Avinash is a junior analyst at a marketing start-up. He enjoys his work and gets along well with his colleagues. One day he gets a memo from his supervisor asking him to change his seat from one part of the open-plan office to another. When he asks around, he realizes no one else has been asked to move. Avinash starts worrying that his supervisor is unhappy with him, that he has no prospects in this company, that he might even lose his job.
If only his supervisor had cared to explain, Anivash would’ve learned why he was asked to move. The CEO noticed him sitting at a workstation with the least amount of light and ventilation and asked Avinash’s supervisor to find him a better spot.
Let’s consider another scenario:
Kavitha and Purna are editors at a lifestyle magazine. While Kavitha looks after the print edition, Purna oversees the digital edition. But the two editors work in isolation. As a result, two reporters often turn up to cover the same event, with two photographers in tow. This duplication of work not only costs the company double the resources but also leads to wastage of time, the conflict between teams and a loss of face outside the organization.
Both of these scenarios are classic examples of a failure of business communication management.
What Is Business Communication Management?
Business communication—both internal and external—is one of the key drivers of organizational success. People in an organization have to talk to one another, provide feedback and build a common purpose. An organization also has to communicate with internal and external stakeholders like employees, clients or customers. All this falls under the scope of business communication management.
But just writing emails or updating the intranet memo board multiple times a day isn’t enough. What organizations—and the people working within and with those organizations—really need is effective management communication.
This includes building clear communication channels between employees and management, which in turn help them achieve organizational goals and align with core organizational values. Its main purpose is to improve operations, prevent the creation of silos, keep employees well-informed and reduce errors.
Business communication flows in two directions:
This is the flow of information from managers to their subordinates. It involves informing employees and associates about what to do and how to do their tasks.
This refers to the flow of information from team members to their managers. Employees sharing their views with their managers on the nature of their work, their responsibilities and how they feel about the organization are examples of upward communication.
In Avinash’s case, there was a failure in both upward and downward communication. His organization’s management communication strategy would have been effective if:
Avinash had been informed of the reason behind the shift by his supervisor.
There had been a free and fair feedback mechanism for employees to talk to the management.
Effective management communication is essential for the well-being, success and growth of all organizations. Unlike regular communications, management communication is always goal-oriented. Poor management communication is one of the biggest roadblocks to an organization optimizing its resources and achieving its goals. When an organization overlooks the importance of communication in management, it can affect employee productivity, morale and efficiency.
One of the most important components of an organization’s communication strategy is managerial communication.
What Is Managerial Communication?
It constitutes the interactions that take place among managers within an organization as well as between managers and their teams. Clear and effective managerial communication is important for driving organizational agility and success.
What Is The Importance Of Communication In Management In An Organization?
According to a Gallup report that studied 2.5 million manager-led teams in 195 countries, even though the role of managers was found to be responsible for 70% of the variance in employee output, almost two-thirds of all employees felt their leaders did not spend enough time communicating organizational goals and plans to their teams.
Let’s look at the reasons that make managerial communication so important:
Flow Of Information:
One of the main tasks of a manager is to ensure that all employees have the necessary information to be able to carry out their responsibilities. At the same time, managers must also communicate with fellow managers to optimize company resources and achieve common goals.
Much of the work we do in an organization involves employees working in teams. To leverage the collective effort, team leaders need to maintain open channels of communication so that team members are aware of all responsibilities and expectations. Effective communication in project management ensures proper distribution of work and smooth functioning of a team.
Exchange Of Ideas:
No employee can afford to work in isolation in today’s interdependent work environment. Managers must ensure team members share ideas and habitually communicate with one another for quicker results. They must also communicate amongst themselves so that all resources, ideas and information benefit all the teams and the organization as a whole.
Much of the operational efficiency of an organization depends on effective communication among managers and subordinates. Timely and proper information flow not only prevents duplication of work but also helps identify bottlenecks and potential crises, leading to improved communication in project management.
Finding the right solutions to any problem that crops up in an organization hinges on effective communication. Managers must put in place communication channels so that employees feel confident about asking questions and airing grievances.
Apart from regular problems, every organization faces a crisis situation. In such a case, managers must communicate necessary information to their subordinates in a calm and effective manner. They must also reassure their teams and be open to solutions suggested by team members. Effective communication may make or break an organization’s prospects during an emergency and help strengthen team spirit.
When the communication culture within an organization is robust, employees feel a sense of belonging and a common purpose, which leads to greater productivity and higher morale.
Channels Of Managerial Communication
Now that we’ve understood the importance of managerial communication, let’s consider the different mediums through which managerial communication takes places:
Email is the most common and reliable medium for business communication management. However, managers must ensure employees don’t suffer from an email overload, where crucial information and instructions may get lost. Physical copies of circulars and notices may be printed and handed out to relevant employees or prominently displayed on the company’s notice boards. Some organizations use virtual message or memo boards to share updates.
Verbal communication remains the most common way of communicating in the workplace. Managers addressing their team members verbally to inform them of their roles and responsibilities is an effective way to establish a working relationship and build confidence. However, managers must pay careful attention to their choice of words, pitch and tone during verbal communication and always follow-up with written communication to maintain a record of the interaction. Recipients must listen attentively and may be encouraged to take notes.
While words—be they written or spoken—form the bulk of business communication, one mustn’t forget or underestimate non-verbal cues like body language, eye contact and facial expressions in managerial communication. A smile from the manager goes a long way in making a new employee feel at ease at the workplace, while the lack of eye contact may mar an otherwise brilliant presentation.
Organizations with a young or multi-generational workforce must remember that different cohorts may respond best to different kinds of managerial communication. With remote working getting normalized in many industries, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic, managers have to depend on new online channels, including a combination of short videos and mobile-first methods of communication. They must learn how to leverage technology to communicate better with their teams.
How To Improve Business Management Communication
Once an organization understands the importance of managerial communication, there are several ways in which managers and team leaders can improve their communication skills to build and lead functional, productive and happy teams. Harappa’s Compelling Communication Program will teach professionals how to communicate with impact.
With a carefully curated mix of academic and application-oriented concepts from organizational behavior, leadership, cognitive science and communication practices, this program will take a manager—or an aspiring manager—through some of the must-have communication skills, including how to connect with different audiences, how to synthesize information and data, active listening, the importance of body language and much more. Reach your organizational goals with Harappa by empowering your managers to communicate better!
Explore Harappa Diaries to learn more about topics such as Must-Have Skills For Leadership, The Evolution Of The Hero’s Journey, Adult Learning Principles, The Guide to Distance Learning & The Importance Of Women’s Leadership, which will help organizations tap into their employee’s potential.
Discover more from Harappa with a selection of trending blogs on the latest topics in online learning and career transformation