A recommended course of action has also been provided, which the introduction of regular meetings with senior managers, further information being provided regarding the companies’ structure and each departments role in the future of the company, and possible investigations into team reorganization and the culture within departments. Table of Contents 1. Introduction 2. Discussion Points 2 3 4 2. 1 Lack of Downwards Communication 2. 2 Lack of Upwards and Lateral Communication 2. 3 Culture of Isolation Between Departments 5 3. Conclusions 4.
Recommendations References Introduction 7 8 10 The purpose of this report is to analyze the communication issues facing Earthmen, and where possible, to recommend courses of action that will improve the situation. Earthmen faced a difficult situation since its inception, due to the diverse and disparate elements in its foundation. This has resulted in a number of challenges to be faced; staff anxious about their role in the future of the company, a perceived normalization of departments, breakdowns in communication between departments, culminating in the sabotage of a run of Skies Unlimited magazines.
This report refers exclusively to the situation as detailed by the Emblem report. The issue most prominently highlighted by the Emblem report is the need for further communication between management and lower level employees. Communications between management and employees can be labeled as “downwards communication”. It has been noted that in some situations “top-down communication attempts fail, and that failure is often not grasped by those at the top of the hierarchy’ (Munson, 2008, p 556).
This issue may not have been apparent until recently, but the survey commissioned shows some worrying signs. In particular, the Emblem report shows that 59% of field specialists do not understand their role in the and imaging specialists (35%), the survey also notes that “only 50% of staff show familiarity with the goals of the organization”. Given the distinct origin of the separate departments, it is understandable that there is some ambiguity regarding how each division fits into the company’s vision.
However, for the field specialists and support staff outside head office, this ambiguity has been coupled with colleagues being made redundant or choosing to leave during the formation of Earthmen, and the cut to previous perks for field specialists. These factors have led to a lack of identification with the company and its goals and a sense of alienation that could adversely affect morale. A significant proportion of those surveyed “categorize the report plan as of little relevance to their Jobs”. Clear channels of downwards communication are fundamental in the management of employees.
In stopping the company newsletter, one source of information about other departments and the company as a whole was removed. Another issue is the need for further communication from employees to management. Upward communication channels are defined by (Munson, 2008) as channels that allow the passage of information necessary to run an organization to be collected by those in the upper levels of an organization. Munson describes lateral immunization as “communication that takes place primarily at one level of the organization”.
Earthmen could benefit from increased communication between lower level employees of different departments, and also between lower level employees and management. Upward communication is especially important as feedback is the best way to gain insight into how teams or employees are progressing. “Particularly in situations of strategic renewal and change, formal leaders need to learn about how their effects are proceeding through a process of mutual engagement with employees” (Specter, 2013).
The Emblem report states that 66% of staff outside head office believe decisions which affect their Jobs are made without their being consulted, and also states that “many staff want a chance to “ask questions and hear answers” from top management. ” Upwards communication is not only useful in supplying information that can help management, but is also necessary to avoid a “culture of silence” where an employee may be reluctant to pass on information required by management. A lack of a clear channel to voice dissatisfaction also contributed to an employee sabotaging the company newsletter.
With no avenue to voice dissatisfaction, an employee has acted in a way that could potentially have harmed the company. There are also signs of a lack of lateral communication, as 70% of staff say they have trouble with their Jobs, or miss deadlines because they did not receive information from their own or other sections. Some also felt there is not enough information sharing at a local level. If there is a need for lateral communication, but the organizational structure does not help facilitate this, then such problems may continue.
Interdepartmental communication can sometimes be unreliable. Cross functional teams are “teams that span multiple organizational functions and provide a way of achieving integration. Cross functional teams address the difficulty of highly differentiated functions being pulled together The formation of Earthmen from different departments has led to continued separatism under the new organization. This is especially true of field specialists, who do not generally work in close proximity to other employees, and has been evidenced by animosity towards the satellite imaging department.