A Competitive Advantage”. The article highlights the importance of an effective organizational communication in the success of any organization. Organizational communication can be formal or informal and internal or external. The Human Resource Department (HRD) plays a major role in establishing effective organizational communication especially between the employees and top management. It is the role of the HRD to develop a communication strategy within the organization. HRD must ensure the effectiveness of the communication plan by taking into consideration several points. First, communication should be from the top down to the employees (SHRM, 2008). Second, employees’ voices must always be heard through focus groups (SHRM, 2008). Employee voice increases trust among the supervisors and the decisions made by the company. However, employees must be assured by management that their opinions will be considered in the strategic decisions that the company will make; otherwise, they will feel that management is being unfair in failing to listen to them. Third, all aspects of change, whether positive or negative should be disseminated to the employees (SHRM, 2008). Fourth, communications should always be personalized so that employees will know its impact on them (SHRM, 2008). Lastly, the communication plan should be evaluated to determine its effectiveness (SHRM, 2008).
The primary functions of organizational communication include the sharing of information, viewpoints and feedbacks (SHRM, 2008). Furthermore, in times of changes in the organization, communication is essential to reduce uncertainties and negative perceptions (SHRM, 2008) . Another important role of communication in organizations is in employee engagement and retention. If communication is clear and continuous, employees trust management and become more productive. As a result, there is a low turnover of employees.
Another function of organizational communication is to reach employees in times of crisis (SHRM, 2008). This is usually implemented through e-mails, use of cell phones and through the corporate website.
The article emphasizes the importance of two-way communication supported by organizational justice. The presence of this type of communication in a company promotes trust, satisfaction and commitment among the employees.
The value of effective organizational communication can be seen through the different kinds of channels that companies use to promote internal and external communication. These channels include bulletin boards, intranet, newsletters and emails (SHRM, 2008). With all these channels available, companies must however realize that face-to-face communication is still the best. But with the existence of virtual workplaces, face-to-face communication becomes an impossibility. An organization though should lend support to employees in virtual workplaces to make communication satisfactory and effective. It should be able to provide the “appropriate technology, training and technical support” (SHRM, 2008, p. 5).
Another key point presented by the article are the four levels of organizational communication which are overall organizational communication, inter-organizational communication, group-level communication and interpersonal communication (SHRM, 2008). Interpersonal communication is composed of active listening and mindful communication which are both essential in improving productivity and employee morale (SHRM, 2008).
One other aspect of organizational communication is change management communication. HRD plays a very significant role in this aspect as it is their responsibility to prepare the employees for the change. HRD should be able to convey the vision for the new company, the nature of the integration and the corresponding benefits and the future outcomes of the change (SHRM, 2008).
Effective organizational communication is key to the success of any organization. The HRD is the crucial body which will implement most of the communication strategies and plans. Various communication channels are available to facilitate the interaction needed among employees and top management. What is essential is that there be transparency in all stages of the communication process to gain the trust and respect of the employees so that it will result in greater productivity and satisfaction.
Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 2008. Effective organizational communication: A competitive advantage, s.l.: Society for Human Resource Management.