Communication is one of the most important things for any organization to succeed. A communication structure is an organized system that an organization has put in place to guide its daily operations. It stipulates how the employees are to behave at the workplace. An effective communication system helps managers of the organization in performing basic management functions like leading, planning, controlling and organizing. For managers and other employees to carry out their duties and responsibilities effectively, communication is the foundation of it all. There must be efficient and swift transfer of information between different workers and departments.
An effective communication structure is important for organizations because of several reasons. First, it is an information source to members of the organization to help in decision making processes since it helps identify and asses various courses of action. A communication structure also helps in the controlling of employees’ behavior. This is done through hierarchy levels and provision of guidelines and principles for employees to abide by. With an efficient communication structure in the organization, it is easy to ensure that members are complying and performing efficiently. Through such a structure, the employees will be able to communicate their problems at work to their superiors as well as their progress. Communication structures can facilitate the altering of employees’ attitude.
The managers can use the communication skills to encourage and change the attitudes of employees who have wrong attitudes at the work place. This goes hand in hand with the promotion of motivation within the organization. This will be done through clarifying and informing employees about their tasks and how well to perform them. Finally, a communication structure within an organization will play an important duty in the socialization and interaction of the employees amongst themselves and the management. This kind of communication structure requires dedicated, proficient and effective transfer of information. The manager should ensure that there no communication barriers. An effective communication structure in an organization will help identify and analyze potential barriers and help find preventive measures. This is why every manager should have a communication structure in the organization.
Concepts of a good communication structure
An efficient communication has to have several characteristics. It has to be an elaborate structure with certain features and concepts that can facilitate effective and clear communication. Communication should also be done in line with the organization’s structure, which is it must follow the hierarchy. There are six major concepts that the manager has to adhere to when formulating a communication structure. The six concepts include; active listening, conflict resolution, organizational culture, leadership strategies, important principles of interpersonal communication and a formal and informal communication system.
Active listening is a technique of communication which stimulates frank and open sharing and exploration of feelings and ideologies when two or more individuals establish a working rapport and trust between them. This involves one individual listening keenly to what another is saying, internalizes it without making any judgments then clarifying their feelings and ideas to the first individual. The key to active listening is to focus entirely on what one individual is trying to put forward so as to grasp the concepts and ideas being put across accurately. In an organization’s setting, the manager should ensure that all employees adhere to the concept of active listening so as to help them get instructions and directives correctly. If the workers have good active listening skills, they are more likely to perform more effectively and be more productive than those who do not adhere to active listening.
The manager should ensure that the organization’s communication structure has an active listening concept. The technique of active listening should be instilled into the minds of employees. He employees should be able to face the speaker during meetings or conversations, maintain eye contact and avoid any kind of distractions. They should then respond appropriately as they listen while still focusing solely on what the speaker is trying to put across. The listener should have an open mind with minimal internal distractions. They should also avoid interrupting the speaker even when they are being accused of something. The employers should also be engaging listeners who ask questions to seek clarifications whenever they feel they have not understood anything. This will ensure that the communication structure has a strong foundation in the organization.
An organizational culture is the identity of the organization. The manager should ensure that the concept of organizational culture is well embedded into the organizational structure. Culture consists of norms, values and tangible signs associated with a given organization and its members and behavior. The communication structure of the organization should adhere to the organization culture so that the workers can easily adapt to it and identify with it. For instance, in a corporate organization, the culture can be viewed as a system whose inputs is feedback from professions, society, heroes, stories, laws and values on service and competition. The process originates from norms, values and assumptions like the organization’s values on money, facilities, time, people and space. The outputs, which are also the effects of the organization culture, include technologies, organizational behavior, strategies, products, image, appearance and services. The communication structure should be easily identified with by the employees for easy and effective communication.
The organization culture concept is also important in the management of the organizational changes. Using a well established organizational culture, the management of an organization can easily use its communication structure to effect organization-wide changes. This is because the organizational changes involve altering processes, structures and culture of the organization. An effective communication system facilitates quick transfer of information through the hierarchy when instructions and feedback are passed from one level to another or between departments. The organizational culture can help in facilitating information sharing between employees. The organizational culture should be one that favours quick transfer of information. The organization should emphasize on time management, information sharing, efficient and accurate transfer of information and generally value communication in the organization. Only then will the concept of organizational culture facilitate and enhance the efficiency of the communication structure in an organization.
Another concept that is important in establishing a good communication structure is conflict resolution. Most of the time, conflicts at the work place are common in all organizations. This arises because of variations in expectations, values, discipline and needs. Conflicts do not necessarily imply that the organization is in turmoil. The managers should charge themselves with the duty of ensuring that the working environment thrives all the time. The manager should be ready to mediate between conflicting departments or individuals. This is because effective conflict resolution promotes professional and personal growth. Conflict resolution increases the understanding among workers, promotes teamwork and cohesion as well as improving self knowledge of individuals.
