Thursday, July 7, 2016


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Work place communication concerns between Managers, Supervisors, Employees and Unions. The information employees need or may want to have. When we talk on this topic the following questions comes to our mind : Why good work place communication ? Who is responsible for communication ?  What kind of information are required ? What are the principal methods for effective  work place  communication ?

The work place communication should ensure  the  involvement of Unions,  Managers and Supervisors. They should establish suitable arrangements for both communication and feedback in co-operation with each other. There must be a Employees involvement statement which should include arrangements  for providing details in systematic manner to the employees for the matters concerning them. It may also have information for achieving a common awareness on the  part of all employees regarding financial and economic factors affecting the performance  of the Organization.

Good Communication is not only important  but essential also:

  • Work place communication is a two-way process which requires flow of information up as well as down. The communicator should  try to ensure that  message is understood. He must listen to and take account of any reaction to the communication.

  • The work place communication mainly covers the   information of all kinds having a direct bearing on day-to-day operation of the Organization. The channels  it passes and the means of passing it.

  • Communication at work place  should never be an end in itself, but if used properly it can play an important role in ensuring the efficiency and success of the Organization.  The managers have the responsibility to communicate with their subordinates.  Good communication can help managers to be better managers, enable employees to work effectively to create  greater trust with the management and its employees.

  • Employees need to be informed of their duties, obligations and rights to communicate with Managers & Supervisors.  Many employees  want more information than the basic instructions needed to carry out their work such as :
What is happening and why?, The way their jobs can contribute and  future   prospects in the Organization

  • Employees are also Communicators.  They need to pass job related information to others as part of their daily work  on the basis of their own experience. They wish to contribute in the areas of working environment of their job and the policies which may affect them.Managers & Supervisors should know and encourage the expressions of employees’ views in order to make better and more understandable decisions.  They  have to exchange information with colleagues as a part of their work.  This necessitates lateral or inter-departmental as well as vertical line communication.  Failure to recognize this need may result  inconsistency of approach and application.


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  • The work place communication can help the employees to perform better and become more committed to the Organization’s success. It can also help  to  create greater trust between Managers , Supervisors, Unions and employees. 

Who is responsible for  Effective Communication ?

  • Work Place Communication involves everyone in the Organization but to be effective it needs to be organized in systematic manner like any other activity.  Successful work place communication needs a positive lead from the Top Management. It is  necessary that  Senior managers are  made responsible to ensure that :
-           The policy is put into practice.
-           The practice is properly maintained.
-           The policies and practices are regularly reviewed.
-           The chain of communication is clearly understood by all  those involved.

  • The principal link in any communication system is Line Managers & Supervisors because  ineffective communication by them causes poor performance.  First Line Supervisors play a key role in any communication system.  Direct communication is sometimes desirable but, when short cuts are adopted the Line Managers & supervisors must be kept equally well informed.

  • Union Officials also have communication responsibilities as well as information needs since one of their main tasks is to ensure that their  views and opinions are properly conveyed to the Management.

What should be communicated ?

·         The Management needs to communicate information to the employees  regarding  their pay  conditions of employment and also wide range of job-related  information including Operating & Technical instructions, Health & Safety information, General Information about the organization such as background, objectives and also about who is who? Where they are? And what they do?

·         Sometimes employees are interested to know as to  what is happening in the Organization? Therefore,  management should inform all employees about important events such as objectives & policies,  past & present performance, progress,  future plans and prospects of the Organization .

  • The information such as financial performance, Manpower changes, technological developments, state of the market and investment plans may be covered in the upward and downward communication process.  This information should  be provided as a part of  regular programme.  The employees tend to distrust the Managers who communicate only when there is bad news because job security is the major concern of all employees.

  • The  work place communication must  be  clear, concise and easily understood, It should be presented objectively in regular and systematic manner so as  to avoid rejection.  Communication must be  relevant and timely.  As far as possible, it should be open to questions being asked and answered.


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  • Variety of methods, will be needed both spoken and written, direct and indirect to have Effective Communication.  The mix of methods may be adopted on need basis. It starts from face to face.

Team briefing is important because when the leader of the group provides up-to-date information the group members can ask questions.  However in team briefing we need to observe that :

-           It should be  held at regular interval and not just in   crisis.
-           It should be brief  lasting   20-30 minutes only.
-           Led by the immediate first Line Managers of the  work group.
-           Face to face and not reduced to a series of circulars and memos.
-           Key focus area must be covered.

Now the care should be taken to consider the following:

-           Progress          :           How are we doing?
-           Employees      :           Who is coming and going?
-           Policy              :           Any change affecting the team.
-           Points              :           For further action.
-           Monitor            :           success or failure.

Let us see how team briefing Works:

 The briefer collects information relating to progress, people, policy and points for action in preparation for the meeting. It is ensured that he has the clearance of his Manager.  The Managers meet with their Teams  and any question which cannot be answered immediately are noted and answered lateron.   In addition to operational information the briefer should explain the items passed down from top management. This process continues down the line ensuring that there is a local brief and the management points have been included. After the meeting, briefer should find the feed back to respond for unanswered questions.  Absentees should be briefed on their return. Interdepartmental Meetings are conducted with the aim  to reduce scope for inconsistent decision making. Large Scale Meetings should also be there involving the whole workforce with presentation by  Chief Executive.  Frequency should be once in six months or year.

In addition to above Conferences and Seminars should be organized to study a particular problem with emphasis  on questioning and group discussion at least  once in a year.

Now comes the Written Methods:

-          The Introduction of Employee Handbook brings together employment and job related information which  does not change very often.

-          Performance Report keep employees informed about activities of the Organization  with main emphasis   on their contribution and achievements. 

-          House Journal  and  News Letters provide information about the Organization  on regular  basis  to  the  employees.   It  contains   large   elements  of   social  and personal   information.

-          Bulletin is useful for giving information on  wider basis about specific items of general interest i.e. Safety, Production and targets etc.

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-          Notices are aimed to bring the attention of audience, matter of general information and specific interest.  Care needs to be taken over location, use of notice boards and keeping them up-to-date.

-          Individual Letters to Employees  lay emphasis on the subject matters and  ensure that the information has been received and understood  by the targeted group.

Communication policy of the organization and practices need regular monitoring and review.  Therefore, it is important to ensure that :

-          Communicators know their roles.
-          Appropriate information is made available.
-          Information reaches to all who needs or wants. 
-          It is accepted and understood.

Sometimes monitoring exposes weaknesses therefore, it is essential that remedial action is taken.  Monitoring is largely dependent on feedback from the employees through  formal and informal channels.  Effectiveness of work place communication can also be assessed by:-

-          The  extent of employees co-operation.
-          The quality of decision making by managers.
-          The level of involvement by Senior Management
-          The Industrial Relations climate.

Lastly it can be said that  good and effective work place communication is the key to success for which the following  basic requirements are essential :-

-          Lead from top management.
-          Involvement of all Managers supervisors and Unions.
-          Awareness  needs and wants of the employees.
-          Systematic, regular and to-way communication.



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