A vital instrument of success in a business is effective communication. In this context, success is to be able to achieve a certain task or an objective easily. For a business to prosper, good working relationships with customers or fellow employees is vital for that success. Conveying relevant information in any form that is easily understood indicates an effective business communication strategy that involves relaying information which is appropriate not only for decision-making but is able to stimulate the business through public relations or advertising. In this case study, I have attempted to make a comparison of two different approaches of business communication that have been adopted by two managers in my organization and record observations regarding the effectiveness of their communication strategy.
Accomplishing a shared understanding of the objective by the concerned department in a business marks an effective communications strategy. It inspires company personnel to take essential actions needed to complete the objectives and reach the organization’s goals, because the information flow is directed in a proper way. Many barriers in the business are overcome through effective communication alone, as co-workers and executives are encouraged to think more about innovative practices. The ability to properly utilize modern business communication channels is very important for senior executives in the organization, for the company to be able to run its business smoothly today. The email communication channel, for example, is very beneficial in corporations. Training in composing business emails and memos are very helpful and if standard business email writing designs are followed, it makes the senior executive’s jobs much easier.
In my organization, we have two senior management executives, Mr. Marambi and Mr. Jamal. Mr Marambi is the Company’s Human Resource (HR) Manager and Mr. Jamal is the Technical Operations Manager. Both occupy very senior management roles in the Company and are tasked with making important decisions for the company on a routine basis. The nature of their roles requires them to communicate with their staff and junior staff on a regular basis in order to coordinate their operations and ensure that each sub department is efficiently performing their role. The HR Manager and the Operations Manager, both use mostly similar communication channels to relay messages to their subordinates. The primary communication channel is the organization’s webmail that is assigned to each employee with a unique address. Most formal communication is performed through email memorandums by both of them, whereas notices are sent through printed hard copies. Mobile communications are sometimes used to issue urgent messages through SMS, whereas social media communication channels are kept for informal discussions. Mr. Jamal is more active on that level than Mr. Marambi. Other than that, face to face communication is used by both, according to the situational requirements. In this regard, I observed that basic communication channels used by both of them is similar.
Despite having similar basic communicating strategies, it is common observance that Mr. Jamal is a far effective communicator than the HR Manager. According to my observance, this is due to a number of factors that play a role. One of the difference in approaches is the time given to team members by the operations manager in order to listen to them. When the operations manager encourages a two way communication approach, by letting employees open up, it helps him be well-guided before making a decision related to them. Even though the HR Manager also allows feedback, it was commonly felt that it was limited and most face to face or group conversations he has focus more on him telling everyone else what to do in a situation. Constant feedbacks after a decision that effects the employees is also a good way in developing proper working relationship with them and it makes the employees feel part of the company’s progress. This motivates them to perform better in effect. Effective communication is not only about which strategies are used but how well a particular strategy is used. In this case during a group meeting, the Operation’s Manager is adept in creating a receptive atmosphere even in a tense situation. He is able to combine a small amount of humor with articulation and an appropriate tone. The message is often conveyed through use of visual aids, presentations and videos. Even if there is reprimand, it is quickly followed by appreciation using simple and encouraging words, a known method of effective communication (Belonwu, 2013). In group meetings, the HR Manager was observed to be serious in addressing faced by the employees and providing solutions to them according to his judgement. The presentations he uses are more technical and less elaborative in nature, and although it is relayed in a confident and serious manner, yet there is an atmosphere of tension observed during the meetings, that discouraged employees to provide their feedback on the solutions. As an effective communicator, Mr. Jamal clarifies not only what he wants done but why it is important for the company, while making sure that there is a minimum of uncertainty in the environment, in order that the other individual can move forward (Coughlin, 2013).
Another difference in communication approaches between the two managers is how they post announcements and news related to the company. The HR Manager prefers to communicate important updates via email, however a lot of employees do not regularly read the emails. The Operations Manager combines the use of email and social media to post regular updates even when they are not related to his own line of responsibility. Frequent use of notices that are regularly updated helps employees be on the same page in relation to the latest developments in the company, such as a new product launch or a rebranding decision, etc (EDUCBA, 2016). The HR Manager often displays notices about the company’s mission and his expectations from the employees along with listing top performing employees, whereas the Operation’s manager uses a notice board that shares information such as Company values, communication approaches, tips and ideas on team work, team pictures, and even challenges faced by the company by using infographics. The impact it creates is the employees see the fruits of their work or the consequences of non-compliance not just by being reprimanded about it, but by studying it themselves, thus leading to more introspection.
The key advantage that the Operations Manager enjoys over the HR Manager in being able to deliver a better message to the employees is by paying attention to little but effective strategies that captures the employee’s interest. Both managers are sincere and highly valued by the organization, but by being more empathetic and patient with the employee needs, and requirements of each department, it helps them feel connected with the organization and hence motivated to perform more productively (Anderson, 2011).
It is understandable that communication is a complex human skill that requires great attention to master, and that not everyone who performs well is a great communicator. Therefore it is important to check our communication approaches. To be able to effectively communicate with anyone is not possible unless their interests, needs, expectations or concerns are understood. This not only holds true in the corporate world but in our personal lives as well. Effective business communication first requires taking time to listen to the other person’s perspective and come up with an appropriate response. Mr. Jamal as an effective communicator is able to induce more productivity out of the departments and employees that answer to him using a variety of successful approaches. This not helps in employee productivity but helps his operations department take better decisions for the foreseeable future.
Anderson, G. Z. (2011, March 14). Best Practices: Your Approach to Great Communication. Retrieved March 8, 2018, from Business Communications: https://managementhelp.org/blogs/communications/2011/03/14/best-practices-your-approach-to-great-communication/
Belonwu, V. (2013, Novermber 13). 20 Ways to Communicate Effectively With Your Team. Retrieved March 8, 2018, from Small Business Trends: https://smallbiztrends.com/2013/11/ways-to-communicate-effectively-in-the-workplace.html
Coughlin, D. (2013). Communication Approaches That Strengthen Working Relationships. Retrieved March 8, 2018, from American Management Association: http://www.amanet.org/training/articles/communication-approaches-that-strengthen-working-relationships.aspx
EDUCBA. (2016, January 25). 10 Effective Business Communication Techniques. Retrieved March 8, 2018, from EDUCBA: https://www.educba.com/10-effective-business-communication-techniques/