationships that are for the better of the organisation through minimising conflict and increasing productivity. On the other hand Clampitt (2004, P. 9) argues that employees expect management to put strategies in place for improving employees’ relations and respecting the role that employees play in the organisation.   Management supports employee relations by investing in employee relation elements like providing conditions that are good for employees to relate and developing an organisational culture that defines the way the organisation conducts itself. Improving employee relations, therefore, requires the effort of both employees and management is setting standards that apply for both parties. However management has the major responsibility for ensuring that there are good relations within the organisations and also establishing mechanisms that can be used to resolve organisational issues. The mechanisms put in place by the organisation should have mechanisms that can be used to analyse the level of relations and how to identify where problems are within the organisation.

References

Ackerson, L. & Viswanath, K., 2009. The Social Context Of Interpersonal Communication and Health. Journal of Health Communication, 14(1), pp. 517-517.

Åmo, B., 2006. Employee innovation behaviour in health care: the influence from management and colleagues. International Nursing Review, 53(3), pp. 231-237.

Blyton T, T. P., 1998. The Dynamics of Employment Relations. London: MacMillan Business.

Ciavarella M, 2003. The adotion of hgh involvement practices and processes in emergent and developing firms; a descriptive and perspective approach. Human Resource Management, 42(4).

Clampitt, P., 2004. Communicating for Managerial Effectiveness. s.l.:Sage Publications.

Cole, M, Schaninger, W, & Harris, S, 2007. The workplace social network exchange: a multilevel, conceptual examination. Group & Organization Management, 27(1), pp. 142-167.

Cornelissen, J., 2008. Corporate Communication: A Guide to Theory and Practice.. 2nd ed. London: Sage publications.

Eisenberger, R., Armeli, S, Rexwinkel, B, Lynch, P, & Rhoades, L, 2001. Reciprocation of perceived organizational suppor. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(1), pp. 42-51.

Emmers-Sommer, T. M., 2004. The effect of communication quality and quantity indicators on intimacy and relational satisfaction.. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 21(3), pp. 399-411.

George J. M., and Jones G. R., 2002. Understanding and Managing Organizational Behavior. 3rd ed. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education..

Goris, J. V. B. &. P. D., 2000. Effects of communication direction on job performance and satisfaction: a moderated regression analysis.. The Journal of Business Communication, 37(4), pp. 348-368.

Miller, K., 2009. Organizational communication: approaches and processes. 5th ed. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

O'Hara, C., 2014. Proven Ways to Earn Your Employees’ Trust. Havrad Business Review, 27 June.

Pearce, B., 2008. Making Social Worlds. Blackwell: Wiley.

Rose, M., 2003. Good deal, Bad deal? Job satisfaction in occupations. Work Employment and society, 17(3).

Samovar, L. P. R. M., 2009. Communication Between Cultures. Boston: Wadsworth CENGAGE Learning.

Welfare, S, 2005. High on the Agenda: employee information and consultation,. IRS employment Review, Volume 833.

Vandenberghe, C., Bentein, K, & Stinglhamber, F, 2002. Affective commitment to the organization, supervisor, and work group: Antecedents and outcomes. Journal of vocational behavior, 87(3), pp. 590-595.

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