Different organizations have different technical languages that they use in their communications. More often than not, people outside a particular field or profession find it hard to understand the technical language used in a particular organization. For instance, professionals in the health field often talk about PPS (prospective payment system), PPO (preferred provider organization), and HMO (health maintenance organization). Obviously, not everybody that uses the English language knows what is being said. This problem is even worse at lower levels in the organization where the workers do not need to know much about the emerging concepts in the field. Over and above, they may not have had formal education in which such technical language was discussed .
If technical language must be used, employees can be taught to understand the language. As much as this can be costly, it is necessary for supervisors to devote resources for such a purpose. Once the junior members in an organization get to learn the technical language, communication would be faster and much more effective than when they rely on translations. This will lead to faster problem identification. The faster the problem is identified, the quicker solutions will be generated, and the faster the decision making will be than when employees don’t understand the language used.
People form informal social groups on the basis of mutual interests and personalities that are compatible. Employees getting along with each other and developing respect for one another is a good thing. If employees get along well, they get to respect one another’s opinions, which is a great step towards effective nominal group technique, of solving problems in the organization. It becomes an issue when employees form groups that conflict with each other and develop rivalries .
When a clique emerges, supervisors can shift work assignments to break it up. It is, also, prudent that the supervisor discusses the issue and implications with a progressive personnel manager or supportive manager. The supervisor can also make questionnaires on how the employees think they can work better. This will ensure everybody’s idea is taken into account. Supervisors should not allow discussions to turn into arguments. Discussions should be equally done among all the ideas presented. Discussions should be done for the primary purpose of clarification; it is not meant to resolve differences of opinion.
Each idea should be discussed in turn. The wording should be changed when the one from whom the idea came from agrees. Ideas can only be stricken from the list if there is a unanimous agreement to do so. This makes the employees feel important, and not despised.
In the health field, the use of profanity can be a bother to both the staff and patients. Profanity can be counterproductive to work, in the case of staff, and to healing, in the case of patients. There is an exception whereby profanity can be used to draw attention or to display emotional interest . Supervisors should hold meetings with their employees and discuss on the kind of profanity that is acceptable and that which is unacceptable. They can get suggestions from the employees to ensure that they involve them fully in the decision making process. This will make the employees valued, which will motivate them in their work.
The distance between the sender and the receiver of information can create problems in communication. This factor affects two-way communications, especially the supervisor-subordinate communication. The subordinates may feel alienated from the normal flow of communications. It is the duty of the supervisor to develop an atmosphere that encourages the flow of information. The supervisor needs to give proper feedback to messages in a timely manner regardless of the distance.
Competition is good. It leads to increased productivity and successfulness of an organization that generates income. Competition becomes a drawback when employees within the organization compete too much with each other. Cooperate attitude is very crucial for the organization. Supervisors should encourage and reward an open and cooperate work situation. This will encourage employees to work together and exchange information with each other in a positive manner .
Supervisors should create an atmosphere of openness and honesty with their subordinates. This encourages respect for employee views and increases the probability of productivity and job satisfaction .
Poor spatial arrangements in an organization are as a result of communication problems. The furniture, equipment, partitions, overcrowding, and immobility in the office restricts eye contact, prevents effective feedback, and generally promote an uncomfortable work environment. In such situations, effective communication can pacify the situation by removing the physical barriers, if possible. The needs of the employees should be taken into consideration, and their input should be encouraged in the planning of the change. This will lead to increased participation and improved communication.
In training, the subordinates do not have as clear an understanding of the material. Therefore, the supervisor should explain messages fully by giving the necessary background and supplying additional information to enable the subordinate to understand the message clearly. If the message is understood clearly, it is easy for employees to put practice whatever they have been trained in. Training the employees is very crucial in order to equip them with the current trends in the market, and they’ll feel part of the decision making process in the organization.
Supervisors use communication to lead, motivate, influence, control, evaluate, or direct . Employees are actors who make attributions about others’ behaviour, negotiate role requirements, and influence their supervisors.
Communication helps one know how an organization functions and guides one on how to behave in organizations for one to advance in their career. Organizations undergo tremendous transformations as time passes. In a survey that was done some time back, 73% of the executives in that survey said that their organizations had gone through great changes in 2 years .
Organizations are required to embrace change, use different communication and distribution systems, devoting more attention to diversity. Diversity within and between organizations presents significant challenges and opportunities. When members of an organization differ from one another along one or more important dimensions, diversity exists . Differences in opinions do exist among the workers. This is not a bad thing in the nominal group technique. Each opinion should be taken into account with due consideration.
Communication is based on the meaning attached to behaviour by those participating. So, even when good intentions are behind certain activities, people respond to what is observed. Communication is transactional. It is the study of behaviour that elicit or produce meaning between and within individuals, groups, or organizations.