The concept of conflict resolution requires a strong foundation of a communication structure. Usually, conflicts arise because of misunderstandings and poor communication. Solving the conflicts also requires a good communication structure in the organization. The managers of the organization should promote the conflict resolution process in the organization by establishing an efficient communication structure. The communication structure will help in understanding conflict styles and their respective resolution processes.
Principles of human communication
Human communication is guided by different principles which are all important concepts of the communication structure in any given organization. The workers should all have interpersonal communication skills which will enable them express themselves in every circumstance. There are four major principles of interpersonal communication principles. First, human communication is irreversible. This is so because once something is said by someone, it cannot be taken back and the effect of what is said remains whatever happens. Therefore, individuals should learn to think before saying anything in an organization to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings.
Another principle is that human communication is inescapable. Everything that an individual does communicates something. Even shutting up and staying away from fellow workers communicates something to other people. Therefore, communication is not only about speech but every action an employee does. The behavior of someone depicts their intention and character. The third principle of human communication is that human communication is complicated. It I believed that all forms of communication are complex because they involve several aspects which all need to be understood. The fourth principle of human communication is that human communication is contextual. This means that there is no communication that takes place is isolation. Every form of communication relates to something, someone or somewhere. Contexts could be relational, psychological, environmental, situational or cultural.
The human communication principles are important concepts in the establishment of a communication structure in an organization because they are the guidelines as to how the communication structure will work. The managers have to decide the various contexts, in which the structure will be used and specify the various complex areas associated with the structure. More so, the management will use the other two principles in ensuring that the communication standards are as efficient as possible. The managers and all workers will have to understand the interpersonal communication principles in order to effectively establish and use a communication structure.
Leadership strategy is an important concept in the establishment and implementation of a good communication structure in an organization. The employees should be under a strong and effective leadership. The management should engage in effective leadership strategies that will ensure that there is inspiration and teamwork among the workers. This will enhance trust and confidence at the work place. The positive strategies are aimed at enhancing belief and work ethic of the workers. Positive strategies involve several steps before they yield an effective communication structure.
The leadership should develop their own culture priorities to ensure there is a strong organizational culture. An organizational culture, as mentioned before is very important in determining the success of the communication structure. For instance, the Atlanta Falcons developed a winning culture based on attitude and synergy when Mike Smith took the reins when the team was facing the Michael Vick scandal. The leadership should also share their vision with the employees and include everyone in the implementation of these strategies. The strategies should be clearly stated and simple for everyone to understand and adhere to them. More often, the leaders must always meet to assess the progress of their implementation process and also establish whether there is room for improvement in terms of strategies. The leadership should be able to turn the challenges the organization faces into strong points of the organization.
The leadership strategies in the development of a good communication structure because the leaders use strategies that will promote efficient and fast communication within the organization. The strategies will help the employees learn from the prevailing challenges and try to improve on what they do. It will also present them with new opportunities and new actions to undertake. The communication structure of the organization will be developed around the strategies of the company. The management will want to ensure that the concept of organizational strategy is well understood by all employees by ensuring that the communication structure is elaborately and efficiently developed to ensure proper communication in the organization. For instance, the Atlanta Falcon used the strategy of attitude, synergy and team culture at a time when they were facing scandal challenges. The leadership will choose between visioning, command and control and tactical approaches to use in developing their strategy.
Formal and Informal communication
In an organization, communication involves sharing information for various objectives like motivation, persuading or influencing. Formal communication is managed and organized information shared among specific individuals with the objective of coordinating activities in the organization. Usually, formal communication is from the top of the hierarchy downwards, from top managers to junior workers. This information is usually specific and planned, for instance, data and reports which are prepared and presented in a particular manner. Formal communication usually covers the whole company strategies and provides direction to the rest of the company. A good formal communication system means highly performing employees and staff and management.
Informal communication entails the social and emotional aspect of workers at their workplace. It has more to do with their relationship with colleagues. This form of communication is usually not planed or managed in any way. The employees are left to interact as the wish to as long as they adhere to the rules of the organization. This mode of communication helps in the spread of information since it is done by word of mouth. However, it might be marred by rumors and exaggeration. It is also known to release tension and anxiety among workers. Therefore, the informal and formal communication is important in establishing a communication structure that will enhance formality as well as informality to the good of the organization. A good communication structure has both a formal and informal communication system both of which are governed by particular rules.
Therefore, communication structure in any given organization has to be aimed at enhancing the organization’s efficiency and management. A good communication structure has the six main concepts that facilitate the formulation and implementation of the communication structure. These concepts are organizational culture, active listening, important interpersonal communication principles, formal and informal communication, conflict resolution and leadership strategies.
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