The observations related to Tam Dental are made as a part of this report where their feedback clearly suggested the fact that there were various instances and situations that had led to miscommunication in the office thus leading to impact on operations. The interviews taken clearly indicated that the communication between the doctors, the staff and other support functions was not adequate.
At the outset the communication related to presence and requirement of the support staff was not fixed due to which there were always chances of ambiguity and confusion. The schedules were not created on the basis of weekly roster or in-patient requirements however they were planned on ad hoc basis as per the requests made by the doctors and hence the occupancy of the support staff was never sufficient to meet the requirements.
Tam dental has been facing some of the major issues with scheduling and on analysis of the interviews it can be easily inferred that the root cause behind this issue is communication gap. The doctors did not maintain hygiene while demanding assistants and cancel or alter their shifts based on their own convenience without giving an advance notice, which results in lack of communication related to the shifts of the assistant supporting the doctors. At the same time, there is no single lane supervisor in control and despite being assigned to a doctor, all dental assistants face the issue of being asked to support another doctor without prior information which causes an adverse impact on their work life balance.
Communication is one of the most important factors for any business or operation and therefore in case of there is any barrier to communication within the organization; it is bound to hamper the overall running a business. Staff behavior may not be appropriate due to lack of adequate communication that talks about the dos and don’ts within the organization. Hence, it becomes extremely important to ensure that all rules and regulations related to staff management, integrity and work-related expectations must be clearly cascaded through both written and verbal communication. There must also be a code that can reflect or communicate about the corrective action policy, which will be applicable in case if the organization’sbehavior code is not followed.
Efficiency improvement can also be done through communication in the right manner, as most of the businesses are dynamic in nature and require continuous information download to the employees which can help them to understand and priorities the work. Tam Dental faced lack of efficiency because of communication gaps between dental assistants and the doctors thus leading to inappropriate priorities and of the tasks. Again, to add to the efficiency feature the missing forecast on the requirement of dental assistants led to unwanted unscheduled absenteeism leading to the requirement of calling assistance on standby thus shelling out quite high hourly pay.
Miscommunication at the workplace can lead to some serious consequences, which can be demotivated employees, drop in the productivity, inappropriate business environment and even lawsuits. Hence, there must be some important steps taken in order to ensure that there are no communication barriers and at the same time the flow of information is a straight and smooth. As a first step, all conflicts must be handled with diplomacy where adequate provisions and information dissemination must be done in order to advice the entire staff that in case if they have any grievances or concerns they are free to walk up to the highest level of authority. Also there must be a complaints mechanism, which should collect employee feedback from time to time, and steps must be taken in order to curb the reasons that are responsible for genuine concerns.
Technology for communication must be used, which can include emails, chats and social media however these should never be considered as an alternative to face-to-face communication and hence it is important for managers, supervisors and other staff to have face-to-face communication at regular intervals. Moving on, it is important to make the employees feel like home and that is only possible if they are given complete ownership of the work that they do. The employees must be given instructions around the expectations from them however they should be free to decide the way they want to execute the same and with regular feedback the output should be managed and continuously improved.
Communication can have different levels and on one hand where it can be easy for an employee to ask for a leave it may be difficult for the same person to report an instance of harassment. Hence, it becomes an important need to create different channels for different kind of communication where a day-to-day communication like a leave application could be given on email however there must be special drop boxes for the employees to give anonymous feedback on grievances that they may have at the workplace.
Communication is a skill and can be learnt. This is because communication is considered to be achieved either externally or internally. There are many ways through which managers can motivate their employees to ensure that they offer the best effort towards achieving the organizational objectives (Frey & Osterloh, pg. 13, 2008). Communication acts as a means through which the gap between an individual’s real state and the organizational desired state is manipulated. Primarily, it is used to induce employees in a particular manner towards objectives exclusively stated by the management (Lindner, pg. 8, 2008). Employee communication procedures are tailored in such a manner that they conform to the organizational goals and policies. Thus, they should be relevant to the system and in line with the management’s requirements.
As a positive reinforcement strategy, communication includes actions such as treating employees fairly, satisfying their needs, setting achievable work-related goals, basing job rewards on performance and effectively restructuring the work environment i.e. through promotion. Different theories have been developed by scholars in an attempt to understand communication theory and how it helps people perform at the workplace. This includes the Herzberg two-factor theory and the Amabile and Kramer’s inner work life theory. Both theories try to develop an understanding of what motivates people at the workplace. This paper will therefore explore the extent to which communication theory is useful in understanding what motivates people at work. To arrive at the conclusions, a statistical analysis including reference to case studies and relevant illustrations will be used in respect to the topic of discussion.
The sample population included two individuals who had at least one year experience working. The questions were open-ended questions in order to get more insight on what motivates employees at the workplace. After the feedback was collected, an analysis was carried out to determine the motivating factors at the workplace. After this, a correlation was carried out between the communication factors and the performance/productiveness of employees. It was established that indeed there exists a correlation between communication of employees and their performance which is a function of productiveness. Moreover, an analysis of the results in relation to two communication theories was conducted to determine the relevance and significance/practical of the theories in helping organizations understand how to motivate their employees. The questions included;
• Q: Do you think the office is running efficiently?
• Q: Do you have an idea how to improve efficiency?
• Q: There are times that the office is short of staff; do you have a solution for that?
• Q: Do you find there’s miscommunication in the office?
• Q: How do you like working at the office?
• Q: Can you tell me more what you dislike and why?
• Q: For scheduling, do you give out your availabilities ahead of time?
• Q: I know Dr. Isaac schedule the staff ahead of time, so you do know what days you are working, so why does this happen?
• Q: Looks like you cannot trust the management level, am I right? If yes, what makes you think this way? And are you planning to do something to overcome this?
