What is the value of reflecting on and evaluating a communication process after a crisis or challenging event?
After a crisis an organization should engage in effective communication process to evaluate the causes of the challenging incident. The benefits for this communication process are enormous and multidimensional. In crisis management a deep understanding of the risks involved in the event. The first objective of the communication process is to identify the type of crisis that the management has to deal with. There are different types of crisis that can occur in an organization. In a natural crisis the organization management does not have a control over the crisis. The responsibility of the management is to control the effects of the crisis and also develop mitigation structures to avert negative effects to the organization in case of occurrence of another. The communication process also helps in solving confrontation crisis in an organization. It is through effective communication that the root cause of a confrontation can be identified. Once the cause is identified the solution can be effectively communicated to the involved parties to avert a future crisis.
In a crisis that involves organizational misdeeds the communication process helps in identifying the deviation from the organizational values and principles. Once the deviation is identified then a solution that reflects the organizational culture and principles can be derived. Moreover, it is the result of the communication process that elements of an effective risk management process can be deduced. Evaluating a communication process after an incident is instrumental in the enhancing the workplace code of practice. The evaluation is capable of identifying gaps in the skills available in individuals as well as the entire organization. When a management is fully aware of the gaps that exist within its workforce then it is possible to develop solutions through its training programs. Moreover, the evaluation can be able to identify the effectiveness of the process implemented within the organization to deal with an existing crisis.
What should you have done differently with your organizational scenario that might have helped you formulate a better analysis or resolution?
In the process of identifying the resolution some issues could have been done differently to ensure an effective process. The selection of the crisis communication team should have been done in an all-inclusive approach. This should have included all the departments affected by the crisis. It is pertinent to note that the view of an issue from one department is totally different from the view from another department. The crisis communication tem should be holistic to ensure a balanced representation of opinions and facts. Unfortunately this was not done in the organizational scenario presented.
Another issue which seemed to have been neglected is the selection of the team’s spokesperson. It is pertinent to select an individual with an effective and wide range of communication skills. Moreover, a training program should be established to ensure spokesperson representing the organization is sensitive to some of the pertinent issues affecting influencing the occurrence of events. The communication team failed to establish an effective notification system. There multiple options available to ensure an effective notification process. The most commonly used approach is the use of a centralized messaging server. This is where short messages are sent to the target recipients on a regular basis to ensure that every one is updated with the current affairs. This is more effective than presenting a final report that does not provide a step by step documentation of its development.
However, the process was successful in identifying all the stakeholders and discussing about the consequences faced by them in different ways. The brainstorming meetings should have been held more regularly than they were done. The session would be instrumental in identification of potential incidents related to the first one. Moreover, effective prevention strategies would be developed.
What research methods should you use to collect data to evaluate the effectiveness of your organizational communication analysis?
The most appropriate research method for collecting data for analysis regarding organizational communication is a mixed research method. This is a research method that includes both qualitative and quantitative data. The data will be collected through two main data collection tools which include interviews and questionnaires. The interviews will be performed for a few individuals in senior management positions. The interviews will include open ended questions were the respondents have the option of giving their detailed opinions regarding the existing organizational communication structures and practices. It is pertinent to note that an evaluation of one way communication practices as well as two – way communication practices require the opinion of both the recipient and the sender’s opinions. The electronic questionnaires will be developed and distributed to random employees within the organization via email. It is pertinent to note that the questionnaires will provide both qualitative and quantitative data regarding the organization communication structures. These two data acquisition tools will provide a comprehensive description of the organizational communication scenario.
The process of preventing occurrence of future communication crises incorporates monitoring structures, problem identification procedures as well as an elaborate code of conduct. The code of conduct incorporates the steps to be adopted when a scenario demands communication skills. One of the most pertinent approaches towards solving future organizational communication problems is strategic planning. An organization should always plan ahead in all areas affecting its operations. For an organization to effectively develop structures for an effective organization communication platform all employees must be onboard. This will involve engaging its employees in skill development programs where they enhance their communication skills.