Employees should understand that the organizational functions and personal implications of messages often do not coincide. Work places people in sustained contact with one another, which fosters the development of friendships. It is easy to find common interests, backgrounds, and so on.
The work creates tensions within friendships, especially between individuality and community. Too much contact can smother the relationships between friends and create tensions. Other tensions that arise involve organizational roles. If both parties are open, honest, and nonjudgmental, friendships will be stable. Organizational roles require people to evaluate one another’s work, especially in supervisor-subordinate relationships and in work teams, and organizational situations usually limit the kinds of information that coworkers can share with one another .
There are some positions that involve controlling scarce resources. Resource control gives people power by enabling them to reward or punish. Resource control allows employees to persuade others to share some of the assets that they control. When people voluntarily give something to someone else, the recipient feels pressure to reciprocate.
People who occupy central positions in communication networks are perceived as experts and generally are part of many interpersonal relationships. Individuals who have many friends are seen as being more expert and having access to more information than other people. Perceptions of others merge and overlap into complicated overall images. Individuals or units of organizations are seen as being powerful or powerless depending on the composite image that their communicative acts establish in the minds of other members of their organization.
In supervisor-subordinate communication, the supervisor should make the effort to create and maintain favourable attitudes along with quality performance by directing evaluation efforts in part toward the relationship as perceived by the individual involved .
Appraising employees offers opportunities for relational growth and for challenges that require skillful handling. Before and during the employee appraisal interview, supervisors and their employees present and confront their own identity, behavioural, and evaluative real and ideal self-concepts. The outcome of the evaluation process depends on how well each reveals symbolic information to the other that clarifies and specifies the nature of self-object relationships important to the other.
There are two common supervisor-subordinate communication problems that arise. They affect efficiency and productivity. They are job-related stress and employee alienation.
Job-related stress results when two or more supervisors give a subordinate inconsistent information. People’s opinions and behaviours are influenced by the mean value of the information received from others important to them. This implies that if two or three supervisors give a subordinate conflicting pieces of advice, he or she will get confused, and would not know which information to follow. This results in stress. Supervisors should give consistent information to employees.
Employee alienation results when supervisors tend to use technical language that the subordinates don’t understand, or don’t even know. This can be solved by doing employee training such that everybody understands what is going on. This, in turn, will lead to increased productivity.
Nominal group technique helps to organize thoughts with regard to one question . It is a valuable tool in exploring people’s opinions and priorities .
In an organization, there is a need to employ all modes of communication: horizontal communication, downward communication, upward communication and diagonal communication. Reporting is also a form of organizational communication.
Horizontal communication is between the people of the same rank in any organization. Horizontal communication is important for coordination between various departments, which helps in effective decision-making and participation of involved individuals and groups. For instance, in order to achieve the target of production for a given month, the production managers will hold a discussion. This is a perfect example of horizontal communication. In upward communication, the supervisor reports to the general manager regarding the present state of the work.
If the management distributes the copy of the recently decided upon new salaries and incentive scheme among the workers, this is spiral communication. In spiral communication, employees should be involved in the decision to be made. After an agreement has been arrived at, the management communicates with everybody on what has been deliberated on. This gives all employees a sense of participation.
Communication between people of different hierarchy is used to quicken the process of information flow. It improves understanding and coordinates efforts to achieve the objectives of the organization. Such a movement of information is referred to as diagonal communication. Supervisors should be approachable, such that employees can relay their ideas to them easily without feeling threatened.
All modes of communication need to be employed to get the work done and to make progress. One-way communication from top to bottom results in failures and delays, in the achievement of the goals. This is often the case in government departments. If a private organization falls into the pattern of one-way communication, it will fall in due course.
Nominal group technique is a method of generating priority information. It is one of the most commonly used formal consensus development methods. It obtains the views of experts on a giveb topic, and brings about group consensus . Nominal group technique is applied in problem identification, by helping generate the correct questions; developing solutions; and establishment of priorities for action .
The main advantage of the nominal group technique is that it enhances the opportunity for all those who are participating to contribute many ideas and minimizes the domination of the process by more confident individuals . The major disadvantage of this technique is that it lacks the generalizability of the results to the wider population since the participants have specific characteristics which require a follow-up survey to make final decisions .
Employees at various levels in an organization must be encouraged to engage in informal communication. This is because informal communication brings a sense of participation and enriches the professional and personal lives of the workers. Informal communication, however, must be kept distinct from rumours to provide a good working experience. Informal communication exists more at low levels of the organization than high levels. Man is a social animal. Therefore, in spite of the existence of formal channels in an organization, the informal channels will always develop as one interacts with other people in the organization. Grapevine communication is unavoidable. It flows in all directions with ease.
Nominal group technique is such an important problem solving method in any organization. It is even much more important in large organizations than in small organizations. It gives the employees a sense of participation. This in turn leads to increased production in the organization.
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