Communication is the transfer of information and may be defined as an exchange of facts, ideas, opinions, or emotions by two or more persons. Actually is the transmission of information from a sender to a receiver, and the feedback given by the receiver to the sender, indicating understanding (or lack of it), confirmation and so on. It is therefore a cyclical process. Research indicates that poor communication is probably the most frequently cited source of interpersonal conflict.
Individuals spend nearly 70 percent of their working hours for communicating. This is done through talking, reading, writing and listening etc. According to Lasswell, [1948, p. 50], communication is “Who says what, in which channel, to whom with what effect”. Every type of action that a manager takes with his/hers employees, involves communication in some way. There are many different forms of internal communication that managers can encompass within the workplace, such as interpersonal and organizational.
Types of Communication: 1. 1 Interpersonal communication It refers to communication between two or more people, and can include methods such as face-to-face communication, telephone, meetings, fax, and electronic mail or even through teleconferences and voice mail. Taylor argues, “In face-to face communication, you have various means of conveying information… voice, facial expressions, gesture, posture and movement”. These nonverbal components usually carry the greatest impact in the effective communication.
“It’s not what you said, but how you said it”. People respond to how something is said as well as what is said. Good manager look at their employees, when he talk to them and smile them often rather than be inanely when he talk. These components of nonverbal communication express trust and improve intensive care. 1. 2 Organizational communication It includes people, patterns, networks, etc. Within organizational communication, come two sub-groups, consisting of ‘formal communication’, and ‘informal communication’.
‘Formal’ refers to communication, that “follows the official chain of command or is part of the communication required to do one’s job” [Robbins and Coulter, 1996, p. 293]. They argue that any communication that takes place within the work force is classified as ‘formal’. ‘Informal communication’ is information that is not communicated through the company’s hierarchal structure. Examples of this may be, when colleagues talk to one another in an informal manner, for example in the staff room, or outside of working hours.
This process of ‘informal communication’ is beneficial in two main ways. It firstly enables employees to satisfy their needs for social interaction, and can also improve an organisations performance, by creating more efficient, faster and more enjoyable channels of communication. Taylor [1993, p. 109], argued that “horizontal communication takes place regularly between people on the same level”. This is vital in any successful organisation. For example, if communication was to breakdown from either party, this could cause the eventual downfall of the company.
Although this may be an extreme example, other issues that could arise through lack of communication, include de-motivation of the workforce, employees feeling neglected, therefore leading to low staff morale. Another major concern that could arise is that of confusion and disorganisation within the workplace. If matters of the workplace are not communicated efficiently, effectively and quickly, this will end in problems and concerns, not only for the employer, but also the employee. The concept of communication is not only imperative between people on the same level but also between directors for example, and office/floor workers.
Communication that flows ‘downwards’ is referred to as communication that is passed on from management staff to staff lower down in the hierarchy. ‘Upwards’ communication is when communication is passed on efficiently to members of the management team, from workers of a lower level. This gives employees the chance to express any concerns, problems, anxieties that they may have, through the main communication channels. This is very important in an organisation, as it gives employees the chance to have their say, without any worries that they may be frowned upon by management staff.