Communication is about sending and receiving information. Employees, managers and departments communicate with each other every day in business. Good communication is vital for the efficient running of a business. Within a business, there are both formal and informal channels of communication. Firstly, have a view at formal communication. It can be divided into three forms: downwards, upwards and laterally. 1.
Downwards communication has, in the past, been used to tell employees about decisions that have already been made. The importance of downwards communication can be proved by the four points: first, allow decisions by manager to be carried out by employees; second, ensures that action is consistent and co-ordinated; third, reduces costs because fewer mistakes should be made; fourth, would lead to greater effectiveness and profitability as a result of the above. 2. Upwards communication can help in decision-making.
The following evidence can show this well: first, it helps managers to understand employees’ concerns; second, it helps managers to keep more in touch with employees’ attitudes and values; third, it can alert managers to potential problems; fourth, it can provide managers with the information that they need for decision making and gives feedback on the effects of previous decisions; fifth, it helps employees to feel that they are participating and can encourage motivation; sixth, it provides feedback on the effectiveness of downwards communication and how it can be improved. 3.
Lateral communication takes place when people at the same level within an organization pass information. An example might be a member of the finance department telling the marketing department about funds available for a sales promotion. One problem that firms sometimes face is that departments may become hostile towards each other if they don not understand the problems that each face. The marketing department may want these funds, but this might adversely affect the firm’s cash flow. Secondly, turn to the informal communication. Informal communication channels can both help and hinder formal communication.
There is one main channel of informal communication – grapevine. The grapevine can be acknowledged by management and actively approved of. Some firms issue a “leak” along the grapevine to see what reaction it might provoke, making changes based on the reaction of employees to proposals, before issuing final instructions. Rumors, such as of a launch of a new product by a competitor, can be useful to a business. To sum up, the effective communication requires both formal and informal communication; they are an essential part of an organization’s functions.
Question 2 When bosses are not sufficiently ‘open’, the employees are not willing to send feedback to the organizations because they think they are not trusted enough and the feeling of participating is also not strong enough. If the organizations cannot gain much more and correct feedback from their employees, a lot of problems will occur. First, the bosses cannot understand their employees’ views and concerns so they cannot know what the employees are thinking about. Second, the bosses will out of touch with their employees’ attitudes and values.
For example, if the supervisors of Jaguar cannot realize the value of each employee, it is hard to arrange them into right positions and exert their real abilities. Third, the bosses cannot be alerted to the potential problems. This problem will become more serious when the crisis is coming. Fourth, the information that needed for decision making and feedback on the effects of previous decisions are not received as expected cause the employees think it is not their responsibility to give information or feedback to the organizations.
Fifth, the employees cannot be motivated cause they are lack for the feeling of trust and participating. They will not work harder and harder as in their mind, the profits of the organization are not affected by them. Sixth, the feedback on the effectiveness of downward communication and how it can be improved will not be provided. In summary, there will be many problems if the bosses are not sufficiently ‘open’, so in order to avoid these problems and attain full success, passing all the available information becomes necessary. Question 3
There are about five benefits if directors or seniors staff making themselves directly accessible for communication. Firstly, they can win more respect from their employees. When they tell employees what activities the organization are taking, such as new policy and the competitions, the employees will feel they are really cared by their bosses. As expected, the employees will respect their bosses and then they will be more willing to obey the orders and do what they are asked to do. Secondly, a good relationship between bosses and employees will be set up and the group productivity will be improved.
Actually, this benefit is based on the point above. The superiors and subordinates respect each other, so they will share the information of their organization and the productivity of group working will be performed well, they will discuss with each other no matter what level they stand on. Thirdly, the employees will be motivated if their superiors are exactly opening. The superiors open more deeply and widely, the feeling of participating will be stronger, so the employees will perform their responsibilities as well as they can.
Besides this, they will also be pleasure to do some extra work just because they are considered as part of the organization. Fourthly, the employees will respond their superiors with more useful feedback. The feedback can show the condition inside and outside the company, and feedback is extremely important while making decisions. Fifthly, the final point is the company’s success. It is based on the four points above. To a successful organization, the communication network is necessary while the final purpose of communication is to be successful as well.
The superiors try their best to become more open, so they exchange the information with their subordinates, set up a good relationship between superiors and subordinates, work with them to produce high productivity, motivate them with trust and belief. To sum up, it is a good way if superiors making themselves directly accessible for communication. Question 4 Cascade is a form of communication, which likes a waterfall down from a height. It is a succession of stages, processes, operations, or units and it also can be considered as a series of components or networks, the output of each of which serves as the input for the next.
Take Jaguar as a example, the message is send level by level. Every week supervisors are told by their factory director what the company has done in the previous week, what has been achieved and any action that has been taken within the company. The supervisors in turn cascade this information to their teams. A video is produced every quarter dealing with some aspects of the company — its present market position, future plans and so on. A director is present to answer questions.
The directors also introduced family evenings where employees would be invited in groups to visit the factories with their families. There also will be a presentation showing how the cars were made, a souvenir book about all the different models produced and the evening finished with a meal. The main method Jaguar used is passing information step by step: mangers – directors – supervisors – employees, with the assistance of showing, presentation and internal media such as video, book, etc. According to the example, it is clear that cascade is transferring message from superiors to subordinates.