Employee survey is tried and tested method of passing on organizational information from bottom to top. They are effective when it comes to measurement of a certain organizational practice, enabling in-depth research on most sensitive issues organizations face. However, it is not a cheap communication mode even though technology application has helped bring down cost of conducting organization wide surveys even in very large organization. Surveys can be done online, through phone and even on emails apart from traditional questionnaires on paper (Smith, 2005).
Newsletter Newsletters are an organization publication that delivers the message in a horizontal manner all across the organization. Horizontal communication such as achievements of departments and teams, their messages to the organization can all be delivered through Newsletters. It is recommended that newsletters should focus on middle and lower level management’s achievement rather then acting as a re-enforcer of messages from chief executive or managing director (Farrant, 2003). b. Written Suggestion Box Suggestion Boxes are to some extent a type of survey.
These are used for delivery of information in a quick and precise manner regarding something that is not very crucial to strategic decision making (Smith, 2005). 2. Verbal Communication a. Voicemail Voicemail has become a conventional tool for communication in recent years due to constant evolution of technology based communication methods. It’s an alternative to e-mail and even telephone. It is a delayed method of communication, even though it is two-way and not one sided, its isolated nature tends to fail the purpose an actual telephonic conversation serves.
It is mostly used when an employee is not reachable and communicating a message is important (Holtz, 2003). b. Telephone Telephones are widely used despite heavy reliance on modes of communication like e-mails and video conferencing. It can not be used cost efficiently if message is to be delivered all across organization. Most fitting use of telephonic communications are when a one-to-one message or conversation needs to be carried out (Holtz, 2003). c. Encouragement to ask questions
Supporting employees and encouraging them to ask questions not only shift the dynamics of organization wide communication but it also draw out a feeling of acceptance within employees. This, however, requires steps to be taken on organization’s part. To motivate employees to ask question the practice should be formally started by introducing question-and-answer sessions after discussions and presentation. Eventually, this practice will enlist in organizations core culture and values (Quirke, 2000). d. Open door policy
Next step towards this approach would be introducing open door policy in organization whereby employee’s issues and problems are discussed whenever they arise instead of waiting for a survey or a group discussion or meeting to raise the problem. This method is most effective for employees seeking mentoring from their superiors. If an issue present is an organization-wide threat then employees can also first start by obtaining the manager’s view regarding the problem to have a more objective view of it.
3. Non Verbal Communication a. Listen Listening is as important as delivering message to an audience. It is listening to target audience that enables us to understand what they expect from the managers and how a message should be crafted best for their understanding (Dimbleby, 1998). b. Set examples The most effective way of communicating a best practice’s importance and effectiveness is showing a practical example of it.
If change in an organization is handled by a manager well and he opens up lines of communication between himself and his team, the team members are likely to follow the example of manager and do the same for their subordinates. In a survey study done by Robson and Tourish (2005), a focus group and interview based research procedure were able to reveal that in a Europe based Health Care Organization, employee’s largely feel the need for relaxed environment, open, bottom-up communication activities.
3500 employees were surveyed. The employees also supported increased face-to-face meetings to remove ambiguity from roles assigned to them and understand messages that might sound vague, otherwise. c. Create relaxed atmosphere Groups are more receptive in relaxed and congenial environments. Certain members of a group can be given a task to ease up the environment for newer members. Managers themselves can also take that role. This rule is also applied for when an employee approaches management for mentoring and guidance.
It is to maintain that environment doesn’t become relaxed so much so that productivity is negatively affected (Dimbelby, 1998). Communication tools used in emergency response services is quite different from a regular healthcare organization because of the intensive training and crisis management departments have to manage day to day. Even though most hospitals have emergency rooms and those personnel are also taken care of extensively but its different in this case where each employee is rigorously trained for the job.
1. Focus Groups Like surveys focus group are also used to collect employee view point for the management. Focus Groups are considered for teams working on the same project regarding the organizations practices, project completion, facilities, team members, ambiguity on managements part in communicating etc. They can be followed by questionnaires. Most researcher conduct focus group to observe a general sentiment and then develop questionnaires to quantify behavioral aspects of employees (Frey, 2003).
a. Define roles Focus groups define employee roles such that any ambiguity that is perceived by the employee regarding their assigned roles or any disparity between employees and management’s view of a certain role or job can be tracked. They also help in assessing overall importance rating a team has given to the respective project and the team itself (Frey, 2003). b. Mission statement Effective communication in an organization is that which is done in sync with the strategic plan of the company.
An internal communication department is to develop a strategic communication plan depending on organization’s strategy. Organizational strategy can be understood from mission statement. Company’s mission statement is first communication done internally or externally. It tells stakeholders the unique aspect of your organization. This means the communication has a strategically important role in the organization (McGregor, 2001). Therefore, for successful internal communication, a clear and concise mission statement should be in place (Holtz, 2003).