Moreover, the organization should implement an employee response structure. This is where the views of employees are put into consideration and acted upon. This will also encourage employees to engage in constructive dialogue across the organization. A risk communication strategy development will be instrumental in strengthening the organizational communication capability of the organization. The establishment of an effective code of conduct will be instrumental in eliminating uncertainty in the activities of employees. Uncertainty in the work environment results to a low employee morale as well as diminished trust levels between colleagues. However, once the uncertainty regarding communication structures is eradicated employees will be motivated to relay information through different directions.
Another element that will be introduced through an elaborate code of conduct in the organization will be consistency in the messages that employs receive coherent messages across an organization help in averting any crisis (Putnam, 2006).
What communication theories did you consider in your analysis? Evaluate how well you applied them.
The communication theories incorporated in the analysis include the organizational communication as well as interpersonal communication and relations theory. The organizational communication theory provides a clear description of the flow of information across an organization. It is pertinent to note that whenever there is a crisis in an organization it implies that there is a breakdown in the organizational communication structure.
The organizational communication theory was effectively applied to describe the failure of the management to prevent the crisis early enough. The interpersonal communication theory describes the flow of information between direct contacts this describes how well one employees relays information to another employee. In instances of a crisis the crisis communication team should be able to relate well with each other. The good relations will help in developing amicable solutions for the crisis.
There are several aspects of this course that I find useful in my professional in the future. The interpersonal and relations theory is the most important for professional advancement. This theory will be instrumental in learning from mentors as well as other individual’s senior than me in the profession. Most importantly it will enable me understand human behavior well and use every opportunity to the maximum for the benefit of society as well as acquisition of knowledge. With well-developed communication skills and relations techniques it is possible to develop helpful relationships with different people in the same line of interest.
Research techniques such as effective interviewing are instrumental in advancing a profession. Other research techniques that will be useful in the future include other data collection techniques as well as data analysis techniques. Emulating both qualitative and quantitative research strategies will be instrumental in appreciating the complexity of phenomena. The different research methods are useful in comprehensively describing real life situations. Moreover, this research techniques help in developing scientific basis for different phenomenon (Downs, & Adrian, 2004).
How did your communication analysis synthesize what you have learned in your BS/COM program?
The communication analysis helped in developing multiple learning opportunities. First through the communication analysis process it was possible to appreciate the functionality of an organization at different levels of management. It is pertinent to acknowledge that effective communication in an organization is necessary for good performance. It was through the communication analysis that the needs of an organization in terms of structures are revealed. For consistency in the messages relayed to the public as well as employees in an organization stringent policies must be in position. The organizational communication structures should be implemented by the management through a collaborative approach with all stakeholders. In times of organizational crisis individuals with effective communication skills are pertinent to ensure that flow of sensitive information is useful to the solution development process.
This program was aimed at equipping participants with knowledge on effective management practices within an organization setting. Management heavily relies on communication to successfully attain its objective. In the business world information is powerful and can create a big difference between a successful organization and failing one. The communication analysis was instrumental in learning the different elements of a communication process. Every element of a communication process must be well suited for the purpose. The message as well as the message carrier should be sufficiently evaluated before the process is initiated (Zaremba, 2010).
The analysis synthesized situations that required critical thinking. This was an instrumental aspect of enhancing the decision making process. Developing good decision making skills is one of the key objectives of any business program. Moreover, I learnt the multiple causes of a crisis in an organization and the techniques to be used to solve the crisis. Organizational leadership and mentorship programs involve communication challenges. The communication analysis was a good preparation for these programs to advance in the profession. The acquisition of research techniques was enhanced by the tasks involved in the development of the communication analysis.
Downs, C. W., & Adrian, A. D. (2004). Assessing organizational communication: strategic communication audits. New York: Guilford Press.
Putnam, L. L. (2006). Organizational communication. London [etc.: SAGE.
Zaremba, A. J. (2010). Organizational communication (3rd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.