• Q: Is there any advices for improving the current situation?
Based on the responses obtained, all the ones that supported the management and way of communication were marked as 100 and the rest were scored as zero. The average of the response was 12.5% satisfaction, which indicates that there is 87.5% dissatisfaction with the current method of how communication is managed at Tam Dental.
Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory
Herzberg’s two-factor theory is a content factor. From his research, he discovered that employee communication and satisfaction could only be understood using a two-step approach. His two factors are hygiene factors and motivator factors. Hygiene factors are majorly concerned with the need of organizations averting repulsiveness at the workplace (Communication Theory). Dissatisfaction at the workplace will exist if the hygiene factors are absent (Communication Theory). These factors include; the quality of supervision, the working conditions, administration and company policy, job security and salary/wages. On the other hand, motivator factors are majorly based on the personal growth as a need for employees at the workplace. Their presence at the workplace leads to job satisfaction and contentment. Normally, above average performance is achieved when motivator factors exist at the workplace. These factors include; employees gaining recognition, responsibility, status, opportunity for advancement, stimulating/challenging work and a sense of personal growth and personal achievement at the workplace (Communication Theory).
According this theory in relation to the data that was collected; there exist various pieces of evidence that clearly indicate a de-motivated workforce in an organization. These include poor service quality and poor production, low productivity, go-slows and strikes amo0ng employees and persistent complains about the working conditions and payment. Herzberg notes that management has to take up the task of rearranging responsibilities at the workplace in order that motivator factors can take effect (Communication Theory). The scholar goes ahead to suggest various ways through which this can be achieved. These include job enrichment, job rotation and job enlargement. Most employees feel diminished when they are stuck at the same job position for long. Employees need recognition; they need to be identified with the management. In essence, the management needs to recognize them and give them opportunities for advancement. Employees who are not promoted feel unrecognized and this can adversely affect their performance at the workplace. Employees are also humans and they need status (Communication Theory). Most people gain on their personal growth when they have a status. When employees are stimulated to improve on their personal growth, it also reflects the above average performance that they will put forth. It should be noted that most employees need responsibility and a more defined state of the workplace free from challenging and stimulating work that does not equally correspond to the kind of remuneration they receive from the organization. Responsibility leads to a situation where employees can work on their personal achievement and objectives for the benefit of the organization and for personal growth (Frey & Osterloh, pg. 56, 2008). In essence, it can be noted that employees at the workplace exist on two communication facets, the motivator factors and the hygiene factors.
Amabile and Kramer’s Inner Work Life Theory
According to the two scholars, communication is affected depending on how employees complete their work (Progress Theory). They suggest that people’s performance and communication can be boosted when there exist progress and small steps in their work history (Progress Theory). It does not matter how small the progress is in an employee’s course of working at the organization. According to research conducted by Professor Amabile and Kramer, when employees constantly make forward steps (including the smallest steps forward) on significant projects, they become more productive, more creative and have the best interpersonal relationships with their employers and fellow workers (Progress Theory). Notably, productiveness, creativeness and good interpersonal relationships are all functions of success and good performance. It should be noted that when this small wins and steps are recognized and achieved it assists in having a rich and engaged workforce that is productive. The main goal of a the management team is to have a productive force that is engaged and productive and given their good interpersonal relationships are ready to work in unity for the common good of both the company and the individual employees. Employees need a sense of recognition for the work they do. This helps them identify well with fellow workers and the management team.
Amabile and Kramer developed six things that can be done by the management to give the employees an opportunity to experience and recognize significant progress. This includes Setting clear goals and objectives, allowing autonomy, providing the necessary resources, allowing ample time, providing support and expertise and learning from failure. First setting clear goals and objectives give employees something to focus on. Notably, working on a common goal as a team usually yields the best results. Employees expect the goals set by the organization to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely) (Progress Theory). This gives them a chance to establish what is expected of them and when it is expected (Amabile and Kramers). On the other hand it should be noted that employees need some form of freedom to decide how they need to accomplish the objectives (Employee Communication, the Organizational Environment and Productivity). This autonomy gives employees control such that they are empowered and become creative. It also gives them a chance to recognize and evaluate their own achievements no matter how small (Craig).
Above all, it should be noted that failure is always part of success course. No matter how well employees plan, prepare and work on their mandate, there will instances when they fail on this projects or tasks. Honest failure should not be treated harshly, Employees always feel afraid and bad when treated harshly when they fail (Progress Theory). It lowers their morale and brings in the ‘fear of the unknown’ where they are afraid of trying new things (Amabile and Kramers). Failure should not be seen as a waste of time; rather, it should be seen as an experience where the organization through employees learns their mistakes. In essence, managers should always avoid blame games and discuss on how to move forward. Basically, the management should learn to recognize and celebrate/appraise success. Employees should be encouraged to keep track of their achievements and success to give them a sense of personal growth and achievement (Importance of Communication). This will make them feel motivated and eventually lead to the best performance. Small steps forward by the employees should be appreciated through rewards. It does not mean that it should be monetary; it can be anything including a sincere ‘thank you’. Apart from this, employees should be encouraged to celebrate by recognizing their small successes despite how small they may be(Craig)..
Lastly, communication is a two way process and if either of the sides are closed then issues will creep in from both the sides. Hence, it is important that organizational communication is planned in such a way that it is both coming from leadership to the employees and there should be adequate routes to sources information from executives to chief executive. It may also be required to align the communication to adequate owners so that the response of the communication is fairly adequate as flow of information to wrong party or owner will also end up closing the doors as no responsible decision making will be possible. Conclusively, communication strategy should be the focus of management as inappropriate communication with put a stop on the growth prospects of an organization.
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