Aug 18, 2016 | Posted by Erik Hager
One of the main challenges that most organization faces is poor communication flow, which brings about confusion that results in reduced efficiency as well as poor employee morale. Therefore, organizations must establish effective communication practices in order to improve the workflow of the employees and improve the overall productivity of the organization. Proper communication in an organization also ensures fast and accurate relay of information from supervisors to their subordinates, which ensures that basic management responsibilities such as organizing, planning, leading and controlling are carried out. With fast and smooth communication, employees are also able to seek and receive assistance from their supervisors, thus ensuring that the day-to-day tasks of an organization are carried out.
Communication flow in an organization
In an organization, communication flows in a two-way street:
Nowadays, most organizations are structured in a way that they operate in the form of teams, each with a number of team members (TM). Each team is led by a team leader (TL), who supervises the team members. Several teams form a group, with each team leader in the group reporting to a group leader (GL) who supervises the group. From the group leader, the communication flow then goes to the assistant manager (A/M), who is in charge of several groups, then to the manager (MGR.), and lastly the assistant general manager (A/GM). The communication can also go from top to bottom when issuing instructions and providing assistance. In such a case the flow will look like A/GM > MGR. > A/M > GL > TL > TM.
While this communication model is viewed by most people as vertical (bottom to top or top to bottom), it can also be presented as a circle based communication flow. Communication within this model occurs in a certain sphere of knowledge, which is referred as a small circle. At the core of the small circle, there are the team members, and as the circle expands, other levels are included (the TLs, GLs, A/M, MGR., and A/GM). Communication flows outward from the team members to the team leaders, group leaders, and so on when employees at each level of the circle are seeking assistance from their immediate supervisors, and inwards up to the team members when the supervisors are providing assistance to their immediate subordinates.Leadership development in an organization
While the small circle model of communication is very effective in an organization, it has its limitation. At each level of the circle, there are those tasks that the employees can carry out easily with their own initiative. However, there are those tasks that are beyond their knowledge or capabilities. Therefore, when carrying out these tasks, they must ask for assistance from their supervisors in order to complete them successfully. As a result, there might be some delays in completing the tasks, or a complete halt when the supervisors are not available to provide assistance. This results in a decrease in the efficiency of the organization, which can lower its overall productivity.
To avoid such a scenario, the management of an organization should strive to increase the capacity that each level of the circle is allowed to handle by improving the skills and experience of the employees over time. This is referred to as leadership development, and it is done with an aim of increasing the operational excellence of the small circles.
With leadership development, the team members and team leaders are able to increase their capacity to handle various tasks of the organization. Therefore, after a certain period of time, the team members can be able to do tasks that required them to ask for the assistance of the team leaders, and the same goes for the team leaders and group leaders, as well as other levels of the circle. This expands the small circle, and helps to increase the efficiency of the organization and improve the overall productivity.
However, in order to ensure that consistency in the production, maintain safety, and ensure that the efficiency of the organization is not reduced, leadership development should occur steadily over a period of time. In addition, the management should ensure that the team members and team leaders are given tasks that they can manage effectively, as giving them tasks that they cannot handle would comprise the safety during production, increase the production costs, and reduce efficiency.
Communication is a key component in the organization as it ensures that day-to-day tasks are carried out effectively. It also helps to ensure that instructions are relayed effectively from the management to the junior employees, and makes it easy for the employees to seek assistance from the supervisors. However, as an organization grows, the management should strengthen the communication framework to ensure that employees can handle more tasks, thus improving efficiency and productivity.